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The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

January 26, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 4

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‘Hear us roar!’ Yuuge anti-Trump marches ‘grab’ world’s attention BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

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oday is the first of many days to take a stand against this monster!” declared Erik Coler, the young new president of Village Independent Democrats, from atop the steps in front of the Gandhi statue in Union Square. As he spoke, Coler, 25, handed out pink

bandanas to a group of 200 Downtowners who mustered there Saturday morning. They included members of V.I.D., Downtown Independent Democrats and a new outfit, United Through Action, that formed last month. Most donned the pink squares as neckerchiefs and N.Y.C. continued on p. 10

Senate sacks bag bill, saying city doesn’t have legislative right BY DENNIS LYNCH

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contentious battle is brewing between city and state lawmakers as a state bill reversing the city’s plastic-bag fee initiative has passed the state Senate and is now in the Assembly. The city legislation would mandate that retail and whole-

sale stores charge customers “at least 5 cents for each plastic, paper or cloth carryout bag provided,” and is set to go into effect on Feb. 15, according to the city’s Department of Sanitation. Those in favor of the surcharge argue that state government has no right to override BAGS continued on p. 15

PHOTO BY MILO HESS

One of the hundreds of thousands of faces of protest at the Women’s March on New York City this past Saturday. It was the world’s third-largest anti-Trump march.

Too big to fail: Women’s March is the resistance BY SAR AH FERGUSON

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or Donald Trump, size matters. So it was immensely gratifying to be part of what turned into the largest demonstration in the history of the U.S last Saturday — as more than 5 million people here and around the globe rose up to denounce Trump and his misogyny the day after his inauguration.

Don’t believe the media outlets lowballing the turnout. In Washington, D.C., at least a million women, men and children showed up to protest — a veritable tsunami of pink hats — united in our opposition to Trump and his retrograde administration. Organizers put the final count at 1.3 million, while satellite photos show a sea of protestors filling the avenues around the While House

— far larger than the paltry crowd that came out for Trump’s swearing-in. It was so big, it was hard to move or find anyone. At 10 a.m. I set off in search of a large contingent of New Yorkers marching with handcrafted Statue of Liberty torches under the banner of “We Make America.” But I could not get to them. The metro was flooded D.C. continued on p. 4

Moore, Blaz, Alec: We must resist ‘bigly!’ .........p. 3 Skenazy: It’s crazy to always blame Mom ........ p. 18 Eye on the inauguration ..........p. 6

www.TheVillager.com


TRUMP TASK FORCE: Congressmember Jerry Nadler has joined the new Democracy Reform Task Force. Initiated by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the focus of the task force, according to

Nadler’s handout report to Community Board 2, will be to “confront the Trump administration’s conflicts of interest and ethical violations, expose the Republican special-interest agenda, and promote the House Democrats’ ‘Securing Our Democracy’ reform agenda.” Said Nadler, “Donald Trump’s continued failure to fully clear his business conflicts or fully disclose his assets is a dangerous signal that this administration will have little regard for the law. We face a situation where, without Mr. Trump addressing his conflicts or taking the necessary steps to provide transparency and separate himself from any ethical misconduct, we cannot be certain that American interests are safe from subjugation or subversion.” In other words, to say that Nadler won’t be “bigly” busy with this new task force

would be a yuuge understatement.

DORIS ON THE MEND: Veteran Village active Doris Diether is laid up with pneumonia at Beth Israel Hospital, Sharon Woolums told us. Diether was dehydrated and weak, and Woolums had initially wanted her to go straight to the emergency room. But Diether instead stubbornly decided just to see a doctor, then finally went into the hospital two days later. “They think I have pneumonia in one lung,” Diether, 88, told us Tuesday evening. “I’ve got some other infections. They’re giving me injections, intravenous. This is not like me.” She said doctors wanted to release her from the hospital, but she felt too weak to go. She called a friend, who made some calls, and soon state Senator Brad Hoylman —

who formerly chaired Community Board 2 — intervened, and Diether has been allowed to stay on. According to Diether, she is the longest-serving community board member in the city, with 52 years logged on C.B. 2. And she has no intention of calling it quits. “I reapplied for this year,” she told us. Asked what pressing local issues she’s looking forward to tackling, she said, “I’m still trying to figure out how Pier 40 has air rights!” Hey, us, too! O.K., then, so piers should not have development rights — right? “No!” Diether blurted out. “Air rights go on land!” When we called, there was a lot of hubbub and background chatter going on in the legendary activist’s hospital room. “It’s like Grand Central Station,” she quipped. Among those visiting her at that moment were Woolums, Ken Wallach, C.B. 2 District Manager Bob Gormley, former C.B. 2 staffer Julio Mora and David Gruber, a former chairperson of the community board. “Muh-waahh!” we heard through the phone, as Mora gave Diether a big kiss on the cheek as he was leaving. She’s got some projects coming up that she has to start working on. Ricky Syers, the Washington Square Park performer who famously created the “Little Doris” marionette, gave her a call earlier in the day. “Ricky wants to do a film — he’ll sing to me,” Diether told us. So far, though, Brandon Stanton, who profiled the zoning maven and the marionette master in “Humans of New York,” has not called to wish her well. As for now, Diether feels she still needs a little more bed time to recuperate. Pneumonia really saps one’s strength, and she hasn’t walked in a week. Just walking to a table across the room is winding her. Right now, Beth Israel doctors are deciding whether to send her to the VillageCare rehab facility on W. Houston St. or back to her home. “They were arguing about it today,” Diether said.

LOOKING AT HATE: Speaking of Brad Hoylman, the state senator is hosting a free screening and panel discussion on the so-called “alt-right” and the film “Hate in America: Stories From the Files of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” on Sun., Jan. 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the SVA Theatre, at 333 W. 23rd St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves. According to the law center, there were 867 reported incidents of hateful harassment and intimidation in the 10 days following the presidential election — including a slew in the Village area that this newspaper has reported on. The panel will include the film’s producer / director, Rebecca Teitel; Oren Segal, the director of the Center on Extremism at the AntiDefamation League; and Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Space is limited, so please RSVP to hoylman@ nysenate.gov or 212-633-8052. 2

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Moore, mayor and celebs call for fierce resistance BY JACKSON CHEN

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star-studded rally outside Trump International Hotel last Thursday night aimed to ignite a 100-day resistance movement against the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. “We are here united in protecting our family, friends, neighbors, fellow New Yorkers and people across this great nation during his time in office,” actor Rosie Perez, a Brooklynite, said. “Donald Trump is from this city, he is a New Yorker. And yet he has spread a message across the country that is the opposite of who we are as New Yorkers.” Kicking off the evening, Perez introduced Hollywood icons like Robert De Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore, alongside Michael Moore, Natalie Merchant and Cher, all united in standing against a Trump administration. “We’re all rooting for the new administration to abandon the divisive, racist, misogynist, ignorant plans it’s trumpeting and lead us with intelligence and compassion,” De Niro said. Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the thousands of attendees in cheering the final night of Barack Obama’s administration. As soon as the mayor mentioned the peaceful transition of power taking place the following day in Washington, the crowd was united in booing. But de Blasio emphasized that Trump’s first day in the presidency also would be the first day of action for the many who oppose his plans for the next four years. “Some people think we’re going to be dejected. Some people think we’re going to be in a state of mourning, that we’re just going to shirk away from playing any role in our nation,” the mayor said. “No, tomorrow we begin to organize. Tomorrow we gather together. Look at the thousands here tonight — and this is only the beginning.” The thousands came to Columbus

PHOTOS BY MILO HESS

Mayor de Blasio held up a copy of the Mayors’ Pledge, which contains a range of issues that he and other mayors are vowing to advocate for — from defending immigrants to protecting the environment.

Circle from all over the city, and also the suburbs, all united resistance to the Trump presidency. “This isn’t about politics, this is about Donald Trump. Those of us in Manhattan have been used to this for the last 30 years,” said Nick Beef, a West Villager. “It’s a man who talks and has no action… . It’s all about him, not our country.” Coming down from Westchester County, Theo Allen was proud to carry signs protesting the president-to-be. “This president has decried women, people with disabilities, L.G.B.T.Q. community members, and has divided us, not united us,” Allen said at the rally. “As a citizen of these United States, I cannot allow us to be a divided nation.” One of the event’s main organizers, the filmmaker and activist Michael Moore, had a stark but also empowering message for the crowd that filled Central Park West.

