Hunger crisis: 1 in 5 New Yorkers depend on food pantries
March 18, 2014

It’s a quiet crisis. In a city of plenty, a staggering number of people are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Nearly one in five New Yorkers, 1.4 million people, now rely on a patchwork network of 1,000 food pantries and soup kitchens across the city to eat.

That represents an increase of 200,000 people in five years — straining the charities that are trying to help.

The two biggest, City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City, now provide nearly 110 million pounds of food to soup kitchens and food pantries a year.

Yet those working on the front lines of the hunger crisis say it’s still not enough.

“It’s an astounding surge in need, and it’s because it is so hard for people to find jobs, or find a decent-paying job. They are turning to us for emergency help,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, 63, executive director of 90 free food outlets run by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

“So many people, too many people, don’t have enough money to pay for rent and also eat.”

At the Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry, bags packed with milk, juice, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, dry beans and other staples fly off the shelves.

Located in a small church vestry, the pantry is open one day a week, serving a steady clientele of 275 people. It could easily help three times as many, if only it had the food, volunteers said.

From soup kitchens in the Bronx, to mobile food markets on Staten Island and in Brooklyn, to pantries in Queens, the story is the same: lines stretching longer and longer, people arriving earlier and earlier, even in the depths of winter.

“Our Lady of Grace, in the northeast Bronx, saw the number of new households double in November — a 100% increase,” said Paul Costiglio, spokesman for Catholic Charities. “Across the board, our programs are reporting a continued increase in the number of working people, unemployed and families.”

The hunger crisis erupted when the Great Recession set in.

The number of city residents receiving aid under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, soared from 1.3 million in 2008 to 1.8 million today.

Yet, with so many people in need, the biggest benefit reduction in the 50-year history of food stamps took effect Nov. 1.

That’s when a temporary increase in benefits — pushed through by President Obama in 2009 as part of his economic stimulus program — lapsed.

New York households receiving food stamps saw their benefits decrease by an average of $30 to $50 a month, depending on a complex formula that takes into account family size and income.

For a typical family of three, that meant a drop to $189 a month, down from about $220.

Food pantry and soup kitchen operators said the impact was swift and dramatic: Although the economy had rebounded since the financial crisis, those at the bottom of the ladder had not fully shared in the recovery.

And so, on a frigid and windy Wednesday recently, a cluster of about 30 men and women stood outside — sometimes for as long as an hour — to get into the Food Bank for New York City’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Harlem.

In the cramped basement, families took turns moving through a makeshift supermarket, picking what they liked from the small selection on the shelves.

“I got fish today. They gave me salmon,” said Alejandro Medina, 54, a maintenance man at a homeless shelter who earns about $24,000 a year.

His wife works part-time and brings in $8,000. With four kids at home — two of their own and two nephews they care for — they also get $189 a month in food stamps.

But after spending $1,200 a month in rent for their two-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, and paying their other bills, there’s never enough left for food, he said.

