Breaking, Entering, and Boozing with the Castaways of OWS

occuparty
In a set of unfinished luxury condos, a ragtag group of 100 anarchists and anti-capitalists smoked clove cigarettes and pissed in unworking toilets at an "Occupation Party" Saturday night in Williamsburg.

The cops broke up the party within an hour and sent occupiers out onto Bedford Avenue, where there was chanting and talk of squatting elsewhere, occupying the police precinct, and finding a "chill bar" to hit next. According to a DCPI spokesperson, 4 arrests were made, with charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assaulting a police officer. Six officers were taken to Bellevue Hospital in the East Village and released earlier this morning.

The "Occuparty" drew a mix of cool kids looking for an experience and Occupy Wall Street castaways, who said they hoped this would be the first in a series of "rolling occupations" around the county to "build capacity" for a May 1 general strike.

The scent of spray paint and sour diesel wafted through the yard (read: vacant field of broken glass), where occupiers traded war stories and wondered when the police would come.

Inside occupiers passed around spray paint and explored the condo. Someone painted "Cannibalize the crisis" in the stairwell and another tagger responded "Be the crisis!" The beverage of choice appeared to be Amstel Light. People brought in their own stereo equipment and black lights. Some had sleeping bags and provisions, ready to make the unfinished shell home. An occupier explained that they were prepared to stay as long as they could -- it turned out that would only be about 30 minutes.

Just as occupiers circled up in the yard and made a weak attempt to mic check, floodlights appeared from around the corner. Two cops shouted "Drop the fuckin' beers" and ordered people to sit down where they are -- absolutely no one did either. Most start to mosey out, grabbing beer along the way.

Runnin' Scared followed a few overzealous people out of a gap in the chain link fence and into a vacant lot full of weeds and urban detritus. Two women made a run for it and started to scale an eight-foot fence, which was lined with barbed wire. This blogger turned around, deciding she'd rather take a brush with the man than a brush with tetanus.

Back on the scene, it was like an underage party in a college dorm, where no one wanted to fess up to the RA. The two cops had no clue what they walked into. They asked the crowd who let them in. People offered up fake names.

"Aw Matt. It's Matt's party. He's like around the corner," one said.

"Kevin! Yo, Kevin. Cops wanna talk to you," another guy said, gesturing to a random spot in the crowd before making a subtle exit.

The building -- 205 North 8th Street developed by Reuben Pinner of Iviz Developers -- went on the market last year at list prices ranging from $399,000-625,000. According to a emails about the event, the location was chosen because it "is owned by a bank known to invest in bio-, chemical, and nuclear weapons, as well as cluster bombs used specifically by Qaddafi against the 2011 insurgency." According to building documents, the condo was funded by Banco Popular North America.

A hundred people flooded onto 8th Street and waited for the next move as six cops cars pulled in. They shouted "No Peace. No Justice. Fuck the Police" and called the officers pigs.

An occupier told Runnin' Scared that cops pushed people into the crowd as they were exiting the building. One woman fell into a glass door, allegedly after she'd been pushed. The glass shattered and a police officer attempted to arrest her, saying she'd kicked it in. A dozen people ran towards the officer as he tried to make the arrest, and absorbed the woman into the crowd.

According to a DCPI spokesperson, some people "threw unknown objects at officers." One officer was taken to Bellevue with a head injury after someone threw a glass bottle at him. The four occupiers taken into custody were charged with inciting a riot, and according to the DCPI they appeared to be "the ringleaders behind this event."

On the street someone spray painted a black line across the drivers side of a marked cop car. DCPI said this incident is still under investigation, as is the break-in.

Overhead no one seemed to notice a man on the fourth floor balcony of 205 North 8th Street, unfurling a banner for a May 1 General Strike. The banner directed viewers to strikeeverywhere.net.

Cops on the scene said they were taken by surprise and had no idea how the gathering came together or what people planned to do next.

"I don't wanna start the revolution. I just wanna drink beer," one man said before he and his friends ducked into a bar on Bedford Avenue, where people began marching in the street.

Occupiers chanted more anti-police, anti-capitalism slogans. A woman with a metal shopping cart stopped at the corner of 6th for a moment and regarded a group of occupiers who were running by, overturning trash cans.

"Fucking kids," she said, shaking her head and wheeling her cart on.

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7 comments
FWG
FWG

Friends of Occupy (FWG) are writing in response to press reports concerning the events of Saturday, January 28th on the “Occu-Party” in Williamsburg Brooklyn. We want to share our account with everyone.

We received an invitation to attend a party in Williamsburg hosted by a local group affiliated with the Occupy movement, an event which we attended. Based on what we witnessed, we are writing in response to what we feel is a grievous misrepresentation by the media of the events that night.

It was our understanding that this “Occu-Party” was primarily intended to draw attention to the increasing number of empty luxury condominiums in northwest Brooklyn. During the 35 minute occupation within the building, and along with general good-natured camaraderie, there was also much discussion among attendees about the deleterious effects of bank policy. Among topics discussed included bank-funded luxury developments and gentrification. These activities often displace current residents and create a vacuum in the community, leaving large swaths of the population homeless, foreclosed, or priced-out by these predatory bank practices.

After the NYPD arrived, we spontaneously joined to what seemed to be a street march that then headed toward Bedford Avenue. Besides some obvious lack of organization among the marchers, this march has been erroneously characterized in press accounts as either inciting a riot or rife with illegal activity.

Contrary to the reported accounts, it was our impression that the reported violence was both exaggerated and exercised primarily by a surprising number of uniformed and plain clothes officers. The alleged injuries to the officers may have been a result of their over-response to suppress the actions of free speech and public assembly that night.

We are writing in support of the diverse groups struggling against the injustices of the current system. Every one of us, and everyone we know are preparing for the General Strike on May 1st.

We hope this point of view is acknowledged in any further reporting of Saturday’s “Occu-Party”.

- Friends of Occupy (FWG)

friendsofoccupy.tumblr.com

@occupyfwg

Mike
Mike

Banco popular sold the mortgage awhile ago, so the occupy scum were stealing a choking developers life savings..

sted
sted

This blogger has no fucking idea what is going on. I'm sure she's never been to a party where anyone said anything less than brilliant ...

Bcooper
Bcooper

LOL. Leah an obedient conservative? Only on OccupyPlanet

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey Anonymous--Next party's at your place! Maybe the toilets are working. I'll bring the spray paint. No cops, as you say, a small inconvenience.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Written by an obedient conservative who thinks that there are reasons to follow the laws of a wildly corrupt and openly exploitative power. All totalitarian regimes suggest unexamined compliance - least you might consider the reality of the world you're living in and take political action like countless groups have done in the past. Rioters are at most an inconvenience. The continued reign of untrammelled corporate exploitation could mean the cessation of human life.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse

lol "hello, i own a large vacant building in new york city. i could sell it and be rich, i could turn it into SOMETHING, but instead i'll just let it sit vacant and unused, cause i'd rather just wait till i can get even MORE money for it. i guess you could call me a...CHOKING DEVELOPER"

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