Monday, August 5, 2013

Anthology screening uncut version of Clayton Patterson's Tompkins Square Park riot footage


On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Tompkins Square Riot, Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson is screening his entire videotape recording of what transpired that night. Tomorrow night the Anthology Film Archives is screening the entire tape — all 213 minutes of it.

Here's the description from the Anthology website:

Clayton Patterson
TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK POLICE RIOT AUGUST 1988
1988, 213 min, video, b&w, 7 p.m.
Clayton Patterson’s life changed dramatically on the night of August 6-7, 1988 when he gained notoriety for videotaping the Tompkins Square Park police riot in which the NYPD violently clashed with protesters and park dwellers until the sun came up the next day. In what was the first of many legal cases for Patterson concerning artists’ rights to their work and freedom of expression, he was arrested and jailed for refusing to give up his tape which is the only concrete account of what really happened that night.

The actions of officers against neighborhood residents, homeless individuals, affordable housing advocates, anarchists, squatters, and others resulted in the filing of over 100 complaints of police brutality. This footage was important evidence in the investigations and legal proceedings that followed, and several officers were disciplined or criminally indicted. The city also paid an estimated $2-3 million in settlements to the injured.

Despite the tape’s infamy, few have ever actually seen it…especially in its entirety. Here, on the 25th anniversary of its creation, we’re going to change that.

Clayton Patterson will be in person to present the screening

You can see a trailer of the film at Clayton's website.

Also this week, the New Museum is screening "Clayton Patterson: From the Underground and Below," a collection of short documentary films, on Thursday night.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do want to see the film but 213 minutes? I hate that I'm too old to be able to sit through it.

Anonymous said...

The need to turn a rowdy night into a lifelong obsession and a holy day of sorts reflects the lack of any real complaints or for that matter purpose in the acolytes. Yes I was here for it, 2 blocks away drinking vodka on 5th street, missed the initial rush, was around for the peripherals. Sure the cops went over the edge, provoked to no end but still not the right move, remember back then this was a hated tour so the lowest seniority cops got stuck with it. So the kids in uniform let loose on the kids not in uniform, we all get it, got it, saw it. Hardly a lifelong cause. Correct me if I am wrong, was anyone even really badly injured, or bunches of bruises and bumps, street fighting stuff. Even as an old skool guy, that park was disgusting, people had loud drunk attitudes full time, and many did well to take a kick in the ass or punch in the nose.
Haters please proceed.

ewingweb said...

I've got a 213 minute movie of this guy drinking vodka on 5th street during the riot if anyone's interested.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Ha ha, ewingweb!

Anonymous said...

Ewing this is me above checking in again, you have a very boring bit of film on your hands. A very handsome star tho.

Anonymous said...

I agree 213 minutes is too long. Is every moment necessary to experience? Every "So, where should we go next?" and "I'm almost out of tape."?

LUfromUNION said...

I don't think its as much about the.police brutality, as much as the police' behavior was symbolic of the coming war on poor people in the area. And that's what makes it a significant and symbolic moment, worth remembering.

Anonymous said...

tried to watch last night! I left an hour in feeling seasick!

nygrump said...

Yes people were injured by the cops. A friend went to the hospital with a concussion. She later got 25K for walking out of a club and being bashed by Law Enforcement. Tat guy Kramer from Letch Patrol was able to open a book store on 2dn ave from his payout after being attacked. You may also have forgotten these were the coke cops, protecting drug dealers and who knows what else. 4:38, tompkins was fucking the end of the world, $5 crack whores if you felt like getting a blow job in a cardboard box in the bandshell, but that has nothing to do with the cops rioting and assaulting citizens simply engaged in legal business. And what about covering up the badges - thats just lawlessness.