Flood Wall Street Ends in Pepper Spray and Mass Arrests, Including a Polar Bear

Photo by C.S. Muncy. A slideshow of the protest can be viewed here.
One of the arrested people was dressed like a polar bear, or perhaps was a polar bear.
By the end of last night's Flood Wall Street demonstration in the Financial District, police had arrested 104 people, including one dressed as a polar bear, and pepper-sprayed a few more. The arrests were more or less expected -- the organizers of the protest had said well in advance that they were planning to commit civil disobedience by staging a sit-in on Wall Street, which they did, first in the area around the Wall Street Bull and then near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway.

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'Climate Change Is Class War': Flood Wall Street Takes Over Financial District

Photo by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice
In a harder-edged follow-up to yesterday's massive People's Climate March, a couple thousand people took part in "Flood Wall Street" today; dressed in blue, they marched from Battery Park to the Financial District, staging a sit-in in the area around the Wall Street Bull. As of 2:30 p.m., two people had been arrested. The organizers tweeted that they weren't planning on moving any time soon:

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Times Reveals Even More Corruption at Rikers

Categories: Rikers Island

In August, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report calling the conditions at Rikers Island unconstitutional. Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that the federal government would sue the city unless the city agreed to a list of sufficient reforms by a certain deadline.

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Reverend Billy Arrested After Trying to Stop Removal of 130-Year-Old 'Bendy Tree'

Image via Facebook
Reverend Billy stands atop a Parks Department truck during the demolition.
Activist preacher and frequently arrested person Reverend Billy Talen took another trip to the Tombs this weekend, this time for trying to halt the removal of a 130-year-old, much-beloved, very crooked tree in Tompkins Square Park. As East Village blog EV Grieve was first to report, the tree, known affectionately as "Bendy Tree," was condemned by an arborist with the city Parks Department, found to be "structurally unsound" and a danger to the public.

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25 Signs That It's Fall in New York

Categories: Lists

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc
Here are a few street-level signs that summer's over in New York.

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Rice, Peterson NFL Scandals Really About Liberals' Plan to Pussify America, Say Rightbloggers

[Roy Edroso dissects the right-wing blogosphere in this weekly feature]

The NFL hasn't been having a great time of it lately, PR-wise (though its TV viewership numbers seem not to have suffered): Now even non-fans know that Baltimore Raven Ray Rice was seen cold-cocking his fiancee and Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson allegedly beat his kid hard enough with a switch to raise welts.

As often happens when celebrities get negative publicity, we have heard opinions from several parties not intimate with these cases. Rightbloggers used the controversies to promote their pet cultural theories: For example, that it's really liberals, not football players, who beat up women, and that the NFL, which is liberal like all corporations, is being Rice-baited into paying off feminists and sissies who, like liberal sportswriters, just want to ruin America's Game for conservatives.

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People's Climate March Set for Sunday in New York City

Categories: Climate Crisis

The People's Climate March, scheduled to take place in Manhattan on Sunday, could be the biggest demonstration calling attention to climate change to date. At least, that's what activists like Bill McKibben, who urged supporters to converge on New York this coming weekend in a lengthy Rolling Stone piece published this summer, are hoping.

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Andrew Cuomo Is a Unicorn-Killing Santa Imprisoner, According to New Astorino Ad

Screenshot via.
It's looking like the war between Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, is going to be fought, for now at least, on the battleground of profoundly stupid ads. Following a Democratic ad razzing Astorino for being a Dolphins fan, Astorino has fired back with one accusing Cuomo of being a "unicorn killer" and someone who locks up Santa in the chimney.

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18 Things to Do Instead of Watching the NFL This Weekend

Categories: Lists, NFL, Sports

Photo Credit: Tojosan via Compfight cc
For reasons we won't rehash here, you might be tired of the NFL and its players already. Not to mention the media. As such, you could be wondering how you're going to fill all those hours this weekend. Here are a few suggestions.

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De Blasio Sends Help to Immigration Court; Cuomo Signs Bill to Prosecute Shady 'Notarios'

Categories: Immigration

Tessa Stuart
Left to right: Cyrus Vance, Cesar A. Perales, Phyllis Coven, Marcos Crespo, Jorge Montalvo, and Kevin Sullivan
An estimated 10,000 undocumented and unaccompanied children caught at the U.S-Mexico border in the last 11 months will be fast-tracked through deportation hearings at New York's federal immigration court over the course of the next year. To each new child who appears in court for the first time, a judge repeats the same refrain: Here is a list of lawyers who offer free or very low cost legal assistance -- do not go to a notario for help.

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Finally, a Movie with Liam Neeson That's as Good as Liam Neeson

Categories: Film and TV

Photo by Atsushi Nishijima - © 2014 - Universal Pictures
Neeson in A Walk Among the Tombstones.
Special guest Inkoo Kang, film critic at TheWrap and news editor at Indiewire's Women and Hollywood blog, joins Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of the LAWeekly to discuss a variety of topics on this very big podcast, including: The Maze Runner, what it's like interviewing director Steve McQueen, Amy's highlights from the Toronto Film Festival, Kevin Smith's Tusk, and Matthew Crawley, err, Dan Stevens's role in two movies out now -- A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Guest. Alan makes an anti-recommendation for Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? and Inkoo heartily endorses season 2 of Masters of Sex on Showtime.