“First the bad news: As sad as we think it’s going to be, it’s going to be worse,” Moore said. “But here is the good news: The good news is there’s more of us than there are of them!” Moore noted that the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, won close to 3 million more votes than Trump

and there were more than 7 million others who voted for neither the Republican nor Democratic candidate. “This is the beginning of our 100 days of resistance, and that’s just the first 100 days,” Moore said. “Every day, you have to contact your member of Congress or one of your two senators. It takes three minutes: Wake up, brush teeth, make coffee, contact Congress. That’s the new morning routine.” Two days later, many took action by participating in the massive Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C., New York City and other cities across the nation and worldwide. As last Thursday’s rally concluded with Natalie Merchant leading a celebrity-jam cover of “This Land is Your Land,” the crowd began walking east toward Trump Tower on Fifth Ave., where they were met with a large force of New York Police Department officers and barricades. “Donald Trump and Steve Bannon and Mike Pence and all these people that are part of the Trump administration, they think you’re going to lay [sic] down,” Baldwin said to the crowd. “Are you going to lay down?” The crowd shouted back, “No!” “Are you going to fight?” “Yes!” “Are we going to have 100 days of resistance?” “Yes!”

Actor Alec Baldwin doing his “Saturday Night Live” Donald Trump impression at last Thursday night’s massive rally. TheVillager.com

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D.C. continued from p. 1

with so many people that many stations shut down, and the stops near the main rally stage at Third St. and Independence Ave. were closed. The closest I got to the stage was four blocks west on Seventh St., where I found myself squished against a line of porta-potties — we could barely open the doors to let people in to pee. We couldn’t see or hear the stage. Virtually all the cell networks were jammed — though a few people managed to livestream the show from their smart phones on speaker. Even then, you could barely catch what anyone said. “Let us March!” people chanted. We wanted to move! But the organizers could not hear us. It felt like the organizers had spent too long arguing over the inclusiveness of their platform and the speaker list — leaving the actual mechanics of the march to chance. There were no safety lines for emergency vehicles, and barely any stewards to help clear the way when the ambulances plowed through. That formulaic march apparatus in place during the massive antiwar demos of the Bush administration seemed strangely absent. All this was frustrating — albeit understandable. This march was organized on the fly, in just 11 weeks, led by women who had not worked together much before. It evolved from a Facebook post by a retired attorney in Hawaii that went viral in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s surprise defeat, then expanded to attract more diverse organizers of color. Only later on, when the momentum was overwhelming, did big organizational backers like Planned Parenthood and NARAL join in. But in the end, the disconnect between stage and street didn’t matter. We were too big to fail. By being such an equal-opportunity offender, Trump has become our villain in chief — capable, for now at least, of mobilizing diverse groups to oppose him with an urgency not seen in decades. When we finally set off, we found the march route to the Ellipse had been changed, and then apparently abandoned — there were just too many people on the streets. People sang “My Country Tis of Thee,” alongside folks chanting “Black Lives Matter!” Many white middle-class women chimed in. It was exhilarating. “We Want a Leader, Not a Creepy Tweeter!” we yelled. “Trump Pence, That S--t Don’t Make No Sense!” Teneesha Tate Robinson, a 26-yearold student from Bowie, Maryland, marched with a Black Lives Matter sweatshirt and a handmade sign that said “Feminist as F--k.” “Before, I kept myself informed about politics. But now I want to take action. Trump’s ran us back to the 1960s, and

PHOTOS BY JOHN PENLEY

Heading to the Women’s March on Washington.

that’s unacceptable, especially for my people,” said Robinson, who is black. Although there were sister marches in some 600 cities, many women told me they felt compelled to come to D.C. and be counted. “I wanted a place and my face in history right here,” said Ellen Whyte, who took a plane from Oregon City. “We’ll go home and continue to resist. But this feels like the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the progressive movement. Now we have traction. We have until Nov. 3, 2020 [the date of the next presidential election], to really make something happen.” Others don’t expect Trump’s presidency to last that long. “I give him six months,” quipped Melanie Magness, a human-resources manager from Annapolis, Maryland, who marched with her lesbian daughter and the word “NASTY” written across her face in black eyeliner. Some women had bought plane tickets to D.C. to attend what they thought would be Hillary Clinton’s historic inauguration — then switched gears when Trump won and decided to protest instead. Tania Sotello said she and her friends took a plane from Miami that was three-quarters full of women and men coming to the march. “I owe it to my kids to speak up and not be silent,” she said. Many had never been to a big D.C.

protest before. Karrie Morgan, a 43year-old financial analyst, boarded a bus at 2 a.m. and rode all the way from Greenboro, North Carolina, “Liberals like me have been kind of oblivious for a long time,” she confessed. “This is so amazing. I’ve been on the verge of tears all day long. It makes me want to go home and get active locally and start some kind of women’s movement in Greensboro. I mean, I’ve never even been to a City Council meeting where I live. Now I feel that I have to. It’s a privilege to be in our democracy. We have to participate.” Debbie Stringfellow, a hospice nurse, drove overnight with friends from Canton, Ohio. “There is a scary movement from the right that I haven’t seen since I was a kid,” she said, when asked why she came. “Trump just rode this wave of bigotry, and he doesn’t even know what it is. But it’s becoming an ‘us-versus-them’ thing. If we don’t stop it, it’s just gong to keep going. We can’t be quiet. We can’t keep bending over for Trump.” Even after the official demonstration ended, people continued to flood the streets until early evening, blocking buses and cars, whose drivers seemed remarkably tolerant of the lengthy disruption. The police did not bother to intervene. “The women’s march was done with not a lot of infrastructure in place,” observed writer L.A. Kauffman, who gave me a lift home to New York City the following day. “But the momentum was so great, I think it’s going to come. “And it will come in the form of lots and lots of autonomous but networked groups working on different issues in various ways, but all moving forward with a political vision of equality and freedom that we haven’t seen on this scale,” she predicted. A former organizer with United for Peace and Justice — the group that staged many of the big antiwar demo’s under Bush — Kauffman has some perspective on all this. She just published a book called “Direct Action” (Verso) that analyzes the history of American radicalism since the 1960s. “What we saw in the organizing of this march was a shift away from the white corporate feminism embodied by Clinton toward a more grassroots, intersectional feminism, which is the way forward for the movement,” Kauffman said. “It’s about understanding that race, sexuality, class and economics are absolutely at the center of any struggles around gender equality. “Women of all backgrounds have to be at the center of the movement to resist Trump.” TheVillager.com


as women take the lead in standing up to Trump

Pink hats and passion for the planet and its people were on display in a big way at the Women’s March on Washington.

The New York State Nurses Association is committed to quality care for ALL patients in ALL the diverse communities of New York City nysna.org TheVillager.com

nynurses Januar y 26, 2017

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PHOTOS BY Q. SAKAMAKI

The inauguration...and the fate of the nation Despite the ongoing debate — complete with “alternative facts” — about how large the crowd was at Donald Trump’s inauguration, there’s no doubt it was a historic event. What sor t of histor y Trump makes remains to be seen. On this page, Trump suppor ters happily watched his swearing-in on a jumbo screen on the National Mall, while the Naked Cowboy — clearly down with The Donald — cavor ted amongst them. On the opposite page, fittingly, is the opposition: The Women’s March saw hundreds of thousands of people in pussyhats flood the Mall the next day, top. Protesters, including a disabled group and the ANSWER Coalition, voiced their disapproval before the inauguration, bottom left. Discarded signs littered a metro station after the Women’s March, bottom right.

