Photos by Steven
Yesterday afternoon, the NYPD, Department of Sanitation and reps from other city agencies cleared out the encampment that had grown in recent weeks around the chess tables in Tompkins Square Park.
After clearing out the people living here, the city blocked off the area at the Park entrance at Seventh Street and Avenue A with barricades and police tape...
The city had cleared out this space several times this summer, starting back in June. The people staying here return fairly quickly. Last evening, several people who were here moved to park benches a short distance away.
In an article from The New York Times on Aug. 2, the city's homeless services department claimed that the cleanup crews do not throw away people's belongings.
Rather, they "carefully assess" a site while noting the "number and type of possessions," remove items to protect "valuable property" and "quality-of-life for the client," and provide "details about how they can obtain the property."
Witnesses to yesterday's action said workers tossed everything into a garbage truck.
Max Goren, who has been living in Tompkins Square Park, said the same thing in the article in the Times.
"At least once a week, a sanitation truck rolls up," Mr. Goren, 34, said in July. "If you're not there to say, 'Hey, that's mine,' everything goes in the back."He said his possessions had been trashed three times — each time because he left them to go to a methadone clinic."Do I want to risk losing all of my clothes and all my bedding, or do I miss my clinic appointment?" he said. "I think it's an effort to get us to leave," he said."But where are we going to go? If I had some place to go, I wouldn't be here."
The city posted at least one notice about the Aug. 31 clean-up, as seen here on Seventh Street...
Yesterday, this group moved about 30 yards to the east.
Advocates told the Times that these citywide sweeps just move people from one place to another and fail to address the housing crisis.