Full article

New York City agrees to pay $18 million settlement to protesters of the RNCJanuary 16, 2014
The city of New York has agreed to pay $18m to settle a civil rights claim from hundreds of protesters who were rounded up and detained in overcrowded and dirty conditions after they rallied outside the 2004 Republican National Convention.
The settlement, between city hall and almost 500 individuals, brings to an end a long-running sore between the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters and the New York police department (NYPD) that had been pursuing aggressive surveillance and detention tactics in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. More than 1,800 people, including teenagers and many uninvolved bystanders, were caught up in the massive police sweep outside the convention that was held to mark the nomination of George W Bush for a second presidential term.
The deal, announced by the law department of the city of New York on Wednesday, does not come down on either side of the argument. It admits no liability on the part of the NYPD, noting that for nine years City Hall and the police department “had vigorously defended all these lawsuits, maintaining that the conduct of the police had at all times been constitutional”.
It nevertheless involves a payment of $10.4m to individual plaintiffs and to 1,200 members of a class action that alleged violation of their rights, and a further $7.6m in attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.
The settlement offers a note of agreement between the parties, saying that “both the plaintiffs and defendants recognize the difficulties in policing an event of this magnitude, especially in New York City.” But it adds that the circumstances of the arrests at the RNC had been “heavily disputed” and in the end “the parties and the court believed it was in the best interests of all involved to settle the outstanding claims at this time.”
The events of 30 August to 2 September 2004 in New York were among the most dramatic of any political convention in US presidential history. Tensions were running high over the invasion of Iraq the previous year and hundreds of thousands marched against Bush and the war in one of the largest expressions of public dissent against a president.
Wednesday’s settlement notes that the demonstrators “on the whole, protested lawfully and peacefully”. But a total of 1,806 were arrested, most on charges of parading without a permit or disorderly conduct.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the protesters renamed Pier 57, then a disused former bus depot in Manhattan where those arrested were taken, Guantánamo on the Hudson. “All that was missing were the orange jumpsuits. Under the guise of terrorism and the fear of terrorism, we are all losing our rights,” Jonathan Moore, the lawyer who filed the original lawsuit a few months after the convention, said at the time .
Pier 57 was not properly adapted for use as a detention center. In it, detained individuals were herded 30 or 40 at a time into 10ft by 20ft pens.
Some were held for more than two days without being brought before a judge, a violation of New York’s legal limit of 24 hours between arrest and arraignment. They were only released when a New York supreme court judge ruled the breach of the deadline a contempt of court.
Some released detainees were taken straight to hospital for treatment of rashes and asthma caused by oil-soaked floors and chemical fumes. Most had the charges against them were dropped immediately or within six months of the arrests, and some police claims of resisting arrest were later shown to be spurious through video evidence gathered by defence lawyers.
The announcement of the final settlement only two weeks into the term of New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, may not be entirely coincidental. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his police chief Ray Kelly, had consistently defended the conduct of the NYPD in the week of the RNC convention, 30 August to 2 September 2004, saying it had been justified by intelligence of possible violent threats that had been uncovered. But the documentary evidence to support that claim has never been released.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks three years previously, Bloomberg and Kelly had expanded the activities of the NYPD dramatically to include surveillance and infiltration of political and protest groups. A year before the convention they received court approval to expand NYPD investigations into the work of political and social organisations, which Kelly said was necessary as “we live in a more dangerous, constantly changing world”.
When the convention came along, with its venue in the overwhelmingly liberal city of New York, tensions were running high particularly over the invasion of Iraq that occurred the previous year. Hundreds of thousands marched against Bush and the war in one of the largest expressions of public dissent against a president.
Before Wednesday’s settlement, the fact of which was first disclosed by the New York Times, the city had already spent more than $18m fighting legal battles in the aftermath of the convention: $2.1m to resolve 112 of the total of 600 individual claims, and a further $16m in legal fees. The final settlement brings the total cost of the police over-reach to $34m.
Source

New York City agrees to pay $18 million settlement to protesters of the RNC
January 16, 2014

The city of New York has agreed to pay $18m to settle a civil rights claim from hundreds of protesters who were rounded up and detained in overcrowded and dirty conditions after they rallied outside the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The settlement, between city hall and almost 500 individuals, brings to an end a long-running sore between the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters and the New York police department (NYPD) that had been pursuing aggressive surveillance and detention tactics in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. More than 1,800 people, including teenagers and many uninvolved bystanders, were caught up in the massive police sweep outside the convention that was held to mark the nomination of George W Bush for a second presidential term.

The deal, announced by the law department of the city of New York on Wednesday, does not come down on either side of the argument. It admits no liability on the part of the NYPD, noting that for nine years City Hall and the police department “had vigorously defended all these lawsuits, maintaining that the conduct of the police had at all times been constitutional”.

It nevertheless involves a payment of $10.4m to individual plaintiffs and to 1,200 members of a class action that alleged violation of their rights, and a further $7.6m in attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.

