Updated — Last Saturday (6/5), the NYPD shut Washington Square Park down early at 10 p.m., removing remaining park goers by mobilizing police in riot gear. Now aware of the enforced early curfew, people pushed back to reclaim this public space. There were reportedly 23 arrests after back-and-forth confrontations by some in the crowd with the police. Can’t New York City, of all places, do better?
Early Curfew Not in Place, No NYPD in Riot Gear on Sunday (6/6)
The following night, Sunday — the curfew is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — no police in riot gear lined up on Fifth Avenue outside the Arch as they had the night before, no multiple vans and SUVs, and no entry by NYPD as 10 p.m. came and went. People were happy. It became quite the party within the park.
No one knew what this meant. Was the curfew now over? This seemed like a possible, good result and the proper response. But, no.
When asked earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio “said he expects to use the curfew for the popular Greenwich Village space ‘rarely when necessary’ … when asked directly about the upcoming weekend, a spokesman kicked it over to the police’s press shop.” The NYPD “declined to give its plans” and said the curfew will be “reviewed on an ongoing basis.”
That sounds like a terrible idea.
Photos from last Saturday night:
First set, before “curfew”:
The vibe on Sunday, June 6th, the next evening, when it became clear the NYPD were not mobilizing and 10 p.m. curfew would not be enforced at the park:
Update: Friday, June 11th, no early curfew.
See more videos and coverage from Washington Square Park Blog at this post:
Recent coverage from other media outlets:
A Curfew and Clashes With Police in Washington Square Park New York Times
Let Washington Square Park Breathe New York Daily News Opinion Piece by Georgia Silvera Seamans