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My daughter, my teacher; My activist education

NOTEBOOK BY YUKIE OHTA

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n Saturday, my daughter and her friend made a sign that read, “Nasty Girls for Equality,” and we marched proudly and loudly with the throng toward Trump Tower. I don’t think I would have taken part in the Women’s March had it not been for my daughter — and her school. I am not an activist. I am an archivist. I deal with documenting things that have already happened, not changing what will happen in the future. Sure, I went down to Washington, D.C., in my youth to fight for a woman’s right to choose, but that was as much a social gathering as a political event for me. I have also made it my life’s work to document the activism of those who pioneered my now-gentrified neighborhood, Soho. Don’t get me wrong. I have a social conscience and try to make a difference wherever I can. I am just not an active activist. Or I wasn’t, until now. Having a child changes everything. We want for our children the precious things we were denied in our own childhoods. My daughter is 8 years old, a third grader at the Little Red School House (LREI), a progressive, independent school right here in the Village. Her school encourages student-initiated “courageous conversations” about race, class, gender, L.G.B.T. issues, and most recently, politics, among other thorny topics.

PHOTO BY YUKIE OHTA

Hanako Gibersztajn, the writer’s daughter, right, and her friend Sarah Mehl at the Women’s March in New York Cit y.

Its emphasis on active, experiential learning gets the school’s students out into the world to examine and debate these difficult topics. Some might say that the early elementary years is too soon to introduce social issues into the classroom. Social issues, however, are being played out in my daughter’s classroom and her city every day. In this age of mass media, she has seen and heard way more than I ever did at her age. Thanks to experienced teachers who are well versed in progressive curricula and the use of age-appropriate language, my daughter has learned to make sense of what she sees going on around her, and to engage with the

POLICE BLOTTER Over for Rover taker Police said that on Wed., Jan. 11, at 9 p.m. a man reported his 2015 Range Rover was missing. He parked the car on E. 29 St. in Brooklyn, and upon returning to the spot, noticed that it wasn’t there. A week later, on Wed., Jan. 18, at 12:43 a.m., police said, Victor Cabral, 27, and three other individuals were seen sitting inside the stolen car in front of 136 W. Third St. in the Village. “A friend let me use the car,” Cabral reportedly told cops. He was arrested on a felony grand larceny auto charge.

Failed pharma rob The CVS pharmacy at 65 Fifth Ave.,

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at E. 14th St., was robbed on Wed., Jan. 11, at 11:54 a.m., police said. A man swiped some items, apparently not intending to pay for them. When the store manager confronted him about it, the man allegedly grabbed a bottle opener and threatened the manager’s life. On top of that, the suspect also intentionally struck an officer with his car while attempting to flee the scene with another individual. Li Yong, 35, was arrested on a felony robbery charge. The second person, also 35, was apparently not charged.

Unhappy meal A man reportedly was not happy about being asked to leave the McDonald’s at 136 W. Third St. on Fri., Jan. 20. According to police, in the

world in ways I only learned to do... well...since she started school. The school has not only welcomed my daughter, but our entire family, into its community. It has been edifying, to say the least, to be included as an equal partner in the shared goal of nurturing a future adult. Forgive me for my past complacency, but before my daughter entered kindergarten, I never gave much thought to my gender, race or class. Being a woman of color who grew up as a member of the privileged poor, one would think that I would have contemplated these things a little bit more. But without a peer group that dwelled on such issues, I was not 6:55 a.m. incident, the suspect refused to leave the fast-food place and got violent, picking up a chair and slamming it on the cash register. During a search of the suspect by police, a purported crack pipe with alleged drug residue was found. Grant Alexander, 47, was arrested for felony criminal mischief.

Feeling the gravity Police said that on Thurs., Jan. 19, at 10:16 p.m., a man was spotted removing items from a 2005 gray Pontiac. A male witness, 33, followed the suspect to the corner of Broadway and Washington Place. Police arrived and searched the man, reportedly fi nding a black gravity knife and a student MetroCard. Alexander Lively, 33, was charged with felony weapon possession.

Tabia Robinson and Lincoln Anderson

armed with the language to discuss with precision what I perceived to be the injustices in the world. I have now found the peer group and the words that I did not even know I lacked. I am thus able to hold up my end of the partnership, and for this, I am grateful. My daughter and I can now explore the world together. And when she is at school, I am comforted to know that she will be encouraged to explore further. When my daughter graduates high school, she will be ready to make her mark on her community and the world because she will have learned to be an engaged citizen in her school, city and beyond. In his farewell speech, President Obama warned that our democracy is threatened because, as he said, “without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, then we’re going to keep talking past each other.” I am confident that my daughter will grow up to be one of the willing. Her education at school and at home will lead her to make her own informed decisions, no matter her politics. If we teach children — and adults, like me — to be inquisitive, to think for themselves and to come to their own conclusions, we will ensure that our leaders of tomorrow embrace diversity in all of its forms and have the courage to bring meaningful change to the world. After all, isn’t that what we were marching for? Ohta is founder, Soho Memory Project

Sound off! off! Sound Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Sound off! Write a letter to the editor. News@ thevillager.com

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ADVERTORIAL

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phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.

Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-

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chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at

a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.

Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.

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‘I am woman, hear me roar!’ Yuuge anti-Trump N.Y.C. continued from p. 1

armbands. Brooke McGowan chose to wear hers around her head like a hijab. A Battery Park City resident, she is the director of the Leila Heller gallery in Chelsea. Shocked and concerned about Donald Trump’s election, she and her husband have regularly been attending organizing meetings with V.I.D., D.I.D. and others at the L.G.B.T.Q. Center, on W. 13th St. “He’s been radicalized,” she quipped of her husband, who didn’t want to give his name. “I come from a long line of radicals.” Pink bandanas securely fastened, everyone dove into the subway and rode the train, crowded with fellow protesters, up to East Midtown for the start of the massive Women’s March on New York City. Filing into the crowd, the Downtowners added their bodies and voices to the huge event, whose numbers were later estimated to be 400,000. There were many men, and a fair number of small kids, too. It was just one of many related demonstrations across the country and around the globe. The Women’s March in Washington, D.C., drew an estimated 500,000 people, while Los Angeles’s was the biggest, with 750,000. London saw 100,000 march in protest against the president, while a 30-person expedition in Antarctica even held an anti-Trump rally, according to the New York Post. Christopher Marte, who is running for election against City Councilmember Margaret Chin, was marching with the Downtown contingent. “If you disagree with any of the points the president is backing, you should be here today — killing Planned Parenthood, xenophobia, deporting Muslims

‘Every single, darn person there was on a mission.’ Jeanne Wilcke

and immigrants,” he told The Villager. “America represents everybody, not just a small part of the population. My parents were immigrants. My cousins were immigrants,” said the young Lower East Side politico, who is of Dominican descent. “His hate speech — it’s pretty remarkable that you can even be elected saying that.”

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PHOTOS BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

A s the march finally made it down to 42nd St., channeling the fighting spirit of the late Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. They would then turn up Fifth Ave. toward Trump Tower.

As the Downtowners were squeezing in among the throng near E. 48th St. and Second Ave., state Senator Brad Hoylman, a pink scarf around his neck, happened to be making his way through the crush. He was heading toward the speakers’ stage — where Whoopi Goldberg and others had earlier given fiery remarks — to meet up with Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Councilmember Margaret Chin, who were already there. “It’s an amazing crowd,” Hoylman marveled. “I’ve not seen this many people on the streets in a long time. It follows up a very dark day for the values that built this country,” he said of Trump’s inauguration, “but it gives hope.” Kerrie Timmons, from Bank St., was among the Village group. She and her partner, Emily, were sporting cat-eared pink pussyhats — one of the signature symbols of the Women’s March, thanks to the Pussyhat Project. They were, of course, inspired by Trump’s famous comment, in which he said that, as a wealthy and powerful guy, he could grab women by their private parts at will and get away with it. “I made them over a couple of days,” Timmons said. “It was really hard to get pink yarn. I had to go up to Michaels on Sixth Ave. and 22nd St., and they had like three left.” Asked why she felt it was important to be there, she said, “Strength in numbers, and having a diverse crowd is important — to show it around myriad issues.” Alexis Faraci, from the South Bronx,

Getting a good view of the Women’s March on New York Cit y from atop’s Dad’s shoulders.