The settlement offers a note of agreement between the parties, saying that “both the plaintiffs and defendants recognize the difficulties in policing an event of this magnitude, especially in New York City.” But it adds that the circumstances of the arrests at the RNC had been “heavily disputed” and in the end “the parties and the court believed it was in the best interests of all involved to settle the outstanding claims at this time.”

The events of 30 August to 2 September 2004 in New York were among the most dramatic of any political convention in US presidential history. Tensions were running high over the invasion of Iraq the previous year and hundreds of thousands marched against Bush and the war in one of the largest expressions of public dissent against a president.

Wednesday’s settlement notes that the demonstrators “on the whole, protested lawfully and peacefully”. But a total of 1,806 were arrested, most on charges of parading without a permit or disorderly conduct.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the protesters renamed Pier 57, then a disused former bus depot in Manhattan where those arrested were taken, Guantánamo on the Hudson. “All that was missing were the orange jumpsuits. Under the guise of terrorism and the fear of terrorism, we are all losing our rights,” Jonathan Moore, the lawyer who filed the original lawsuit a few months after the convention, said at the time .

Pier 57 was not properly adapted for use as a detention center. In it, detained individuals were herded 30 or 40 at a time into 10ft by 20ft pens.

Some were held for more than two days without being brought before a judge, a violation of New York’s legal limit of 24 hours between arrest and arraignment. They were only released when a New York supreme court judge ruled the breach of the deadline a contempt of court.

Some released detainees were taken straight to hospital for treatment of rashes and asthma caused by oil-soaked floors and chemical fumes. Most had the charges against them were dropped immediately or within six months of the arrests, and some police claims of resisting arrest were later shown to be spurious through video evidence gathered by defence lawyers.

The announcement of the final settlement only two weeks into the term of New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, may not be entirely coincidental. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his police chief Ray Kelly, had consistently defended the conduct of the NYPD in the week of the RNC convention, 30 August to 2 September 2004, saying it had been justified by intelligence of possible violent threats that had been uncovered. But the documentary evidence to support that claim has never been released.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks three years previously, Bloomberg and Kelly had expanded the activities of the NYPD dramatically to include surveillance and infiltration of political and protest groups. A year before the convention they received court approval to expand NYPD investigations into the work of political and social organisations, which Kelly said was necessary as “we live in a more dangerous, constantly changing world”.

When the convention came along, with its venue in the overwhelmingly liberal city of New York, tensions were running high particularly over the invasion of Iraq that occurred the previous year. Hundreds of thousands marched against Bush and the war in one of the largest expressions of public dissent against a president.

Before Wednesday’s settlement, the fact of which was first disclosed by the New York Times, the city had already spent more than $18m fighting legal battles in the aftermath of the convention: $2.1m to resolve 112 of the total of 600 individual claims, and a further $16m in legal fees. The final settlement brings the total cost of the police over-reach to $34m.

Source

I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It’s exactly the reverse of what they’re saying. I don’t know where they went to school, but they certainly didn’t take a math course. Or a logic course.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on NYPD’s Stop & Frisk program.

LOL, okay. Some stats:

  • From 2002 to 2011, black and Latino residents made up close to 90 percent of people stopped.
  • About 88 percent of stops – more than 3.8 million – were of innocent New Yorkers.
  • Even in neighborhoods that are predominantly white, black and Latino New Yorkers face the disproportionate brunt. For example, in 2011, Black and Latino New Yorkers made up 24 percent of the population in Park Slope, but 79 percent of stops.
  • In 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 532,911 times
    - 473,644 were totally innocent (89 percent). 
    - 284,229 were black (55 percent).
    - 165,140 were Latino (32 percent). 
    - 50,366 were white (10 percent).

via NYCLU

yourfriendlycomrade

nextyearsgirl:

ohhitumblr:

nyulocal:

zoeschlanger:

Oy vey this guy.

Can’t take back the hashtag, bro. #truth

Wooooooow what a scumbag

Not shocked he’s an evolutionary psychologist.

