Drain The Swamp




(photo) Daby B. Carreras

Ken Gibson

NYC 2020

Yesterday I posted about Lt Wiliam Tighe Triangle, that small park that is under lock and key most of the time in Manhattan. It is run by a mostly, if not all white group, and locals are upset about being excluded from a public park in the city in which they pay taxes.

Today I went there, arriving at 10am, and saw the gate open. But as I got my foot in, a young woman closed it on me and slid the lock through the slit.

“Not so fast”, I told her. I am a member of the public, and this is a public park.

She was unhappy about that and the possibility that I was recording our interaction; which people have a right to do in this state.

As she got on the phone to the ringleaders of RING, a board member arrived and told her to let me in. This man then sat down with me and gave me some very good insights into the situation, with which he too was unhappy. He has seen the discontent in the community, I am not alone in my protest.

Then the conversation turned to a solution, and things were, for the moment at least, pleasantly resolved. While he could not defend the legality of locking the park save for two hours a day, he did say that he was actually hoping for the park to be open at all times to the public, but that it would be best if someone was there as a guide.  The park has elegant features, such as a goldfish pond, and while the installation of such does not give  anyone the rights to take the park away from the public, it is sensible that the park have at all times a docent.

The board member had not had support from the board about this, and we both noted that for the most part, the board was white, quite the minority in this Spanish speaking area of the city.

So the next step is for me to find people willing to work on this, and then re-open the park, and in so doing, reverse a dangerous precedent of allowing public space to be locked down. What if someone put a fence around Central Park and locked it most of the time? Or any other public park? Obviously, this cannot be allowed to continue.

But by peaceful negotiation, a solution has been found and will be worked on. I have yet of course to meet the rest of the board, it is not impossible that they will try to block this, but for the moment, a solution is on the table with one member, and there is hope that the park will be open very soon.

Stay tuned for developments, and please contact us here if you are willing to volunteer some time and get involved in this project. While it is not in the 68th Assembly district, it is an issue that every New Yorker has an interest in and will be looking at.

There are a number of parks in Daby’s district, which includes Central Park, and Daby while none are under lock and key as this one is, there are needs for development and use as educational areas which we will be working on. Allowing this precedent to exist could impact badly upon other parks, including those in Harlem, and we have to be diligent to protect our liberties, as the Founding Father noted.

We would hate to let this continue and wake up one day to find any other parks locked and being run by a small elite, especially in this time of COVID 19 when such spaces are all that some people have.


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