City Hall Park occupation still going strong

There has been a lot of back and forth about the value of and commitment to defunding the NYPD, but either way the encampment at City Hall Park is still going strong (thanks to J for some of these pics) despite the agreement by the mayor and the council to strike $1 billion from the police budget.

The sleep-in was originally spearheaded by Vocal-NY, and they clearly do not see a win in this city budget, so the crew might be sticking around. (There are others to read, but this oped in the Daily News from Mark Winston Griffith, the ED of the Brooklyn Movement Center, sums it up well.) There is also a movement — and a petition — to make Juneteenth a national holiday if you want to join in.

Unfortunately the park has really suffered. (Local teen Avani Khorana reported that organizers were handing out spray paint cans.) Maybe this is the price of justice, but it seems to me there’s no reason to mark public property — even symbols of government corruption like the Tweed Courthouse.



  1. Tragic. Looks like the filth of tent city in LA. For goodness sakes, making this city look disgusting. Does your home look like this? At least keep it clean while you want to occupy.

  2. I agree. I am not sure how you get your point across by vandalizing public spaces. It is so disrespectful to the city and the space they are occupying.

  3. City Hall admits new budget dismantles unit for placard crackdown

    The lesson here? Be careful what you wish for.

  4. This now reminds me of when the homeless moved into City Hall Park during the Koch administration- it was a very, very long time before that was disbanded. When I walked past the encampment the other day, I saw what were clearly street people, not protestors, availing themselves of free food, clothing, tarps to sleep on and under.
    In the midst of a pandemic, I’m not happy to have an encampment anywhere, let alone so close to my home. I hope the chanting and shouting late at night abates. It has gone on until all hours.
    Meanwhile, two entrances to the subway are blocked because of this, as is the elevator, which is a real issue for people with disabilities.

  5. Please call your city council members. A neighbor of mine was walking his puppy and was attacked. This is a really disgusting and disturbing situation. They’ve destroyed public property and they are NOT taxpayers. They’re children or the homeless. De Blasio and the city need to act.

  6. Strong disagree. We do not get to police how people protest. Paint can be cleaned up. Lives of Black men, women, and children cannot be brought back. It’s a minor discomfort for a neighborhood of privilege – both white and socio-economic.

    • Being followed into my building by homeless people occupying the encampment and having my neighbor attacked is not a “minor discomfort.” We live here and pay property and income taxes. They do not. Get a permit and stage a protest. That’s your right. You do not have a right to disrupt taxpaying citizens’ lives.

      I’ll check my privilege if you check your anarchism.

      I emailed our city councilwoman: Margaret Chin at

    • They are breaking the law by defacing our property.

      • Esquire, 1968:

        Q. How would you define somebody who smashes in the window of a television store and takes what he wants?

        James Baldwin: Before I get to that, how would you define somebody who puts a cat where he is and takes all the money out of the ghetto where he makes it? Who is looting whom? Grabbing off the TV set? He doesn’t really want the TV set. He’s saying screw you. It’s just judgment, by the way, on the value of the TV set. He doesn’t want it. He wants to let you know he’s there. The question I’m trying to raise is a very serious question. The mass media-television and all the major news agencies-endlessly use that word “looter”. On television you always see black hands reaching in, you know. And so the American public concludes that these savages are trying to steal everything from us, And no one has seriously tried to get where the trouble is. After all, you’re accusing a captive population who has been robbed of everything of looting. I think it’s obscene.

  7. Agree. Back up your privilege, ppl.

  8. Few people can disagree that the NYPD needs serious reform and this might be a more acceptable slogan than ‘defunding’. A look at the statistics for shootings in the City over the past few weeks
    shows a clear need for some sort of law enforcement if the City is not going to become like Chicago. 9 people shot and killed over the last weekend. I do not know how or why this outbreak of gun violence has happened but quite a number of innocent people have been caught in the cross-fire and some neighborhoods are becoming no-go areas after dark. I do not think this is the New York City that anyone wants to see.

  9. Duane & Warren – Not sure who you are or where you hail from but I was born in the inner city, where I lived through college (which I put myself through), and had close friends of every color & creed. I’ve lived in TriBeCa since Jan of 2000 and I earned everything I have, including my home in the neighborhood. I’m a libertarian, and while BLM, so does my right to a safe and sound city and neighborhood, where rents, taxes and the cost of living are among, if not, the highest in the city. I understand and appreciate the BLM plight but, as we’re all painfully aware, there are a number of insurgent groups of ‘protestors’ that have infiltrated the BLM movement and are infecting the cause, thus infecting our environment. I’m all for peaceful protests, as was Dr. King, it’s our right as Americans. But I’m certainly not for destruction of neighborhoods, storefronts or other property, where innocents are treated as criminals and criminals are treated as victims. That’s anarchy and it has no place in our neighborhood or society. As for your convenient, race-baiting utilization of the word privilege, you can pack that up and back that up with this cordial invitation to move yourselves into City Hall with the troops and assume your fair share of the struggle. Either way, enjoy the summer!

  10. Instead of spending valuable time trying to get local politicians and law enforcement to clean up a “mess” that you think is now in “our own backyard”, I think it is a better use of everyone’s efforts to advocate at the city, state and national level for policies that will fight homelessness and target communities in which young people become “disaffected.” Protest gets messy and ugly when people feel they have been harmed or unheard for much too long. Why not be a neighbor advancing social justice instead of complaining about how ugly it looks when our institutions constantly fail a lot of people?

  11. Where is the NYC Police Commissioner? Why is destruction of city property okay? That is not what I call “peaceful demonstrating” or “peaceful protestOmg.” Get some handcuffs and buses, load them on and get rid of them. What’s wrong with our mayor?

  12. DeBlasio inherited a jewel from Bloomberg. Look at what DB has wrought. Homelessness. Streets strewn with filth and human feces. Skyrocketing violent crime. Failing schools. Shuttered businesses. Cratering real estate. Higher taxes. Municipal default. New Yorkers of every stripe fleeing for anywhere else.

    It’s back to the future for sure. If you voted for DeBlasio, what were you thinking?