Evolutionary psychology is make-believe non-science that serves to support the status quo for all things problematic like: sexism, racism, gender roles, fat-hate & more!

It takes features of our current oppressive culture and comes up with somewhat-plausible (although completely improbable) explanations for why those social features are a result of evolution. It explains such phenomena as why men cheat & impulsively rape, why women are submissive,etc. These comments are a PERFECT example of the type of thinking that comes out of this bizarre field.

This man should be forcibly removed from teaching at any University (although he may be eligible for a segment on the O’Reilly factor). 

Please get on twitter & tweet him AND NYU (& contact them in various other ways as well) suggesting as much. If you see or know this man in person, please tell him how you feel. He needs to know. 

BREAKING EMERGENCY RESPONSE: COME TO COOPER UNION @ 6PM FOR A RALLY TODAY! Free Cooper Union students announced that security is warning them right now of disciplinary actions if they don’t leave the president’s office by 6pm. If you’re available, please come to show solidarity!

Please, if you’re in NYC, come to show your support. Show up ready to defend free education on demand.

Democracy Now! on the Cooper Union occupation.

April 16, 2013 - from my email:

Hey folks!

May Day is fast approaching and a bunch of student groups are in the process of organizing a citywide student convergence!  Plans are in the works for some campus-specific actions & events in the lead-up to May Day, a Free University hosted by Free Cooper Union on May Day, followed by a citywide convergence afterwards!
The first convergence planning meeting was last Sunday at Cooper Union.  There was a great vibe and a ton of enthusiasm about showing solidarity with labor by using May Day as an opportunity to strengthen and build the student movement in NYC.  
There’s still a lot of work to get done!  If you’d like to get involved, email me offlist and I’ll add you to the May Day student convergence listserv (nycstudentconvergence@googlegroups.com), which we hope to use beyond May Day for future citywide student events and coordination.
At the last meeting, the group decided to leave the final decisions about the structure of the day to next week’s meeting in order to go back to their respective campuses and to give more time for folks that couldn’t make the first meeting to give input.  The next planning meeting for the May Day Student Convergence will be at:
April 21st, Sunday, 1pm-3pm 
Washington Square Park
Please RSVP to the event page and share with friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/417425228353105/
If you or your group wants to be involved in the planning of the convergence, contact me off-list and we’ll coordinate.
Best,
Matt
mtinker86@gmail.com

The People’s Record News Update: This week in the fight to decriminalize across the United States!
March 20, 2013

  • In Maryland, the Maryland Senate votes to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, while a House committee considers legalizing as much as an ounce. The marijuana debate has expanded beyond medical uses to recreational ones. The Maryland Senate approved a bill that reduces small amounts of marijuana from criminal possession to a civil fine Tuesday. A bill in the House goes even further.

    The bill legalizes the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older. It removes all penalties for possession of up to one ounce and allows adults to grow up to three plants. The prospects of any of the marijuana bills making it through both chambers and to the governor’s desk for his signature remain uncertain. A Senate bill decriminalizing marijuana up to 10 grams now moves to the House. Source
  • In Dallas, members of NORML, the nation’s largest group that advocates the legalization of marijuana protested along Greenville Avenue near the Old Town Shopping center in Dallas this weekend. It was estimated that about 100 members are here at the Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival. The group was denied a permit to march in be parade. Source
  • In Atlanta, marijuana activists gathered in Midtown at this weekend’s Southern Cannabis Reform Conference to unite and discuss how to reform antiquated marijuana laws. Several pro-marijuana groups gathered at the Spring4th Center in Midtown to promote the idea of drug decriminalization and discuss ways to improve community outreach. The two-day summit was organized by Peachtree National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education (CARE), the American Cannabis Coalition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Georgia NORML, among others. Source
  • In New Hampshire, advocates of medical marijuana won overwhelming support Wednesday in the House for a bill that would sanction five marijuana dispensaries and allow patients or caregivers to grow up to three plants for medical use.