where she owns a designer pretzel bakery, was there with her pussyhatted sister, who lives in the Village, and their mother and aunt. Faraci said everybody in her Mott Haven neighborhood is an immigrant, and that if Trump follows through on his draconian deportation threats, it would be devastating. “The immigration thing is very scary,” she said. “They fill all the jobs and all the housing in my neighborhood. Some of them are legal and some aren’t. So if it’s not a stable situation for them... .” Asked her reasons for marching, her mother said, “Because climate change has a deadline to it.” This march was unusual, in that, for four hours it actually didn’t move an inch — at least not the section at the rear where the V.I.D. / D.I.D. / U.T.A. group were at E. 48th St. This was apparently due to a combination of the organizers’ unorthodox attempt to send out the march in staggered waves, plus the unanticipated overwhelming numbers that turned out. One volunteer who was watching the procession pass by on 42nd St. later told The Villager that they had originally anticipated only about 8,000 to 10,000 people would show up. “March! March! March!” the crowd chanted in frustration at several points. Every now and then an enormous roar would build up a few blocks away and come thundering through the crowd, sort of like a sonic version of the baseball “wave.” N.Y.C. continued on p. 11 TheVillager.com


marches ‘grab’ attention of the whole world N.Y.C. continued from p. 10

Despite the lack of locomotion, the crowd remained upbeat. Overhead, three women in a 14thfloor apartment twirled their bras out a window to the crowd’s delight. Along with the pussyhats and various cat-ear designs, creative signs and chants also helped keep the mood positive. “Girls just want to have fun-damental rights,” read a sign one little girl carried perched atop her dad’s shoulders. Other placards included, “Hell hath no fury like 157,000,000 women scorned,” “Women and the earth have to tolerate a lot” and “Equality Meow!” Among the catchy, rhyming chants were, “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” and “Throw Pence over the fence!” In their chants and on their signs, the marchers voiced a potpourri of concerns, from Black Lives Matter to the environment to Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Putin. More than a few signs showed the two men locking lips. The police didn’t have a heavy presence — or at least it didn’t feel that way. Apparently, they weren’t expecting violence from the Women’s March, one woman observed. Kate Verner and her young daughter, India, were there with the Friends Seminary group, though they had gotten separated from them in the crowd. India attends the Friends school on E. 16th St. Their pussyhats were made out of pink fleece, which was a lot quicker to assemble than knitting them from scratch, Verner noted. “I made five in an hour,” she said. Asked how important she felt it was for them to be there, Verner said, “Absolutely. I have a 10-year-old daughter. I don’t want her growing up without Roe v. Wade. And women’s rights as a whole — I mean, where do you draw the line?” A group of theater actors, writers and directors of both sexes from Uptown, not surprisingly, were quick to verbalize answers when asked their main concerns about Trump. “Repeal of the Affordable Care Act,” said one. “He’s unstable,” offered another. Added a third: “The most powerful man in the world spewing hatred.” “I’m terrified of the violence he incites,” warned another. Marching with her mother, who is from Haiti, Duresny Nemporin, 25, from Harlem, said critically of Trump, “He’s tweeting like a high school kid.” On second thought, she added, “Wait, high school kids don’t use Twitter. He’s tweeting like a college kid. His tweets are impulsive. They’re not carefully crafted.” Dr. Ed and Sandy Kohn, two seniors from Cincinnati, were in town for a psychiatric conference and decided to join the “primal therapy” of Saturday’s march. According to reports, therapists

Erik Coler, Village Independent Democrats president, rallied the troops at Union Square before heading up to the Women’s March.

say many of their patients have been beset by anxiety over the recent election. Could this climate of fear perhaps be a boon for mental-health professionals, increasing their caseload? the doctor was asked. “I don’t think people want the added business at the increased cost to the country,” said Dr. Kohn, as he leaned on a tall walking stick. “It’s been amazing how distressed people are about the election — people really feel it in their gut.” Finally, the section of the march at E. 48th St. started to inch forward. Bob Gormley, district manger of Community Board 2, and Noho activist Zella Jones, who both came up with the Village group, joked that the blood flow was starting to return to their legs. Asked his opinion on the new president, the straight-shooting Gormley composed his thoughts for a few seconds before speaking. “Donald Trump is a disgrace and an embarrassment,” he said. “Because he’s so disconnected from reality, it makes him a danger to the United States and the world.” Asked her feelings on the Women’s March, Jones offered, “I don’t think Trump’s disdain for women is that far from his disdain for a lot of things.” After about five hours, this reporter bailed out of the procession at 42nd St. and Lexington Ave. As darkness fell, the march would turn onto to Fifth Ave. and then up to E. 55th St., a block south of Trump Tower. Afterward, local political club leaders were enthusiastic about the day, saying it energized people for what will, no doubt,

be a long and determined struggle against the new Trump administration.

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“The march was incredible. The turnout from the city was record high,” said V.I.D.’s Coler. “I’ve never seen so much focus and energy from so many people in my life. I can promise you that the Village Independent Democrats are going to continue this fight against Trump until he is either impeached or not reelected in 2020. The march was just one day of many that we have to continue to push back against his racist, misogynistic, destructive agenda.” Similarly, Jeanne Wilcke, president of D.I.D., said, “Lora Tenenbaum, Pete Davies and myself got separated from the group. Never saw the group again! No complaints. The sheer amount of people was awesome. “The march was not jubilation or blind anger. I truly felt the purposefulness,” Wilcke added. “Every single, darn person there was on a mission. It was almost a military call to arms, with the ammunition being our presence. You saw the sense of duty to stand up for democracy, rights, our planet and our Constitution. I am overwhelmed by the tidal wave of people standing up right now. I’ve never seen anything like it. “It was a moment in time,” Wilcke reflected. “We just changed the world and gave hope to our kids. Heck, even Riga and Antarctica weighed in. This mobilization is not stopping. It’s a power unto itself now.”

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PHOTOS BY MILO HESS

A woman’s work is never done — especially now! The Women’s March on New York Cit y was a mar vel to behold. It filled the streets along 15 blocks full of demonstrators. At least 400,000 par ticipated, though some estimates say the number was even higher. Another huge anti-Trump protest march is already being planned for April.

12

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13


Trump gets blasted at anti-nuclear war protest BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

C

oncerned about Donald Trump’s saber rattling, former East Village activist John Penley co-organized a “Homes Not Bombs” no-nukes protest in downtown Washington, D.C., over four days around the inauguration. Leading the effort at Franklin Square park with Penley was Bruce Wright, a Floridabased activist and minister. Speakers at their event ranged from Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, to powerful Standing Rock leader Joann Mae Spotted Bear, plus there was a full slate of rock bands and performers. The main reported incidents of property damage during the inauguration — a torched limo and some broken windows of multinational businesses, like Starbucks — happened right near Penley’s protest. However, he and Wright had stressed their event was peaceful. They had even switched their location from another park just so they wouldn’t be near DisruptJ20, a group of hardcore anarchists who had vowed to cause mayhem during the presidential festivities. “It was right across the street from us,” Penley said of the vandalism. “The police had been firing tear gas canisters and concussion grenades for about two hours. It was loud! I saw one guy whose leg was messed up by a concussion grenade. The police would use that to back people up and then move up the barriers. People had started it by throwing bricks at the police a few blocks away.” An underreported story, he said, is that about 250 protesters and others were arrested, and every single one of them was charged with felony riot. “A lot of them are still being held,” he said. “Some people have bail set, but they can’t pay it to get out. In New York, they use ‘disorderly conduct’ when they arrest people. ‘Felony riot’ is a big difference — it carries 10 years in prison. Anybody and everybody they arrested — even photographers — was getting ‘felony riot.’ ” Over all, though, Penley didn’t mention any instances of serious police abuse. One man in Franklin Square, however, who had come from Standing Rock stripped off his clothes to reveal “F--- Trump” magic-marked on his butt cheeks. He paraded around for a while, then just plunked down on the grass. Penley, a former New York tabloid photojournalist, documented him and everything else going on over the four days. “They didn’t arrest him,” he noted of the nude Trump naysayer. “They peppersprayed him later. They pepper-sprayed his whole body. I think they just got tired of him. People had to wash him off.” Also at the Franklin Square confab was Vermin Supreme, a performance artist and activist who wears a black rubber rain boot as a hat and has run for president four times. “We inaugurated Vermin as president of our camp,” Penley said.

