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Lower East Side Gardens - phone protest

Posted by on November 21, 1997 at 10:11:54:

>Dear Garden Defenders:
>We've reached a critical juncture with the Mendez Mural and 10BC
>Gardens, and we REALLY need you to make as many phone calls and send as
>many faxes as you can in the next few days. Both Thursday 11/20 and
>Friday 11/21, are full-fledged phone protest days.
>Tell MARY BOLTON, Assistant Commissioner in Planning of HPD, not to let
>these or any other community gardens in NYC be bulldozed! FLOOD her line
>with calls. Remember, as long as you clearly state the political intent
>of your phone call, it's First Amendment protected speech, and you can
>keep calling back as many times as you like!
> Phone: (212) 863-8492
> Fax: (212) 863-8504
>(Additional faxes can be sent to Richard Roberts, the head of HPD, at
>(212) 267-2565.)
>(212) 669-7200 to stand up for community gardens! (Just one call per
>person, and be polite.)
>FINALLY, IF YOU CAN STOMACH IT, make an extremely polite, "I'm a
>concerned citizen" call to the Ninth Precinct at 477-7811. Tell them how
>much you love the Mendez and 10BC Gardens and how sad you'll be if
>they're destroyed, and how you hope the police won't escort the
>developer and his bulldozers in. (I know, I know, this is a lot to ask
>of you.)
>Read on for:
>1) Garden update
>2) Yours truly beats the fax rap
>3) Read about the Email Army in the New York Times
>4) TDay Action
>5) LESC Dance Party
>Apologies for the excessive length of this bulletin.
>GARDEN UPDATE: The good news is we've kept the bulldozers away so far,
>cost the developer a lot of money, and created a lot of inconvenience
>for both the City and the Partnership. If the Mendez and 10BC Gardens
>are destroyed -- which we're going to move heaven and earth to try to
>prevent -- we have to remember that we've made it much harder for our
>opponents to bulldoze gardens en masse (nearly 400) the way they
>originally planned. We're going to fight hard on this battle now, but
>even if we lose it, we're going to win the war.
>The bad news is that the legal appeals for Mendez and 10BC are nearly
>exhausted, there's no restraining order in place, and the police are
>clearly losing patience. It may seem like I keep crying wolf, warning of
>imminent destruction that then doesn't take place. What in fact has
>happened is that destruction HAS been imminent on several occasions, and
>the combination of the Email Army's pressure, the pressure mobilized by
>the Garden Coalition, and the presence of defenders in the garden has
>kept our opponents away.
>Why the urgency now? The judge in the federal lawsuit (seeking
>protection for the murals and sculpture in the Mendez Garden) today
>refused to issue a restraining order against Capoccia and his
>bulldozers. Tomorrow he will rule on Capoccia's request that the
>gardeners' suit be dismissed. Visits and phone calls from a
>representative of the Ninth Precinct have made it clear that the police
>are losing patience, or at least want us to think that they are. The
>community affairs officer has assured us over and over how much she
>personally loves the Mendez Garden, yada yada yada, but it's out of
>their hands. In court today, I'm told by Agi Groff of the Mendez Garden,
>Capoccia said that he had not brought in the Bobcat to do core samples
>yet because he had so far been unable to coordinate a police escort with
>the Ninth Precinct (he came once without a police escort, but after
>seeing all of us in the garden and being told he wouldn't be let in,
>Capoccia beat a hasty retreat).
>Also, if you haven't been to the Mendez Garden lately, please drop by!
>Smell the flowers, see the barricades.
>YOUR TRULY BEATS FAX RAP: Yesterday was my court date for the grave
>offense of sending faxes (a mere two or three thousand) to the New York
>City Partnership telling them to leave our community gardens alone.
>Thanks to the energetic efforts on my behalf by the estimable Ron Kuby,
>I was looking forward to a rollicking good court battle, which I felt
>sure we would win. (New Email Army members: I was taken from my
>apartment in handcuffs a month ago and charged with aggravated
>But it turned out that the only harassment that took place was the NYPD
>harassing ME: the case against me was so flimsy that the D.A. declined
>to prosecute.
>I for one am readying my fax machine to celebrate, starting tonight. I
>figure I can safely send a few hundred faxes to a given target, and if
>even 10% of the Email Army were willing to send something like a few
>dozen faxes, we would send a VERY emphatic message to that target.
>(Asked by a New York Times reporter at the courthouse whether there
>might be something to the charge, whether sending several thousand faxes
>to someone was crossing a line, Kuby retorted, "On the contrary, it's
>the vigorous flourishing of the vox populi and it is to be encouraged.")
>In addition to the HPD fax numbers above, I was thinking I might want to
>send messages to the Partnership (212-344-3344), to developer Donald
>Capoccia's office (212-534-5021), and the office of the Del Este Village
>development (212) 673-8496. Exercising one's First Amendment rights can
>be so much fun!
>Jesse McKinley in the City Section of this Sunday's paper.
>THANKSGIVING DAY EVENT AT MENDEZ GARDEN (with hopes it will still be
>there): On Thanksgiving Day, the Lower East Side Collective will sponsor
>a free community meal at the Mendez Mural Garden, followed by a march
>and direct action to demand that city resources be used to create TRULY
>affordable housing, without destroying community gardens.
> WHEN: 11AM, Thursday, November 27
> WHERE: Mendez Mural Garden, East 11th between Avenues A+B
>Come if you can! For more info or to get involved, send an email to
>packed you could hardly move, so we've switched to a larger venue. Plus
>we've got quite a line-up of groovacious DJs: gorgoil, Tom Stir, Masa,
>Cruzmissile, and Righteous Dr. Ron. Help give us the resources we need
>to fight the battles we're fighting -- it's just $5-$10 sliding scale,
>with a plentifully supplied, reasonably priced cash bar!
> WHEN: 9PM to 2AM, Satursday, November 22
> WHERE: Charas/El Bohio, 605 E. 9th St. (betw B+C)
> HOW MUCH: $5-$10 sliding scale, cash bar
>Never trust a political organization that can't throw a good party.
>Warmest regards, Leslie

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