We were really looking forward to today’s Verrazano Bridge Penny Protest, in which Staten Islanders mad as hell about the one dollar increase in the bridge toll planned to mass their vehicles on the bridge today at noon and pay their toll in pennies, grinding the evil system to a halt. But the Staten Island Advance says they only got about 30 people. Nonetheless participants enjoyed, if not the shutdown of the bridge, a frisson of revolutionary fervor; one protester “made signs for everyone’s cars that featured a scene from The Godfather, with mobsters pointing guns at a toll booth.” Stereotypical, angry, and ineffectively anti-government: It doesn’t get much more Staten Island that that!
Fox News, corporate sponsors of the Tea Party protests, has epic video coverage. “Presumably they have gone over into Brooklyn, and are coming back,” says the anchor, who also says transit officers were seen taking down license numbers — then backs off, but now that story is in play and will be told around campfires for several generations. “It is causing a little bit of a traffic jam,” says the anchor, but “it doesn’t seem as though the toll collectors are even counting out those pennies.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 18, 2009