    The bipartisan vote of 286-64 marked the fourth time in six years such a medical marijuana bill has won House approval. Two previous measures were vetoed by then-Gov. John Lynch; a third was killed in the Senate. Source
  • In New York City, a new report released today by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Arrest Research Project documents the astonishing number of hours the New York City Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests over the last 11 years. The report finds that NYPD used approximately 1,000,000 hours of police officer time making marijuana possession arrests during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure. These are hours that police officers might have otherwise have spent investigating rape or wall street banker’s or conducting internal investigations regarding the NYPDs habitual racism & brutality.  Source
  • In Florida, two top Democratic fundraisers have committed to providing the money and know-how to get the question of legalizing medical marijuana on the state ballot in 2014.  Just a few months ago, the initiative to legalize could barely afford to photocopy the petition. Now, it has commissioned a poll and plans to hire a company to manage a $10 million campaign. Source
mothernaturenetwork

mothernaturenetwork:
NYC coding program pushes for computer science curriculum

The city thinks that every kid should learn to code to keep up in today’s world, and it’s started a program to make it happen.            


It’s pretty rare that I get to reblog stuff that makes me hopeful in a ‘well that’s a good thing’ way and not in a ‘well at least the decay of the system/colonial empire/capitalism is coming right along’ way. This is one of the good ones.
I wish they would offer some free adult coding courses.
Hey brilliant tumblr hacktivists, coders, and knowledgeable people, what are some good resources for self-teaching coding & the like?

mothernaturenetwork:

NYC coding program pushes for computer science curriculum

The city thinks that every kid should learn to code to keep up in today’s world, and it’s started a program to make it happen.            

It’s pretty rare that I get to reblog stuff that makes me hopeful in a ‘well that’s a good thing’ way and not in a ‘well at least the decay of the system/colonial empire/capitalism is coming right along’ way. This is one of the good ones.

I wish they would offer some free adult coding courses.

Hey brilliant tumblr hacktivists, coders, and knowledgeable people, what are some good resources for self-teaching coding & the like?

Hey NYC Tumblr family, our incredibly talented friend Alejandro is putting on his show, THE BROWN QUEEN, on March 12 at the LGBT Center in Brooklyn. He was generous enough to let us stay at his place while we were working on our project in New York. He’s a passionate performer, a compassionate human being, and super queer queen with an incredibly bright mind & personality. Help us return the support and share this show on your dash & with all of your NYC contacts. Come out and see it if you can. It’s going to be really entertaining. 

The story of a gay Chican@ boy born in El Paso, Texas, who eventually claimed New York City as his queendom. The Brown Queen begins with Diana Ross on the radio, while cruising downtown El Paso in a 1963 Rebel Rambler. The story travels from an early Chican@ upbringing in the borderlands of Tejas, to Sioux City, Iowa, and finally New York City. Through his tale, discover how the Brown Queen arrives at a fabulously queer life in New York City. A performance of growth, endeavor, and celebration. Friends and Foes:It would be an honor to have y’all come and watch me take it to the floor at my place of employment. CATEGORY IS: CENTER REALNESSIn the past three years I have had the opportunity to bring small excerpts of my show at different events and now I’m gonna do it all. Not just the tip. So please come support me—it’s gonna be a shit show, but really funny. THE BROWN QUEENTUESDAY, MARCH 12, 20138pm$5The LGBT Community Center208 West 13th StreetNew York, NY 10011photo by: Camilo Godoypostcard: Untitled Queen Much love, AlejandroakaMz. BootzakaThe Brown QueenakaQuesa

Here’s a link to the event.

Hey NYC Tumblr family, our incredibly talented friend Alejandro is putting on his show, THE BROWN QUEEN, on March 12 at the LGBT Center in Brooklyn. He was generous enough to let us stay at his place while we were working on our project in New York. He’s a passionate performer, a compassionate human being, and super queer queen with an incredibly bright mind & personality. Help us return the support and share this show on your dash & with all of your NYC contacts. Come out and see it if you can. It’s going to be really entertaining. 