14

Januar y 26, 2017

PHOTOS BY JOHN PENLEY

Protesters in D.C. targeted the “Deploraball,” a gala after the inauguration whose name riffed on Hillar y Clinton’s slamming Trump’s suppor ters as “deplorables.” The demonstrators inflated a large white “elephant in the room,” with the word “R ACISM” on it, outside of the place. Later, Roger Stone, the gonzo G.O.P. strategist, t weeted that the protesters had pelted ballgoers with eggs as they exited.

Actually, Vermin Supreme — with Bruce Wright, at left — was inaugurated as president, at least in Franklin Square.

On inauguration day, a young man who was hit by tear gas Green Par t y presidential candidate Jill Stein used Milk of Magnesia to clean his eyes of the painful chemi- was among the speakers at the anti-nuclear protest-palooza. cal weapon, as he was aided by a volunteer “street medic.” TheVillager.com


Senate sacks bag bill

VILLAGER FILE PHOTO

In December 2014, Peter Kostmayer, C.E.O. of Citizens Committee of New York City, left, joined local school kids in distributing free canvas tote bags outside a supermarket on Avenue C. Citizens Committee has been one of the biggest boosters of the cit y’s bill to impose a small surcharge on plastic bags at local markets. BAGS continued from p. 1

a bill passed by a local government that only affects residents of that city, plus that reducing disposable bag usage would help the city financially and environmentally. More than 10 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year, clogging storm drains and finding their way into landfills, according to state Senator Brad Hoylman, who lambasted his colleagues in the Republican-majority Senate for passing the blocking bill late last week. That bill passed 42 to 18, with only 13 senators from New York City in favor. “Most of the people voting for this bill do not represent New York City,” Hoylman said. “This is a nullification of the wishes of a legislative body representing 8.5 million people.” The sponsor of the state bill to override the bag fee argued last week that state law prohibits local governments from establishing their own taxes. However, the “bag fee” is not a tax in law or in practice, because the city would never see a single nickel: The store that charged the fee would keep it. The Senate bill prohibits any city with a population of more than 1 million — New York City is actually the only one in the state — from imposing any “tax, fee or any other charge” on any “plastic, paper or other bag or carrying container provided by a retail store.” Still, though, state Senator Simcha Felder — a Borough Park Democrat who caucuses with state Republicans — regularly calls the fee a tax. Felder contended in a press release following the Senate’s passage of its override bill, that the city’s measure would disproportionately and negatively affect middle- and low-income New Yorkers. He accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of “shaking down” city residents through the bag bill. He has also called reusable bags a health issue, because E. coli and salmonella bacteria can contaminate the bags’ fabric and thus cross-conTheVillager.com

taminate foods. Felder has led the charge against the bill since the City Council narrowly passed it in a 28-to-20 vote in May. The Council wanted to implement the fee in October, but postponed it until next month after the state Senate passed Felder’s first bill to override it. The delay was to allow the Council and Assembly to “work together on a solution,” according to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. That solution never came. Felder reintroduced his bill. Twenty-six of the Assembly’s 150 members have signed on as co-sponsors of the Assembly version of the Senate bill as of Wed., Jan. 25. Newly elected Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, a Democrat representing Lower Manhattan, is not one of them. Niou acknowledged that a fee on disposable bags “could have serious impacts on seniors and families on a fixed income.” However, she called the state bill “typical Albany overreach.” “New York City has the same right as other municipalities to set its own environmental policies,” Niou said, “and Albany imposing its will while ignoring similar policies in other locations reeks of an unfair and unjustified double standard.” The law exempts from the fee anyone buying goods with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The Department of Sanitation plans to hand out roughly 400,000 free reusable bags from Feb. 15 to April 30 this year. As to how the Assembly will vote, Hoylman is hoping for the best. “The Assembly typically saves New York from wrongheaded, ill-thoughtout legislation passed by the Republican Senate, like this,” he said. “It would be a monumental travesty to overturn a proven environmental measure that reflects the will of the duly elected local legislative body of 8.5 million people — without so much as a legislative hearing.”

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15


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

THE

VILLAGER Don’t miss a single issue!

The pink revolution

Park needs private funds

To The Editor: Re “Sea of pink ‘pussyhats’ should really ‘grab’ Trump’s attention� (news article, Jan. 19): Trump “won� by the slimmest vote (about 2 percent) losing the popular vote big time (by almost 3 million). It may not matter to him since he carries a very high opinion of himself. But this close vote will matter to Republicans who will have to run for reelection in 2020 against a president coming in with the lowest popularity ever. I’m so proud my daughter was in D.C. on Saturday in her pink hat and I was in New York City with mine!

To The Editor: Re “Park for sale� (letter, by Tom Fox, Jan. 19): Mr. Fox is correct that the Hudson River Park Act requires that the Hudson River Park Trust fund its own maintenance and operations “to the extent practicable.� From the park’s earliest days, there has been a broad understanding that private funding would be part of the park’s financial model. To that end, Friends of Hudson River Park works to raise annual funding to supplement the Trust’s efforts to generate long-term revenue streams through designated commercial nodes, like Pier 40, Pier 57 and Chelsea Piers, among other means. At the same time, the park has been successful over the last few years in leveraging private donations to secure capital funding from the city, state and federal governments. Such recent efforts have cleared the way for new planned public parkland at Pier 26 and Pier55, a new playground at Chelsea Waterside Park, and a new esplanade from Bloomfield St. (at Pier 40) to W. 14th St. Furthermore, through private development of the commercial building at Pier 57, a new public rooftop park and esplanade will provide even more amenities for park users. All of these projects will add roughly 10 acres of new public space to Hudson River Park. In a perfect world, government funding would provide 100 percent of the operating and maintenance needs of the park — but that’s not the reality. The Trust’s public-private fundraising approach acknowledges the requirements of the Hudson River Park Act and also the obvious limitations of public funding for parks. The focus at Friends is to provide the financial support to help the Trust keep the park looking beautiful, activate it and further the park’s completion to serve the millions of visitors each year. The community is largely supportive of that approach, and excited to reap the benefits of a Hudson River Park that gets better and better each year.

Jean Grillo

Staying involved To The Editor: Re “Moore, de Blasio and celebs call for ‘100 days of resistance� (news article, thevillager.com, Jan. 20): Where does one check in to see a prompt for where we might exert concerted pressure during the 100 days of resistance? I could easily make up my own, but we might not all have a good idea. Is someone taking the lead here? Mimi Jennings

East Village, Lower for Greenwich Village, Since 1933 The Paper of Record Square, Chinatown and Noho, Soho, Union

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Editor’s note: For starters, the Women’s March on Washington’s Web site, www.womensmarch. com/100, is launching a campaign: “10 actions for the first 100 days.�

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February 18, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 7

The Paper of Record for Greenwich Village, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Chinatown and Noho, Since 1933

He’ll be impeached

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It’s a closed book: St. Mark’s Bookshop is going out of business

BY COLIN MIXSON current talks with investors will result in a eloved literary haven store emerging new bookfrom the ashSt. Mark’s Bookstore es of St. Mark’s, albeit, with        a new name, new operators stage of its terminal mon- and none of the debt. ey woes, and the proverbial “We’re basically going out book will soon close on Man- of business at this point,� hattan’s oldest independent said Contant. “There may be bookshop. a continuation of a bookstore But owner Bob Contant is still clinging to hope that ST. MARK’S continued on p. 14

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January 14, 2016 • $1.00 Volume 86 • Number 2

Squadron slam s Senate for refusing to consider the Elevator Safety Act

Athanasios Ioannidis, center, PHOTO BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL and Andrew Trombettas, while being walked into right, try to hide their faces their arraignment last Thursday. Trombettas “renting� his plumber’s is accused of license to twice rigging illegal gas-siphoningIoannidis, an unlicensed plumber who is accused of systems at 121 Second Ave.

