Bloomberg Diverts Food, Generators from Devastated Staten Island to NYC Marathon

Fresh off his “climate disruption”-driven endorsement of President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has chosen to divert critical food supplies and power generators from desperate residents of Staten Island to Sunday’s New York City Marathon. Gothamist reports:

[T]hose urging the city to halt the run believe that the thousands of Marathon volunteers could direct their efforts towards post-Sandy relief and cleanup, “and they also argue that the event will divert thousands of police from important hurricane-related duties.” But despite petitions circulating, work started up again yesterday on the Marathon route.

A tipster, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us there were lots of workers in and out of the park today, who had “started before the storm and then came back starting yesterday.” Trailers are lined up from around 71st to 66th Streets on Central Park West, a food truck was set up today, and “generators have been sitting there at least a week.” The tents that were taken down prior to the storm have also been set back up, and there is a stage set up near 73rd Street.

Considering all the volunteer help and NYPD attention that’s already being diverted to the Marathon, the added sight of generators and food being channeled to the event is probably going to strike some New Yorkers as a little misplaced—we’re thinking of the ones who are currently lined up waiting for the National Guard to ration out MREs and bottles of water.

Read more here.

Violent ‘Black Bloc’ Tactics

Two people were arrested in New York City Saturday night after protesters, some with possible Occupy Wall Street connections, vandalized storefronts in what was described as “black bloc” tactics, the New York Times reported. Gothamist reports that a long-time Occupy organizer was one of those arrested for attacking a NYPD officer with a metal pipe:

41-year-old Alexander Penley, is an attorney and has been an Occupy Wall Street organizer since the movement began in the fall.

Penley, along with 30-year-old Nicholas Thommen, were arrested around 10 p.m. after what witnesses described as a violent scuffle between the two men and police officers, and are charged with a litany of offenses, including assaulting a police officer, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and inciting a riot.

Penley has been quoted in stories about Occupy Wall Street in The Guardian and USA Today, and appeared on the local Manhattan television show Let Them Talk in October.

The NYPD’s press release on the arrests refers to them as “anarchist-related arrests of individuals among a group of 25 who fought with police and who had tried to use eight-foot-long galvanized metal pipes to smash windows of a Starbucks at Astor Place and Lafayette Street at 8:45 p.m.” The police also claim that patrons of Starbucks were hiding under the tables during the incident.

A black bloc is a protest tactic where protesters wear black clothing and mask their faces to make it harder for police to pick out individuals.

Tim Pool, who livecasts Occupy events, filmed police cars blocking off Tompkins Square Park around 9: 20 p.m., according to the Times. In his video, he narrates that “after the Anarchist Book Fair supposedly a black bloc formed and there was a lot of property destruction, a few windows broken.”

Read more here.