The story of a gay Chican@ boy born in El Paso, Texas, who eventually claimed New York City as his queendom. 

The Brown Queen begins with Diana Ross on the radio, while cruising downtown El Paso in a 1963 Rebel Rambler. The story travels from an early Chican@ upbringing in the borderlands of Tejas, to Sioux City, Iowa, and finally New York City. Through his tale, discover how the Brown Queen arrives at a fabulously queer life in New York City. 

A performance of growth, endeavor, and celebration. 


Friends and Foes:

It would be an honor to have y’all come and watch me take it to the floor at my place of employment. 
CATEGORY IS: CENTER REALNESS

In the past three years I have had the opportunity to bring small excerpts of my show at different events and now I’m gonna do it all. Not just the tip. 

So please come support me—it’s gonna be a shit show, but really funny. 

THE BROWN QUEEN
TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013
8pm
$5
The LGBT Community Center
208 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011

photo by: Camilo Godoy
postcard: Untitled Queen 


Much love, 

Alejandro
aka
Mz. Bootz
aka
The Brown Queen
aka
Quesa

Here’s a link to the event.

From an email:

Hey comrades,

Recently, a campaign to target Sallie Mae’s central, detrimental role in the student debt crisis has began to build great traction. Conversations have been sparked amongst various collectives and organizations as to how everyone can participate to effectively target Sallie Mae and how together, this can be an avenue to make strong demands and envision alternatives on fundamental issues like free public higher education, racial justice, and equal access to education for immigrants.

Organizers at Jobs with Justice and Student Labor Action Project have already begun to coordinate efforts against the already beleaguered corporation by organizing workers in Sallie Mae call centers, to pressuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for tougher regulation to pursuing legal recourse for Sallie Mae’s redlining practices.

Here in New York, folks from New York Students Rising, Strike Debt, Occupy Student Debt Campaign, and All in the Red have been discussing what it would look like to continue to focus on Sallie Mae together in the context of building a broad-based coalition.  

We’d like to open up the discussion to organizers and activists across New York City (there will be a national call following this) to unpack what this could look like locally and nationally in the coming months. Please send this to anyone in and around NYC who may be interested and indicate your availability on this Doodle if you’d like be a part of the call: http://www.doodle.com/8tz3w6nwc7a63xvd

Best, Matt Tinker, (479-366-8609) #allinthered

Janna Powell (484-695-1204) #allinthered

In my humble opinion, All in the Red is one of the most promising new economic-justice/education groups you can choose to be involved with in the U.S. They are creative & smart & serious about testing innovative organizational tactics. 
  • All in the Red fights for accessible debt-free education for all!
  • Through visionary tactics, surprising actions, and creative networking, we resist corporate ownership of our schools and the commodification of knowledge.
  • By combining artistic and organizational innovations with grassroots direct action, we strive to create dynamic experimental spaces of connectivity and collaboration–incubators for new forms of creative protest.

Source

NYPD lawsuits rise dramatically, cost NYC $550.4 million in last FYDecember 30, 2012
In the 2011 fiscal year alone, New York City paid out a staggering $550.4 million— or about $70 per New York resident— to settle a litany of lawsuits ranging from personal injury claims to medical malpractice.
A large chunk of that over half a billion dollar figure— a five percent increase over the year before— stems from lawsuits brought against the New York Police Department. Lawsuits against the NYPD cost city taxpayers $185 million, more than any other city agency.
Using a report conducted by City Comptroller John Liu, The Daily News reports there were 8,882 lawsuits against the NYPD, a dramatic 35 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, the NYPD reportedly paid $22 million to settle civil rights cases made against officers.
Such settlements included $1.2 million paid out to two Colombian brothers who spent a combined 17 years in prison for armed robbery charges that were eventually thrown out.
In 2011, it was revealed the city shelled out nearly $6 billion to settle all sorts of claims from 2000-2010.
SourcePhoto: An NYPD officer sucker punches Felix Rivera-Pitre, a Queens resident, during an OWS protest.
New York City residents are paying for a police force to brutalize their communities, racially profile through Stop & Frisk & jail their neighbors. These figures are outrageous, yet unsurprising. 

