It Happened Here Again

courtesy Colin AshleySince the presidential election, there has been a national trend of people feeling empowered to attack those they consider vulnerable; last month, a group of women were harassed outside Wolfgang’s. Now it has happened here again: On Saturday night, a group of activists were physically attacked outside Artists Space Books & Talks on Walker Street. Alex Rubenstein wrote about it on Medium:

15 to 20 activists attending a party marking the end of their three-month organizing campaign space, ‘Decolonize This Place’, saw what was supposed to be a night of celebration and comradery interrupted by an unprovoked and politically violent hate crime. Four men approached the group leaving the party shouting “Trump Trump Trump!” and “Blue lives matter!” witness Patti Cruz wrote in a public Facebook post. […]

“My jaw is a little swollen on the left side of my face and I have a couple of welts on my forehead from them punching me. These guys from across the street at the bar [presumably M1-5] were watching us and following us. The got in our way and blocked us from moving. One or two of them took their shirts off after the scuffle,” activist Connor Hicks told me. […]

[Colin] Ashley [in the photo] wrote to me the following: “I grappled with one of them after he had sucker punched one of the members of our group He ended up on top of me and landed several hits to my face. My face is extremely swollen and eye bruised. What’s important to remember is that these guys specifically targeted us as a mixed group of gay men and women of color. They yelled ‘faggot,’ told others ‘go back’ to where they’re from and specifically pointed to me and yelled: ‘He’s a fucking faggot.’”

Read the Medium post for the whole story.

UPDATE 12/20: Hyperallergic has another account of the attack. It includes this, from artist Marz Saffore, an attendee at the event who approached a NYPD officer

“I told him what was happening. I pointed out the guys because, the three guys who were right there. They were just crossing Church Street [at this point],” she said. “They were right there, we were pointing them out and the police officer told me, he’s just like, ‘You need to get your people inside.’ He completely ignored any claim, he completely erased everything. He just said, ‘You need to get your people inside.’ I was like, ‘OK but I just need, we just need time.’ He was just like, ‘No you need to get your people inside because reinforcements are coming.’”

Photo courtesy Colin Ashley.



  1. MI-5 is the pits and has to go even if these cowards who attacked these activists didn’t come from there (I’m pretty sure they did.)

    TriBeCa would be a better place without MI-5 and Haus.

    • How are you sure, they came from there? Were you there? Do you have any facts at all. The fact is, that the fight started from a party down the block. None of the people discussed in this story ever stepped into M1-5. You should really get some facts before defaming a business.

  2. You neglected to mention the non response on the part of the police officer they approached for help.

  3. This is terrible and scary.

  4. How is it that there no other local newspapers are covering this? Is everyone circling their wagons and keeping their heads down in preparation for Trump’s rule?
    Wow, I would have expected major public attention from this.

    • This whole thing seems a bit suspicious, if it really happened there’d be an incident report even if the group refused to file. I suspect fake news to further the notion that Trump supporters are a modern version of the Brown Shirts from the original fascist era.

      • I’ve heard from bystanders who saw the incident occur. Also, in modern parlance, “fake news” refers to media outlets that purposefully make stories up outright, which is not the case here (except on April 1).

        • I live on White St. and I’ve lived here for over 10 years; nobody I know heard about this attack until people started asking about it several days afterwards. I’ve read every version I can find, and too many of the details don’t make sense. I would not be surprised if this turned out to have been fabricated by one of the outlets reporting it.

          • I think it can be hard for people who inherently trust the police to understand why other people might not. Beyond that, I’m curious what the details are that don’t make sense.

  5. Is the implication here that the attackers may have been off duty officers (“blue lives matter”) and the uniformed officer was warning that more off duty officers might be joining?

  6. The owners of M1-5 are good people and they would never ever condone this behavior.
    There are dirt bags everywhere you go…unfortunately.

  7. It could also be troublemakers who are using Trump as a scapegoat for their bad behavior.