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Kettle commentary from the counter-inauguration

GLOBAL VILLAGE BY BILL WEINBERG

‘I

was put into a kettle when Obama was still president and I was released when Trump was president. I literally went through a militarized police funnel to start the new administration.” So says Matt Hopard, a Brooklynbased social media activist and veteran of Occupy Wall Street who was arrested in downtown Washington, D.C., on the morning of Inauguration Day. Interviewed back in New York after his release, he was quick to add: “Mind you, I was there as a journalist and documentarian.” Like most of the estimated 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day, Hopard faces felony rioting charges. Also like many others, his only crime was being in proximity of protesters who attempted to disrupt police checkpoints in the blocks east of McPherson Square, within the security cordon for the parade route. Some of the more ambitious protesters notoriously smashed a Starbucks window and even set a limousine on fire. Hopard and the others busted with him at 12th and L Sts. were constrained in a “kettle” — an improvised pen of police barricades — for more than six hours. Penned in before noon, they weren’t hauled off to jail until around 6 p.m. The hours passed in the cold and intermittent rain, with no access to water or toilet facilities. They were released from jail the following evening. This reporter wasn’t around for these shenanigans. After touching in with the “Disrupt J20” gathering at McPherson, I headed down to the National Mall to try to witness the inauguration — and see if anyone was expressing dissent on the scene. It was an eerie atmosphere there in the middle of the mall at the moment that the feared and historic transition took place. As a witness, I can provide my own testimony on the numbers controversy that has ensued since the inauguration, with Trump claiming he had the biggest crowd of any president ever — a claim assailed by the media as frankly bizarre. Ahead of me, toward the Washington Monument, a small trickle had made its way through the security checkpoint and was just beginning to fill in the expanse of grass. There, a big screen projected the important goings-on at the Capitol steps a mile and a half beyond. With Trump still speaking, I drifted back toward Constitution Ave., which borders the mall on the north. Trump supporters — overwhelmingly although not exclusively white, ranging from clean-cut frat boys to shaggy political pilgrims rom TheVillager.com

PHOTO BY JOHN PENLEY

Some of the more hardcore anarchist protesters engaged in a bit of proper t y damage, including torching this limo, as well as breaking windows at a Starbucks and an adjacent Bank of America branch. Police kept the protesters away from the burning car with drawn batons and pepper spray.

‘Like a 7-year-old who can destroy the world.’

backwoods Appalachia — mixed uneasily with a few clusters of protesters. A young black woman held a sign reading: “Racism is the disease; love, understanding and compassion are the answer.” The group around her chanted “Sexist, racist, anti-gay; Donald Trump, go away!” A passing Trump supporter taunted the group: “You lost, losers!” One shot back: “Trump is racist!” The heckler retorted, with no apparent logic: “You are, too!” But he moved on, and I witnessed no violence. I started to make my way back to the McPherson Square area, where the bulk of the protesters were. Winding through the streets (the most direct route was now cut off by the police, with the parade imminent), the crowd was about evenly divided between Trump fans and protesters. My efforts to engage the Trump supporters met with little response. “He’s gonna be great,” said one middle-aged, middle-class type in an oldschool suit, walking with his wife. “He’s gonna concentrate on real things, instead of wasting time and money on silly things like Obama’s been doing.” When I asked him what sort of “real” things he meant, he ventured: “Law enforcement.” We arrived at Farragut Square, established as a sort of staging ground by the

protesters, with big tents and displays set up. The surrounding streets were filled with noisy, spirited anti-Trump protesters, some beating on drums and most holding handmade signs. I marched with them toward McPherson — beyond which, the police were blocking access, and hundreds of arrestees waited endlessly in “kettles.” Just before the police lines, some hotheads had set a garbage can on fire, and the air was filled with acrid smoke. A young Asian woman had a handscrawled message with a wistful but determined tone: “YES WE COULD, YES WE DID, YES WE WILL.” Her name was Selena (she declined to give a surname), and she works with a juvenile justice advocacy group in Baltimore. I asked, What will we do? “Keep protesting, keep fighting,” she said. Two young white guys held aloft a big banner with a reproduction of a panel from a 1940s comic book showing Captain America slugging Hitler and sending him flying. The caption: “Fighting Nazis is an American tradition! Stop the ‘altright’!” One of the two was Gabe Lezra, a lawyer from New York City. When asked about his banner, he replied, “The altright represents a fascistic current in American politics, reflected in waves of hate crimes. One of the most important cultural battles going on now is against the emergence of a radical Europeanstyle right-wing politics in this country.” A sandy-haired man held a particularly provocative sign — for this crowd. It had the faces of Ralph Nader and Jill Stein — the Green Party presidential candidates in 2000 and 2016, respectively — in red circles with slashes across them. It read: “When is the delusional ‘Green Party’ going to stop electing Republicans?” The sign holder was Sean McCrohon,

a D.C.-area independent researcher. “Hillary was not perfect, obviously,” he said. “But we had a binary choice and a vote for anyone else was a vote for Donald Trump. There’s no sense in America in creating minor parties. You have to build coalitions. It’s slow and frustrating. It’s important to challenge young people who think there’s no difference between the Democrats and Republicans.” And now? “God knows we’re facing the worst president since the Civil War — since Jefferson Davis,” he said. “He has the mind of a 7-year-old, and he has the ability to destroy the world. We have to do everything we can to resist. I’ve never felt so despairing about the future of the country.” He also recommended, “We have to force the Democrats to stop him from acting on his agenda, to filibuster, to do whatever it takes.” Staceyann Chin, a Jamaica-born Brooklyn-based poet, story-teller and L.G.B.T. activist, was taking in the scene as I was. I asked her thoughts on the challenges ahead. Staying in town for the massive Women’s March the following day, she emphasized the urgency of moving beyond single-issue politics. “We’re going to have to be multisectorial and multi-platform,” she said. “Everything we do has got to make the connections. We have to talk to each other like never before. We have to find out what ‘together’ looks like. The system is predicated on division. But we’re in a new soup.” Almost as an admonition to herself, she added, “I have to remind myself why tomorrow is important, and why the next four years of resistance is important — mandated, in fact.” Januar y 26, 2017

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When in rage or doubt, always cherchez la mom RHYMES WITH CRAZY BY LENORE SKENAZY

R

emember the bad old days when a rape victim would show up in court and the defense attorney would say, “Why was her skirt so short?” As if the woman caused her own rape. Only gradually did it dawn on us what was really going on: We were “blaming the victim.” Basically, we’re all so afraid that something awful like this could happen to us or a loved one that we automatically come up with a way to reassure ourselves it never will. We tell ourselves, “We’re totally different, so we’ll be safe.” Once we saw how cruel and clueless it is to believe only bad people get hurt, we became a more empathetic society. Except when it comes to moms. “Blaming Mothers: American Law and the Risks to Children’s Health” (NYU Press), is a new book by Linda C. Fentiman, a Pace University Law professor, that looks at the way we have kept moms in the crosshairs of our condemnation. From pre-birth through adolescence, when something goes wrong with kids, often it is considered morally — and even

legally — mama’s fault. For instance, in 2004 when a woman in Utah elected not to have a Caesarian and one of her twins was born stillborn, she was charged with murder. The fact that stillbirths are fairly common didn’t matter. Nor did the fact that she had no intention of killing her child. All that mattered was there was someone to blame. Regina McKnight, a South Carolina mom, was also convicted of homicide in the stillbirth of her baby because she admitted to using cocaine when pregnant. I think we all agree it is tragic that people get addicted to drugs. But the idea that cocaine causes stillbirth is not medically supported. Moreover, as a friend of the court briefing noted, “Nicotine use, poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care, or other conditions commonly associated with the urban poor” are all suboptimal. Does that mean we should prosecute any preg-

