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We are the 99 percent

NYC Threatens Imminent Eviction Of 24/7 Sandy Relief Hub

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 30, 2012, 3:07 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: nyc, occupy sandy, staten island

Info via Occupy Sandy - Staten Island / SI Recovers. Get up-to-date info on Twitter: @SIrecovers

ACTION ALERT: Support the community hub at 489 Midland Ave

—Come to 489 Midland Ave Staten Island, NY 10306 to stand in support
—Volunteers requested to help move the hub to 100% private property

—Demand the Mayor’s office end community hub eviction and instead support hubs with space and equipment
—Public Advocate’s office: (212) 669-7250 9am-5pm EMAIL: GetHelp@pubadvocate.nyc.gov

The community-run network of support for food, volunteering, supplies, clothing, and human services is an essential part of the New York City recovery efforts, and the mayor’s office wants to shut it down immediately. The mayor’s office is calling upon local police forces to “clear all outdoor sites” effective immediately. We are calling on all New Yorkers to advocate on behalf of these community run hubs that provide essential services to those whom the city and federal government, and support agencies, have under-served, neglected, or abandoned.

We call on the city, service organizations and police to support these crucial hubs by maintain location and services to community, offering tents, generators, and storage pods for supplies or finding free, nearby, and feasible medium to long term spaces where hubs can operate.

This Friday morning Staten Island police representing the mayor’s office have threatened eviction action against the crucial Staten Island hub at 489 Midland Avenue, in the heavily hit Midland Beach area. Aiman Youssef, a 42-year-old Syrian-American Staten Islander whose house was destroyed in the hurricane, has been running a 24/7 community pop up hub outside his property at 489 Midland Avenue since the day after the storm. He and a coalition of neighbors, friends and community members are serving hot food and offering cleaning supplies, non-perishables, medical supplies, and clothing to the thousands of residents who are still without heat, power, or safe housing. This popular hub is well-run, well-staffed, and has a constant hum of discussion, support, and advice as well as donations and pick ups and volunteer dispatch through another pop-up group, volunteers who call themselves “The Yellow Team.”

At the standing-room only Town Hall meeting at Staten Island’s New Dorp High School last night, Youssef was the first to raise his voice in the question and answer period. The community’s expression of extreme need and frustration with the lack of official support made for a contentious environment where city government officials offered few solutions. At one point borough president James Molinaro asked the audience “You wanna shut your mouth?” due to their increasingly loud demands for community support and housing solutions.

We ask all New Yorkers and Sandy supporters worldwide to not heed Molinaro’s demand, but to speak out as Youssef did. Ask the mayor’s office to support, not evict, the well-run community support hubs giving crucial services to New Yorkers in need.



Read the Rules
[-] 7 points by mayfreedomring (7) 11 years ago

My mother was born on Staten Island (NY Irish-1912) and she is probably turning in her grave regarding what Mr. Molinaro is threatening to do. People helping people is essential moral behavior. Telling citizens to "shut your mouth" is to me, arrogant, shameful and downright embarrassing to read about. Sounds thuggish. Mr. Youssef sounds like a hero.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Its not just Molinaro. Go try to feed the homeless here. Its illegal. Go chalk your protests outside the courthouse here. Illegal. Go protest drone usage . Illegal. Go into the park at night to hang out, a park that your tax dollars pay for, you will be asked to leave by people who are also paid for by your tax dollars. Its everywhere.

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (23799) 11 years ago

Solidarity with Occupy Sandy Staten Island!

Listen Mr. Molinaro, we know you don't like Occupy in your conservative territory but don't do the wrong thing here and evict this important hub of help and support for the devastated people of Staten Island. Put your politics aside for once.

