Photos by Stacie Joy
Starting late yesterday morning, another agencywide city sweep took place on Seventh Street between Avenue A and Avenue B along Tompkins Square Park.
This time, however, instead of allowing the dozen or so residents of the makeshift tent encampments to pack up their possessions and move along (and only to return to the same spots a few hours later), city workers either confiscated or discarded their belongings.
A posted Department of Homeless Services flyer stated that a clean-up of this area would start on or after Nov. 9. As EVG contributor Stacie Joy documented in this post, a similar sweep took place this past Friday, though the people who were sheltering here returned after city workers left.
This particular action only targeted people who have been staying along Seventh Street in recent months. Authorities did not address the encampments inside Tompkins Square Park.
The sweep started at 11 a.m. with officers from the NYPD, Parks Enforcement Patrol and the Business District Recovery Initiative detail. They struck down tents of anyone not on-site to protect their belongings.
We're told that there were several confrontations at the outset of the sweep. (Stacie didn't arrive at the scene until after this.) One resident of the encampment was arrested and placed in an ambulance.
In addition, police arrested a mutual aid worker for "obstructing governmental administration Class A misdemeanor" for standing with/protecting a resident's tent. This individual was arrested at around 1 p.m. after exchanging words with the NYPD and released with a desk appearance ticket at around 7:30 p.m.
During the afternoon, the assembled officers bagged the belongings from the tents.
Most items, however, were just thrown in the trash. The items were bagged and tossed directly into a waiting sanitation truck. In one case, an entire tent with its belongings was rolled up and discarded...
The corridor along the Park on Seventh Street was clear by late afternoon...
Previously on EV Grieve: