As police tower looms over Tompkins, petition calls for its removal


On Tuesday, the police rolled one of their portable observation towers into Tompkins Square Park.

The immediate suspicion was that it was a response to the reported spike in homeless people lolling about in the park on cardboard boxes on the lawns and sleeping on benches during the daytime. According to police, the tower is there to keep watch on things like drug activity and public urination.  

Over the past two weeks, Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Manhattan Parks Commissioner Bill Castro have all visited the East Village park after articles in the New York Post quoted residents and park workers saying that the homeless situation in Tompkins was getting out of control. One article featured a photo of a group of six homeless men sleeping on the grass. The New York Observer subsequently published an editorial, “Take Back Tompkins Square Park. And New York City.”

The Observer’s publisher, Jared Kushner, also happens to have extensive real estate holdings in the East Village.

This Wednesday afternoon, however, beneath the tower’s looming presence, things were quiet in the park. Crusty Row, where homeless “travelers” and heroin addicts have traditionally hung out — and nodded out — was empty.

The chess tables area near the park’s southwestern corner — where beer drinkers typically sit among the occasional chess players — were also more lightly populated than usual.

Asked about the observation tower, one man sitting at the chess tables, said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate.” He said he figured it was there “for drugs.”

Meanwhile, an online petition posted at Care2 petitions – “Take Down the Police Tower in Tompkins Square Park” — is calling on Mayor de Blasio to remove the observation tower from the park. There are currently nearly 300 signatures.

Also, a Facebook page called “Tompkins Square Park Campout” announced plans for a “weekend-long campout” in the park on Aug. 7-9. It’s BYOFB — Bring Your Own Fire Barrel:

“Protest the NYPD ‘sniper tower’ in Tompkins Square Park with a weekend long campout to celebrate the 27 years since the bloody NYPD riot that injured hundreds of innocent and unawares local citizens in our neighborhood,” the page read. “The arrogance of the NYPD was never greater since the recent erection of the ‘sniper’ tower outfitted with cameras and recording equipment. A clear and blatant violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights to public assembly, free speech and privacy. Bring a tent, firebarrel for warmth and noisemakers. Support the right of homeless people to enjoy a public park. It’s real estate maggots like Jared Kushner who are destroying our community. Let’s show him it won’t come easy.”


10 thoughts on “As police tower looms over Tompkins, petition calls for its removal

    1. Not a bit. 😉
      “Kushner is the eldest son of Seryl (née Stadtmauer) and the New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner.] He was raised Orthodox Jewish in northern New Jersey. He graduated from the Frisch School, a private, coed yeshiva high school in Paramus, New Jersey, and from Harvard University in 2003. His father had made a $2.5 million donation to the university.”

  1. I am sorry to hear that it’s been a tough one for you. I would ask specifics but it’s an open forum. I hope that you will find the silver lining to whatever cloud is looming over you right now and truly know that there are people who care about you. Never met you face to face but I do!

    Well now, there is a $ connection there if I ever saw one!! Lol Thank you! Didn’t know kushner and ivanka had ties. Skeevy little bunch of khazars, aren’t they? But there’s no such thing as an oligarchy, as my former friend now freemason attorney who’s married to a joo-ess once told me;-)

  2. People should come to the Dallas area. We have them everywhere at Costco, Walmart and Target parking lots and sometimes even at theater parking lots. Completely inappropriate, but do the people complain? No of course not. I do, but apparently, I’m being a conspiracy theorist for saying that and customers get upset if they DON’T have the police towers in parking lots because they feel it’s someone else’s duty to protect them and their belongings. It’s pathetic.

  3. Good opportunity to recon these things, and find their vulnerabilities. Watch their behavior when manning them. good intel for later.

  4. Paul,vulnerability for towers of this nature,Kenworth tractor comes to mind.The folks also in said towers/mraps what have you sooner or later will exit said domicile,pretty open then.

  5. “Take Back Tompkins Square Park. And New York City.”

    Take it back from whom? The public that owns it, or the yuppies that bought it? The yuppie invasion in NYC is identical to the description Henry gives regarding the Californians that moved to his area and took over. Pushing the public off their land is a nationwide phenomenon, and this actually began in Bryant Park, a couple miles north, in the early 80’s.

    “…celebrate the 27 years since the bloody NYPD riot that injured hundreds of innocent and unawares local citizens in our neighborhood.”

    What went unreported is that a couple weeks before that cop attack, the pigs were thrown out of there by the people, who threw bottle and rocks from rooftops and sent the pigs running for their lives. The cop attack was actually a retaliation.

    I have to guess that my Tomkins friends are dead and/or gone by now, but that was an important park at one time because it was the battle front between the common people and the yuppies’ “new NYC order”.

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