[-] 6 points by rriverstone (6) 11 years ago

Mr. Molinaro, please don't make it illegal for the neighbors to help themselves, restore their lives, regain their independence, keep each other safe, warm and well-fed, rebuild and restore! This news is spreading across social media now, so the whole world is, quite literally, watching you. Many more people than those in that neighborhood are concerned about this. It's nearly Christmas, sir! How will it look if a fine, Christian man evicts people from restoring their own neighborhoods in the dead of winter?

[-] 5 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

I was at Aiman's distribution center on Thanksgiving. The Red Cross delivered Thanksgiving specialties. We formed an assembly line to pack separate dinners and then groups fanned out through the neighborhood to deliver them. Later I was there helping unload a van of food and personal hygiene products that a couple had brought from the husband's workplace. Very informal and need answering.

It shouldn't be called an Occupy hub -- it's a spontaneous community run emergency supplies center that was very happy to have Occupy volunteers (and other walk in volunteers). The Occupy Sandy hub (as in base of operations and storage area) is St. Jacobi Lutheran church in Brooklyn.

Every 4 or five blocks along Midland Ave. are other community-banding-together self help sites. I thought the community response in Staten Island was simply fantastic. Neighbors taking care of neighbors. Supplying both food and necessities (they still don't have enough water, toilet paper, baby food etc.) and keeping up morale.

Aiman's Yellow Team was absolutely on the ball, even organizing demolitions.

It was clear that these centers are simply essential. The folks around there are still hurting. I can't imagine what the mayor's office is thinking. There is no entity that can fill the gap. Maybe they think it looks bad, third worldish or something. That would be very sad, if that's their motivation.

I don't think the centers will go away and I hope the police don't enforce their orders to close them down.

I'm sure Aiman and the other centers would love to have volunteers and witness there tomorrow. (Hopefully Mayor Mike didn't pull a Zuccotti and evict these neighborhood centers overnight.)

[-] 3 points by honeybadger (3) 11 years ago


As a volunteer firefighter that almost got electrocuted twice (Aluminum Siding + Pike Pole * Downed Wires on Unknown Fire Source Calls = ZAP!) and almost cooked in a basement fire during the most fierce part of the storm I started looking for FEMA. Guess what? Nowhere to be found.

Few days later, meeting at the fire academy to assess responder needs. Whole top floor is off limits because FEMA took it over. However, must of been just a reservation because there was NOBODY on the top floor. Meeting in the cafeteria was a plus, but seriously wtf?

Oh but man were there a TON of red cross (still no FEMA though) when Obama came to visit NY. The next day though, didn't see anyone again.

Occupy people are reliable, got FDNY folk in Staten Island that saw them braving the mess to help. FEMA wouldn't piss on Staten Island if it was on fire, they just metaphorically did #2 on it by not showing up at all.

Occupy Long Beach please. Doing standby over there on Saturday with other departments. No FEMA there either.

[-] 3 points by OSstatenisland (3) 11 years ago

Update: the official warning given was for "street vending." There is no economic exchange going on at the site, just mutual aid.

Also POI: it's not Molinaro putting on the pressure, it's the mayor's office.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

Maybe the evictions could be stopped then with a show cause order until worked out in court.

[-] 3 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Anyone that wants to shut this down should be immediately removed from office and sent out to sea.

[-] 2 points by JohnnyX (2) 11 years ago

I was a tea party guy back when it first started and was excited to see the OWS movement form, until it became evident that while they were against big business, they seemed to be fine with big government. I hope you folks are beginning to see the dangers of big government. You might find out that you have more in common with us pre-corporate tea party types than you originally thought, and by that I guess I mean the Ron Paul Tea Party, not the Koch Brother tea party. Take on the government welfare state as well as the corporate welfare state, and watch your movement grow. I look forward to it.

[-] 2 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

There's something terribly wrong here. What is the mayor's motivation?

The bad press over "official" help failures? FEMA and the Red Cross demanding an end to amateur help? (During Katrina, they urged no self help but were very slow to hit the ground. New Orleans and the state instead should immediately have brought fuel trucks as close to the water as possible and invited private boaters to help rescue residents. The whole thing was a fiasco.) 1%ers hating self sufficient 99%ers? The 1%ers clearly want the masses infantilized (this is a huge topic for another time).