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nant woman who’s not upper-middleclass “perfect”? McKnight’s 20-year sentence was reversed seven years later in state court. Fentiman also looks at the issue of child abuse. Often when a child is hurt or killed by a dad or the mother’s boyfriend, it is the mom who is prosecuted, for not stopping it. The completely unrealistic idea is that the moment a mother realizes her child is being abused, she must move out of the house and report the abuser to the police. Otherwise, she can be considered guilty for failing to act. “The legal system is not taking into account all the structural barriers that impede women from leaving their husbands,” Fentiman told me in a phone interview. For instance, sometimes the woman has no money to leave, or no place to go. Sometimes she is afraid that if she calls the cops, the abuser will become even more violent. But the law seems to believe a good mom should be a perfect mom, no matter what the obstacles. How did we get so harsh? Fentiman lists several unconscious biases at work: Hindsight Bias: Once a tragedy has occurred, it is impossible to look back and truly see things the way we saw them before the bad event. Now that we know the sad truth, it feels like it must have been obvious. Why didn’t the mom predict and prevent it? The Fundamental Attribution Er-

ror: This is the unconscious belief about karma — that bad things only happen to bad people. Naturally, if something bad happens to us, we understand all the variables that led to it — all the things beyond our control. But when something bad happens to someone else, we think they could have stopped it but didn’t. Shame (and blame) on them. The Reasonable Man Theory: In the olden days, negligence was determined by whether someone did what “the reasonable man” would have done in the situation, like not leaving a 4-year-old home alone for a weekend. But now that we think about the “reasonable woman,” the bar is higher. “A reasonable mother is supposed to be superhuman and always do anything to minimize the risk to her children and to selflessly never do anything for herself,” says Fentiman. So if something bad happens to a child while the mom was, say, napping, she can be blamed for daring to shut her eyes. Causation: The American legal system holds the primitive notion that there’s only one cause of any problem. So the child who is beaten to death is not a victim of some toxic combination of poverty, an abusive dad and a broken system. The tragedy is simply the fault of a mom who didn’t save the child. It is easy and satisfying to blame the mom. Someday we’ll also realize that it is wrong.

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Church of the Safe to Say It SANCTUARY puts marginalized artists in the front pew

PHOTO BY HUNTER CANNING

Vocal trio SIREN did a searing version of Kat y Perr y’s “Dark Horse,” making good on their vow to “take pop songs and cover them in grav y.”

BY SCOTT STIFFLER

I

t wasn’t that kind of Inaugural Ball. Nobody looked past trans theatre artist Maybe Burke’s talent, caring only about who designed the clothes; and eyes didn’t dart when Natalie Douglas declared, “I’m a woman, so bleeding is political” before nailing a song about meeting Jesus in a Christopher Street gay bar; and not a single person in attendance answered the refrain of vocal trio SIREN — “How am I going to be an optimist about this?” — with the snide suggestion that they just get over it already and give the new guy a chance. There were, however, plenty of knowing nods when SANCTUARY co-creator Jonathan Cottle opened the month-long series by acknowledging, “Yeah. It’s been a day.” Those assembled on Jan. 20 in the Mainstage space of Manhattan’s HERE arts center stood in stark contrast to how Donald J. Trump celebrated the first night of his presidency. Actually, they sat — cabaret-style, downing wine and beer and cheese puffs, and looking pretty damn good in the candlelight, given the grim tone of that day. TheVillager.com

By the 8:30 p.m. curtain, a number of progressive causes had been (and remain) ghosted from the White House website — and a prediction of the same fate for federal arts funding was among the ominous things occupying the top of everybody’s news feed. Although Twitter and Facebook know what you like to hear about, an informed algorithm doesn’t cut it when the thing you really need is a brick-and-mortar destination whose prime directive is to celebrate lives lived outside the margins. Performances, dance events, panel discussions, and community organizing training sessions on the SANCTUARY schedule through Feb. 18 may provide a safe space for participants, but the project itself is rooted in leaving one’s comfort zone: Cottle, a set designer, and old friend Adam Salberg, a sound designer, had never taken it upon themselves to produce a show before. “We’re not a writing/directing duo,” noted Cottle — a disclaimer repeated at the SANCTUARY Inaugural Ball, where he and Salberg submerged themselves in the uncharted waters of hosting a variety showcase. “Fair warning,” announced the visibly nervous Salberg. “I’m on enough Xanax to

PHOTO BY NO FUTURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Black actors stuck in a bit par t audition time loop resolve to write their own ending, in Feb. 1’s “Room 4.”

sedate a small horse.” The techies-turnedemcees didn’t have much to apologize for. Between the two of them, they turned out to be one fine Ed Sullivan. As for what you’ll see during the month-long series, Azure D Osborne-Lee, Debra Morris, and Jenna Grossano (she of the nonprofit theatre company Less Than Rent) were brought on board to curate the talent. The results of their effort include Jan.

27-29’s “Next Faggot Nation,” in which The Fossick Collective uses “Faggots’” (Larry Kramer’s 1978 novel of pre-AIDS sex and drugs), along with other icons and influences, as a way to “hold a mirror up to the younger generation of gay men to bring a call to action.” Conceived and designed by Ran Xia in collaboration SANCTUARY continued on p. 21 Januar y 26, 2017

19


All This Jazz!

Two series highlight old vets, idiosyncratic artists BY SEAN EGAN

“W

hen I got into music, honestly, everyone was doing the Monk contest — so many, it was basically like the NBA finals for us,” recalled jazz pianist Orrin Evans of his experience as a finalist at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. In the years following that 1999 edition of the venerated jazz contest, Evans participated in numerous ensembles, amassed an impressive discography, and today enjoys a busy gig schedule. Why take the time for recollection then? February marks the beginning of the annual Monk in Motion: The Next Face of Jazz series — a concert program run by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which usually highlights the finalists of the most recent edition of their Competition. This year, however, the Institute is taking a bit of a stroll down memory lane, turning the reins over to Competition alums who’ve gone on to find success beyond the contest — hence Evans’ involvement. Following his Feb. 4 opening salvo, 2010 contest finalist Charenee Wade and 2003 finalist David Gibson are set to take the spotlight on Feb. 18 and March 4, respectively. Coming off the heels of her 2016 effort “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson,” vocalist Wade promises to bring her own smooth arrangements and soulful singing to the stage. Trombonist Gibson — who has performed with Evans’ own Captain Black Big Band — will be accompanied by a quartet of musicians for his set. For his part, Evans has decided to prepare a set full of Thelonious Monk arrangements with his sidemen — a program they usually reserve only to mark Monk’s birthday. “It’s something that I’ve needed to do, not something that I always wanted

PHOTO BY JOHN ABBOTT

COURTESY THELONIOUS MONK INSTITUTE OF JAZZ

Orrin Evans’ Thelonious Monk tribute set opens the Monk in Motion series on Feb. 4.

Trombonist David Gibson leads a quintet on March 4, for the Monk in Motion series.

to do,” explained Evans, noting that they often twist their arrangements to sound “totally different from Monk,” while still maintaining his spirit. “I would hope that what [the audience will] hear and what they expect to hear, is a representation of freedom and openness, and with a respect to the history and culture and all of the people and the forefathers that created this music,” he elaborated, expressing hope that his playing (while not imitative) will help “keep [Monk’s] essence alive.” “An opportunity to play is always special, but with it being based on the Monk contest — I guess that’s an extra

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Luigi & Langston In Honor of African American History Month: Plays by famous and emerging playwrights. February 2nd - 12th Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sat. & Sun. 3:00 PM 20

Januar y 26, 2017

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“An exhilarating show in the vein of Hip-Hop Theater” Jan.19 - Feb.5 Thurs. - Sat. 8:00 PM Sat. & Sun. 3:00 PM

special little treat,” he continued, citing the Monk Institute’s ongoing educational efforts as an admirable resource. “I love that I’m a part of it.” Monk in Motion isn’t the only jazz game in town this winter. Just a short jaunt north, the “Sound It Out” series runs concurrently. The year-round program, curated by music journalist Bradley Bambarger, has gained acclaim for its high-quality, if idiosyncratic, lineups of stylistically diverse artists. “I think it’s a really cool series — I like the type of stuff [Bambarger] programs, so I was actually pretty stoked when he wrote to me to ask me to play,” said Nick Millevoi, a guitarist scheduled for a set on Feb. 11, noting Bambarger keeps the series “carefully curated,” and highlights music from across the jazz spectrum. Indeed, for just the next month or so, Bambarger has lined up an eclectic mix of artists. The week before Millevoi takes the stage, classical pianist Taka Kigawa will take jazz-influenced pieces by composers like Stravinsky out for a spin, followed by a set from Color Wheel, a new quartet featuring pianist Sebastian Ammann. The week after Millevoi’s gig will find European piano/cello duo Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier bringing their moody and meditative stylings stateside to play a set in support of their newest album together, “Nuit Blanche.” And

COURTESY THELONIOUS MONK INSTITUTE OF JAZZ

Charenee Wade, vocalist and 2010 Monk Competition finalist, takes to the Monk in Motion stage on Feb. 18.

that’s just the beginning — Sound It Out already has acts booked through June 29. As for where Millevoi fits in, he’ll be playing with his Desertion Trio, which has found its footing at the crossroads of classic rock and free jazz. The trio’s named after his latest LP, an instruJAZZ continued on p. 21 TheVillager.com


PHOTO BY HUNTER CANNING

L to R: Jonathan Cottle and Adam Salberg left their comfort zone to host the SANCTUARY Inaugural Ball.