NYPD lawsuits rise dramatically, cost NYC $550.4 million in last FY
December 30, 2012

In the 2011 fiscal year alone, New York City paid out a staggering $550.4 million— or about $70 per New York resident— to settle a litany of lawsuits ranging from personal injury claims to medical malpractice.

A large chunk of that over half a billion dollar figure— a five percent increase over the year before— stems from lawsuits brought against the New York Police Department. Lawsuits against the NYPD cost city taxpayers $185 million, more than any other city agency.

Using a report conducted by City Comptroller John Liu, The Daily News reports there were 8,882 lawsuits against the NYPD, a dramatic 35 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, the NYPD reportedly paid $22 million to settle civil rights cases made against officers.

Such settlements included $1.2 million paid out to two Colombian brothers who spent a combined 17 years in prison for armed robbery charges that were eventually thrown out.

In 2011, it was revealed the city shelled out nearly $6 billion to settle all sorts of claims from 2000-2010.

Source
Photo:
 An NYPD officer sucker punches Felix Rivera-Pitre, a Queens resident, during an OWS protest.

New York City residents are paying for a police force to brutalize their communities, racially profile through Stop & Frisk & jail their neighbors. These figures are outrageous, yet unsurprising. 

When we organize, we win! 
Across New York City parents, teachers and students are getting organized - from the bottom up - to take on mayoral control of schools and the drastic cuts to K-12 and higher ed programs that make it harder for kids to succeed and teachers/parents to support them towards that success.We know that when we organize, we win. We did it when we kicked Cathie Black out of the chancellorship, and we’ll do it again when we send Mayor Bloomberg out of office with his failed policies in his greedy hands. This weekend, there are two important events happening towards that goal:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Coalition for Public Education 3rd Annual Convention    Saturday, 9-5pmCommunity Service Society of NY - 105 E. 22nd Street, New York, New YorkFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/501379333205516/andEnvisioning Student Unionism in NYCYa-Ya Network: 224 W. 29th St, New York, New York 10001Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/480974888601877/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Let’s come together and take on the corporate model of education, and proclaim that WE ARE STUDENTS/TEACHERS/PARENTS, NOT CUSTOMERS!See you soon,
Justin WedesEditor, OurSchoolsNYCCo-Principal, Paul Robeson Freedom School 

When we organize, we win! 

Across New York City parents, teachers and students are getting organized - from the bottom up - to take on mayoral control of schools and the drastic cuts to K-12 and higher ed programs that make it harder for kids to succeed and teachers/parents to support them towards that success.

We know that when we organize, we win. We did it when we kicked Cathie Black out of the chancellorship, and we’ll do it again when we send Mayor Bloomberg out of office with his failed policies in his greedy hands. This weekend, there are two important events happening towards that goal:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Coalition for Public Education 3rd Annual Convention    
Saturday, 9-5pm
Community Service Society of NY - 105 E. 22nd Street, New York, New York
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/501379333205516/

and

Envisioning Student Unionism in NYC
Ya-Ya Network: 224 W. 29th St, New York, New York 10001
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/480974888601877/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let’s come together and take on the corporate model of education, and proclaim that WE ARE STUDENTS/TEACHERS/PARENTS, NOT CUSTOMERS!

See you soon,

Justin Wedes
Editor, OurSchoolsNYC
Co-Principal, Paul Robeson Freedom School 

MUST WATCH: Video shows NYPD officer assault during Stop & Frisk
July 27, 2012

The video shows a police officer striding toward a young man standing on a platform at the 45th Street subway station in Brooklyn. A few seconds later, the officer pats him down. Shortly afterward, the young man appears to fidget against a wall and the officer slams him to the ground, ripping a subway ad from the wall in the process. The officer does it again, then puts the young man in a headlock and handcuffs him.