Closing these hubs down just doesn't make any sense. When they are no longer needed they will disappear. Now they fulfill a real need.

[-] 2 points by sassykathy46 (2) 11 years ago

What is Bloomberg's problem? - Is the major afraid that Occupy Sandy makes him, the Red Cross and FEMA look as bad as they are?!? I've read first hand accounts by Facebook friends in NY and NJ and they tell me that Occupy Sandy was there first with the most in those neighbourhoods less affluent than Wall Street. I also know that the Wall Street area was the first to have its power restored in spite of Wall Street's infamy as an area overpopulated with un-prosecuted criminals. When our political system is rotten to the core with corruption, I suppose it should come as no surprise that Wall Street's thieves and their political prostitutes are watching each other's backs in their time of need.

[-] 2 points by tankcoil (37) 11 years ago

Mr. Molinaro, I am speaking from India. I once knew USA as UNITED States of America. The way things are happening today as "development" is lack of unity. Do you really want to be branded and remembered as UNUNITED States of America? The difference is as big as GRACE and DISGRACE. That reminds me of John Newton; he was a slave trader and captain of his ship that transported thousands of slaves. His ship faced storms that churned up towering waves. For the first time of his life he bent down on his knees and prayed to God. His prayer was answered; the storm died and all lives were saved. You may not know the slave trader John Newton but you certainly have heard the Soul-awakening song AMAZING GRACE. Today John Newton lives in that song; he wrote that song. Remorse turned the slave trader into a dear clergyman. The world would love you if you make that DISGRACE to GRACE journey, it will be an AMAZING experience to you and to the rest of the world.

[-] 1 points by docholly (1) 11 years ago

i think Bloomie is afraid that when OWS takes up in Freedom Park again.. that this time both FDNY and NYPD will side with Occupy. It's not Bloomie out there in the trenches - it's every day people helping people.

[-] 1 points by elcielo (1) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

totally uncalled for and disheartening when people can't help neighbors in time of need and distress. A revaluation of our morals and ethics is in order. This is totally politically motivated as they do not want to embarrass City and Femma agencies. Which are like Hal in self protection mode right now.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 11 years ago

Punishment of disaster victims, by elite/government.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

In compliment/support - Consider : ( for local and federal government failure to support the people - and worse - for working against The People )


[-] 0 points by Dragontech64 (1) from Tacoma, WA 11 years ago

Bloomberg has all sorts of calls for support for ISRAEL, but when it comes to helping his own people at home, THIS is his answer? "You wanna shut your mouth?" from his Proxy? This man has no soul, and needs to be taken out of office. Recall Bloomberg!

[-] 0 points by sufinaga (513) 11 years ago

put all your energy and love into these locally-based self-help mutual-aid hubs. we need more of them in every community. come together, smoke lovely marijuana together, reason together and re-build together!

[-] 1 points by Damhert (1) 11 years ago

And what has marijuana to do with it?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Hemp has GR8 potential for industry and jobs. No doubt - not what suffering had in mind.

[-] 1 points by sufinaga (513) 11 years ago

marijuana is the tree of life of revelations FOR THE HEALING OF NATIONS! marijuana is the true holy communion. marijuana is the plant of renown of ezekiel 34 v 29. marijuana is brain food. smoke marijuana and REASON TOGETHER and stop bowing down to "authorities" who live elsewhere and are parasites on our community.

[-] 1 points by Dragontech64 (1) from Tacoma, WA 11 years ago

Building camaraderie. Shared relaxation activity like that, or having a BBQ or block party helps bind communities together rather than having everyone inside glued to Bachelor, Kardashians, Facebook or Twitter, not knowing the other people they live with, let alone their community. Marijuana is just one example. If you don't want to do that with your neighbors, try something else you all like.