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Thursday, August 19

The Republicans Are Coming! Get Out Of The Way!

As the Republican National Convention nears, street people have started to disappear. Where did they go?
According to the Village Voice:
The Ghosts of Penn Station
The upcoming Republican National Convention has already disrupted the rhythms and routines of people living in this area. The police presence has increased, and soon the entire area will be locked down, creating a frozen zone. While other New Yorkers have to contend with protest and convention logistics, these are the only people whose entire lives are being uprooted. These New Yorkers include some of the city's most fragile and vulnerable residents—mentally ill senior citizens who have no money, now scrambling to survive outdoors.

I used to commute to New York City from Long Island during the Reagan years. There were record numbers of homeless people during those years. In the winter, it's tough in New York City and the homeless would fight for spots on the grates where steam would rise from subways. Many slept in train stations. I remember stepping gingerly over sleeping bodies early in the morning as I made my way from Long Island Railroad in Penn Station to the E Train (subway) to get to work at Citicorp. Sometimes I'd walk instead of taking the subway on a nice day and see the cops waking up the homeless on the benches in Bryant Park, behind the NY Public Library, in time for tourists not to see them, I guess. I suppose that the homeless will be even more hidden away during the RNC.

Madison Square Garden is above Penn Station. Thousands of commuters pass through there every single day to get to work. I suppose most people will be taking a few days off from work and most Manhattanites I understand will be leaving town, and a lot of business are closing for the RNC too. If you ask any New Yorker or any commuter (they come from NY, NJ, CT and PA) if they are happy about the RNC coming to town, they would say, "Absolutely not." The RNC in NYC will probably cause Bush to lose votes. heh. The homeless definitely won't be voting for Bush either- wherever they are.

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