Phew! Listen to it all below, and don't forget to...

New York Jazz Greats Ask City Council to Help Them Win Fair Pay [Video]

Photo by NYC City Council Staff Photographer William Alatriste via Flickr
Jimmy Owens performs for the City Council members.
Many of New York's great jazz musicians are aging into poverty, strained by a lifetime of working in clubs that deny them any benefits, healthcare, or pensions. That was the testimony before a City Council joint committee yesterday from the members of Justice for Jazz Artists , a campaign created to urge the city's legendary jazz clubs, including Blue Note, Iridium, and Village Vanguard, to pay into a pension fund for musicians. One jazz artist, 70-year-old Jimmy Owens, who's been playing trumpet and flugelhorn in New York for the past 60 years, closed his testimony with a heartbreaking and beautiful rendition of "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen."

"This is a spiritual that I play quite often at many of my friends' funerals," he told the joint committee, rising from his seat, flugelhorn in hand.

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Court Rules That Two Men Were Wrongly Convicted of 1992 Brooklyn Kidnapping

Categories: Courts, Justice

Wikimedia Commons
In the early hours of January 1, 1992, 16-year-old Jennifer Negron was kidnapped and killed and left outside on an East New York street corner. Detectives found a headband inside a car nearby. A witness said she saw a man forcing Negron into that car and another man in the driver's seat. The witness identified Everton Wagstaffe, then 23, and Reginald Connor, then 24, as those men. They maintained their innocence from the start. A judge dismissed the murder charge against them for lack of evidence, but they were convicted of kidnapping in 1993. They were sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

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Michael 'I'll Throw You Off This F*#@king Balcony' Grimm Might Not Be Done Yet

Credit: Official photo
Michael Grimm is fightin' the good fight, or something.
New York 1 is reporting that Michael Grimm, the congressman from Staten Island, is in an extremely tight race to retain his seat.

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Five Films Opening This Week You Might Not Know About But Probably Should

Categories: Film and TV

Rival Pictures
Space Station '76
Each week new movies open in New York theaters by the dozen. The Voice reviews all of 'em. Here are some you might not have heard about that got our critics excited:

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All of Your Problems Solved by These Seven Winning Apps

Categories: BigApps

Explore NYC Parks
Explore NYC Parks won the "Play" category.
The object of the city-sponsored BigApps contest is to get developers to use publicly available data to solve some of New York's biggest problems. After months spent winnowing the field to 20 finalists, last night Mayor Bill de Blasio doled out cash prizes to seven winners. So, which of your problems are about to be solved?

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'Flood Wall Street,' Massive Sit-In, Planned for September 22

Image via Facebook
A flyer being circulated for the event.
Happy third birthday, Occupy Wall Street. This time last year, some former Occupiers embarked on a small-scale, nostalgic march through the Financial District -- one that, for a change, ended in zero arrests. But this year, many of their minds are on next week, when a massive civil-disobedience action is planned for the steps of the New York Stock Exchange. "Flood Wall Street" is being billed as a sit-in and blockade to "shut down the institutions that are profiting from the climate crisis." Blue-clad protesters are expected to meet in Battery Park and then descend on the Financial District sometime on September 22; people affiliated with the event have told us to expect mass arrests.

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New Yorkers Have a Love-Hate Relationship With the Met's New David H. Koch Fountains

Categories: Republicans, Video

On September 9, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's newly renovated plaza was opened to the public after two years of construction. Located on Fifth Avenue from 80th Street to 84th Street, the outer space features two new fountains, paving stones, and about 100 new trees. When the Met announced its renovation in 2012, officials said they would not name the project after anyone. But it's now named after David H. Koch, who donated $65 million to fund the project. We asked New Yorkers what they think of the new fountains and the oil billionaire.

Republican Rob Astorino Is Really Mad Democratic Ad Edited His Son Out of Photo

Image via Astorino campaign website
The unaltered photo, right, and the version used in the Erie County Dems' ad, left.
Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo defeated primary challenger Zephyr Teachout by a narrower-than-expected margin. And now that the circus that was the Democratic primary is over, we can move on to the bigger and more exhausting circus that is the general election. On November 4, Cuomo will face off against Republican Rob Astorino, who's already accusing the governor, and Democrats in general, of dirty pool. Capital New York reported yesterday that Astorino and Co. are furious about an ad, paid for by the Erie County Democratic Party, that mocks the Republican for being a fan of the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills' biggest rivals. It uses an Astorino family photo of the man wearing a bright blue Dolphins shirt. In the original photo, though, Astorino's son, Sean, stood in front of his father; the ad edited the boy out of the picture.

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Mohaman Koti, 87-Year-Old Prison Inmate, Granted Parole After 36 Years

Categories: Justice

Surrealize via Compfight cc
Last week, Mohaman Koti faced the parole board for the eighth time. He had been in prison since 1978. He was serving a 25-years-to-life sentence. By now he was 87 years old, hard of hearing and suffering from several health problems. He gets around on a wheelchair. The parole board had already deemed him a low risk to return to crime, yet Koti had been denied parole on each try, and it seemed that perhaps he would die in prison.

But then last week, on Tuesday, the board granted Koti parole.

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