That scene was captured by David Galarza, a local activist, who said he recorded it last Thursday night. At a news conference on Thursday in Brooklyn, Mr. Galarza and other local activists said the officer’s confrontation with the young man, Sean Pagan, 19, was another example of the police’s mistreatment of the predominantly Hispanic and Asian residents of Sunset Park.

This time, however, they say they have a video to support their contention.

“These are young people of color who are victimized many times, and this kind of excessive force, sometimes it’s captured, sometimes not,” Mr. Galarza said before screening the video for reporters at a Latino community center in Sunset Park. “There was an arrest of a young man, but not of the officer who did the groping, and who did the choking.”

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What a shocking video that shows the horror people of color in NYC endure if they are stopped & frisked. 

According to NYCLU, in 2011 New Yorkers were stopped by police 685,724 times.  

- 605,328 were totally innocent (88 percent).
- 350,743 were black (53 percent).
- 223,740 were Latino (34 percent).
- 61,805 were white (9 percent).
- 341,581 were aged 14-24 (51 percent).

NYPD targets police brutality activist in an attempt to silence himJuly 22, 2012
The NYPD and New York City courts are trying to silence you—and everyone who stands up for justice and against racism—by going after a leading anti-police-brutality and anti-racial-profiling activist, Joseph “Jazz” Hayden.
Jazz has been fighting police abuse and violence for years and is a founding member of the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow. Long before the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy started to become notorious nationwide and tens of thousands marched to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s house in protest, Jazz was one of the dozens of activists dedicated to organizing against it and documenting police racism. His website AllThingsHarlem.com has four years of his videos showing New York police as they target and search young Blacks and Latinos.
Now the NYPD is striking back. Two police officers conducted an illegal search of Jazz’s car in December of last year—the same police who Jazz videotaped a few months earlier conducting another illegal car search involving two other African American men. In the video, police can be heard trying to intimidate Jazz, saying, “We know your background. I know who you are.”
The cops let those two men go without any charges or tickets, having had no legal reason to stop them in the first place and being unable to charge them for the real reason they picked out: being Black.
But the police didn’t forget Jazz, and in December, when the same two officers stopped him, they said, “We know you.” Jazz was detained and held for nearly two days before a prosecutor tried to force him to post a $16,000 bond.
Jazz is facing two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, which could put him behind bars for two to seven years if he is convicted.
The weapons? A penknife and a commemorative mini-replica of a baseball bat. Both are absurdly harmless and completely legal to carry, unlike the car search the police conducted to “discover” them.
Source

NYPD targets police brutality activist in an attempt to silence him
July 22, 2012

The NYPD and New York City courts are trying to silence you—and everyone who stands up for justice and against racism—by going after a leading anti-police-brutality and anti-racial-profiling activist, Joseph “Jazz” Hayden.

Jazz has been fighting police abuse and violence for years and is a founding member of the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow. Long before the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy started to become notorious nationwide and tens of thousands marched to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s house in protest, Jazz was one of the dozens of activists dedicated to organizing against it and documenting police racism. His website AllThingsHarlem.com has four years of his videos showing New York police as they target and search young Blacks and Latinos.

Now the NYPD is striking back. Two police officers conducted an illegal search of Jazz’s car in December of last year—the same police who Jazz videotaped a few months earlier conducting another illegal car search involving two other African American men. In the video, police can be heard trying to intimidate Jazz, saying, “We know your background. I know who you are.”

The cops let those two men go without any charges or tickets, having had no legal reason to stop them in the first place and being unable to charge them for the real reason they picked out: being Black.

But the police didn’t forget Jazz, and in December, when the same two officers stopped him, they said, “We know you.” Jazz was detained and held for nearly two days before a prosecutor tried to force him to post a $16,000 bond.

Jazz is facing two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, which could put him behind bars for two to seven years if he is convicted.

The weapons? A penknife and a commemorative mini-replica of a baseball bat. Both are absurdly harmless and completely legal to carry, unlike the car search the police conducted to “discover” them.

Source