Photo by @Jeremoss
For the third time in a week, various city agencies joined forces on a sweep of an unhoused encampment in the East Village.
According to published reports, two people were arrested — an activist and a resident — during the crackdown on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C this morning around 8.
A handful of people have been living under the sidewalk bridge of the vacant former P.S. 64. Witnesses said that more than 30 members of the NYPD were involved, including from the Strategic Response Group, for two people in the encampments.
This was the same location as an action on April 6 that resulted in a 7-hour standoff between a group of activists and unhoused residents and reps from several city agencies.
i just watched 33 cops arrest 2 unhoused people in order to sweep an encampment of 5, the entire nyc housing policy is eviction at gunpoint pic.twitter.com/D7xhSlYcwh— tracy jeanne rosenthal (@two__evils) April 20, 2022
The residents here in a zone dubbed "Anarchy Row" relocated to Avenue B and then 10th Street along Tompkins Square Park. Twice in the past week, the city attempted to move the residents into shelters — including during the citywide manhunt for alleged subway shooter Frank James, who turned out to be wandering around a few blocks away.
The East Village sweep was part of Mayor Eric Adams' ongoing efforts to clear the city of homeless encampments, which he has repeatedly argued is necessary for the dignity of homeless people. The sweeps, while not a new phenomenon under Adams, have drawn a drumbeat of criticism from homeless advocates, the City Council's Progressive caucus, the New York Times editorial board, and a coalition of faith leaders.
On April 9, more than a dozen community groups and mutual-aid networks rallied in Tompkins Square Park to speak out against the Mayor's aggressive sweeps of unhoused encampments across the city.
Unhoused residents have said that the shelter system is not safe. Read our interviews with some of the Ninth Street residents here.
Johnny Grima, the unhoused resident who was arrested this morning, was released from the 7th Precinct early this evening, as EVG contributor Stacie Joy reports. He sustained some injuries during the arrest (top photo).