Monday, May 30, 2011

20 years ago: The East Village Memorial Day riot on Avenue A

Bob Arihood has photos and a narrative of what happened after the NYPD shuts down the "Housing is a Human Right" concert in Tompkins Square Park on Memorial Day 1991. You can read his report here.

[Photo by Bob Arihood]


Dave on 7th said...

I remember this night so well. I was standing against the
park fence at 7th & A, watching in amazement
at the seeming ease at which the metal gate
of a health & beauty store in what is now either the
new Odessa or Luster was ripped open. I learned that night
that best riot dispersal tool is a sudden and
torrential rain storm. That was definately the end
of a certain chapter of the east village/alphabet
city history. a week later the park would be closed
and those of us living on the park endured
a summer of martial law.

Sammy said...

Those were ugly times. Seems like a lifetime ago.

Christopher said...

I moved to NYC that summer - my first apartment was 99 Avenue B between 6/7. When I first came to see it the park was still occupied and open. When I moved in a few weeks later, it was closed and empty. Everyone wanted to tell me about the riot and subsequent evacuation. More than a few people resented our building as a signifier of the encroacing gentrification. It was a hard to process all of this and be new to the city. Even now when I walk by I have feelings more akin to a dissociative episode than nostalgia. If I'm really honest, I was scared.