PHOTO COURTESY FOSSICK COLLECTIVE

“Next Faggot Nation,” Jan. 27-29, challenges the current crop to make their mark on activism and art. SANCTUARY continued from p. 19

with Charlotte Arnoux, Feb. 8’s “Harmony” is a sound sculpture that draws upon the collective consciousness to form an audio document of in-the-moment global

JAZZ continued from p. 20

mental disc with sprawling soundscapes, alternately melodic and proggy, gentle and aggressive. While the group is still evolving, it represents a synthesis of Millevoi’s far-flung musical influences — spanning everything from Neil Young records to harsh-and-noisy jazz/ punk — with his own unique playing at the center. “Sometimes it’s more like a free jazz spin on there, sometimes it’s more of like an open free rock kind of vibe that we’re taking to approach the material,” said Millevoi, describing the group’s distinctive tonal palette. “Any sound that I’m working with is just something that feels personal. So to jump around never feels like that crazy of a thing, as much as it might be aesthetically crazy.” Millevoi is confident that audiences will stay along for (and enjoy) the sonic ride they’ll take them on, due to their TheVillager.com

concerns. Feb. 14’s “Monopoly: A Landlord’s Game” is a dance piece by Megan Minturn, honoring the life of little-known Monopoly creator Lizzie Maggie and applying her board game’s rules to, among other things, economic injustice and for-profit prisons. Two panel discussions — “Envisioning Full Gender Inclusivity in the American Theater: What Does It Look Like?” and “Ally-ship in the Arts: How to Be a Change-maker Without Making It About You” — don’t have dates yet, but are expected to land in the last two weeks of the schedule. For the visual identity of SANCTUARY, Cottle drew on his day job knowhow (along with a fondness for pews and red curtains) to immerse the audience in “different protest and counterculture movements, including Weimar, Berlin — that queer sexual revolution; and the riot grrrl feminist punk scene in the early ’90s. The other inspiration is the idea of making it a sacred space, because a lot of churches have been associated with activism, with human rights movements.” As for content on the stage, “We decided we wanted to make the heart of this about provid-

ists who were from ing a forum for artists nalized groups, who traditionally marginalized dministration; queer are targets of the administration; ople of color.” folks, feminists, people Many of the artistss presented by SANCTUARY have been making personal, poal work, noted Cottle, litical, confrontational “since way before the election, and they will rk like this. We didn’t continue to make work seek out any specific thematic material. We reated in response to did get some stuff created ny people already had the election, but many acism or misogyny — stuff that addresses racism and it’s made all the more relevant now.” ple of the latter is One notable example “Room 4,” which gets another well-deserved go-round after a successful fall prov Theater in run at the Peoples Improv Manhattan. Written by the team of ces four black Marina & Nicco, it forces ame audition actors to repeat the same rribly written for a bit part in a horribly ama. Having police procedural drama. ts time loop tremendous fun with its gimmick (which the playwrights ereotypical know is every bit as stereotypical ug Dealer as that coveted “Drug #2” role), the one-act is full of surprises — the best of which ngry theshappens when the hungry pians become aware of their power to shatter an unjust cycle by taking a red pen to or them. what’s been written for r: for the It’s a fitting metaphor: ANCTUplay, the whole of SANCTUARY, and the dauntingg task that lies ahead. Through Feb. 18 at HERE (145 Sixth Ave.; enter on ock south Dominick, one block st perforof Spring St.). Most 30pm and mances begin at 8:30pm 0. For resmost tickets are $20. ervations and the schedule of events, visit here.org (order tickets by phone 212-3523101).

PHOTO BY HUNTER CANNING

Theatre ar tist and trans activist Maybe Burke spoke on visibility, invisibility, and the power of identit y.

faith in Bambarger and the Sound It Out brand. “When it’s a carefully curated experience by somebody who’s really passionate, those are always the most meaningful experiences,” Millevoi asserted. “That’s the best way to reach the audience that’s most interested or, often, most openminded to what you’re doing.” Monk in Motion plays Saturdays: Feb. 4, 18, & Mar. 4, at 7:30pm. At the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St., btw. Greenwich & West Sts.). For tickets ($30; $20 students/seniors) and info, visit tribecapac.org. Get info on the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at monkinstitute.org. Sound It Out takes place at Greenwich House Music School (46 Barrow St., btw. Bedford & Bleecker Sts.). Dates, times and ticket prices vary. For tickets and info, visit facebook.com/sounditoutnyc or greenwichhouse.org.

PHOTO BY MATT HURST

Guitarist Nick Millevoi will lead his Deser tion Trio through genrebending, jazz y numbers: Feb. 11, at the Sound It Out series.

Januar y 26, 2017

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PHOTO BY JOHN PENLEY

Definitely not intimidated by Donald Trump and the Republicans.

Letters to the Editor LETTERS continued from p. 16

Trump” (Global Village, by Bill Weinberg, Jan. 19): Bill Weinberg informs us that Sarah Schulman “organized the first U.S. tour of Palestinian queer leaders to oppose ‘pinkwashing’ — Israel’s exploitation of its gayfriendly image for public relations.” If Iran stopped hanging homosexuals, including gay teenagers, would Sarah Schulman condemn it as pinkwashing? If Iran had annual gay pride parades, would that be pinkwashing? If Iran had openly gay men and women serving in its armed forces, would Schulman denounce that as pinkwashing? I can’t read Schulman’s mind, so I don’t know the answers to these questions. Speaking personally, however, I would be overjoyed if Iran did these things — just as I am overjoyed by the fact that Israel does them. George Jochnowitz

Verdict: Go, Shollenberger! To The Editor: Re “Here comes the judge” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Jan. 5): Congrats to Ms. Elizabeth Shollenberger! Over many years she has tirelessly served this community and me. I could not imagine a fairer, more intelligent choice for judge. If that’s what makes a machine politico — then let’s get more of those. Jessica Berk

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Januar y 26, 2017

Bicycle fanatics’ spin To The Editor: Re “On 14th St., cycling will save us once again” (talking point, by Yuki Courtland and Paul Steely White, Jan. 19): The writers state: “A whole generation of residents started riding during the oil crisis of the 1970s.” Such nonsense! First of all, these two were kids in the 1970s and didn’t live in New York at the time. How would they know? Second, it is a blatant lie to say a “whole generation” started bike riding due to the oil crisis or other calamities they cite. Carpooling? Yes? Cycling? A lie. Third, if cycling is so healthy, why are the cycling fanatics at Transportation Alternatives always whining whenever a cyclist is killed or injured? Sorry, kids, you can’t have it both ways. Cycling is either healthy or it’s dangerous to health — especially in New York City. Finally, neither of these two live anywhere near 14th St. in our Village. Where do these two interlopers, two paid spokespersons for a private agenda, think the traffic on 14th St. will go? Duh-oh! To adjacent, much narrower side streets, wreaking havoc on the residents and businesses. A dumb idea from two hipsters trying to make a living at our expense.

I’m proud to be a contributor to Chris Marte’s City Council campaign. Matching funds will make the race a far more even playing field than his previous one. In the State Committee race — which did not have public matching funds — I had the pleasure of running against him, and I outraised him 3 to 1. Yet he beat me by about 2 percentage points. He can do a lot with a dollar. Dodge Landesman E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

Michelle Jordan

Matching funds will help To The Editor: Re “Chin challenger” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Jan. 19): TheVillager.com


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