Title: Tompkins Square Park
Sakamaki, with an essay by Bill Weinberg
Summer 1988. Tompkins Square Park, which long served as a makeshift
home for the homeless and a center for social unrest, erupted in
violence when the New York City Police and hundreds of rioters clashed
over ideological differences.
Residents of the Lower East Side, historically home to diverse
immigrant communities but facing gentrification, united to protest the
1 a.m. curfew the city was attempting to enforce on the park, in effect
banishing the homeless and closing off many areas of the park that were
Over the humid night of August 6, protestors carrying signs that read
“Gentrification is Class War” and chanting “It’s our fucking park, you
don’t live here!” clashed with police armed with riot gear. The
violence lasted until the next morning.
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