The heat must be getting to a few peoples’ heads. At around 9pm last night, a loose pack of around 50 to 60 protestors took to the streets, looting and vandalizing storefronts and property in the East Village. Their targets: the windows of the Starbucks on Astor and the newly opened 7/11 on St. Mark’s.
Glass bottles were thrown at the sites while chants of ‘NYPD! Go to hell!’ rang out through the night. As the group headed back towards Alphabet City, the night culminated in the closing of Tompkins Square Park, where the group supposedly was congregating.
An hour later, in front of the Sixth Street Community Center, where an after party for the Anarchist Book Fair
was being held, two men were arrested for throwing bottles. After reports of rowdiness, the NYPD shut down the entire block (East Sixth Street between Avenue B & C) but i
t has been confirmed that they were not attendees of the party and the events from earlier were unrelated.
Using a tactic known as a ‘black bloc,’ the cavalcade that ran through the East Village dressed in all-black gear as a way to conceal their identity, promote solidarity and hide in the throngs of Saturday night party-goers if need be. This could explain why there were no reports of any of them getting caught.
At first, reports brought up a possible link between the black bloc and Occupy, members of whom had already been attending major protests throughout the day and a march at Washington Square that started around 7pm. But the coincidence was soon found to be false.
The night’s events, according to a city anarchist legal worker named @mcompost
, were part of a “very loosely organized anti-police protest” – the basic description of any black bloc protest – or an “NYC FTP” protest This explains the sporadic nature and distance between the locations of the attacks.
Along with the fates of the two men arrested, the cost of the damage wreaked on 7/11, which is already a designated target of criticism
, and Starbucks has still yet to be seen. Needless to say, the neighborhood had a rough Saturday night.