All Quiet in Tompkins Square Park

IMG_2224Toby Nathan Jerry Levy, one of last night’s few protesters.

Tompkins Square Park was more or less empty Sunday night, save for a few extra auxiliary police vehicles and a rag-tag bunch of seemingly bewildered protesters, all in search of a protest that did not happen, despite lively online previews and last-minute reminders.

“Jerry The Peddler,” the “Slum Goddess,” and one or two other local characters showed up to protest Community Board 3’s new policy designed to implement a “better management of scheduling” and control some “volume issues,” according to Susan Stetzer, the board’s district manager. She told The Local by e-mail that the repercussions of the policy have been “exaggerated greatly,” but Jerry Levy, 56, who’s lived in the East Village for 33 years, said Sunday night that he thinks the issue isn’t the volume, but the changing guard of the community.

“If people who live there” – on Seventh Street between Avenues A and B “have issues with the volume, then they shouldn’t have moved there,” he said. “The community overwhelmingly supports the concerts. This” – the noise proposal – “just comes from a few people who are speaking to a receptive ear of a few reactionary members of the community board.”

He says that the community wants “nice, quiet smiley-faced type of events that are geared toward children,” and that the community board “doesn’t represent the community.”

The community did not, however, turn out in overwhelming numbers to support that point of view. Indeed, John Penley, the longtime East Village activist and photojournalist who organized the protest, was nowhere to be found when the time came to demonstrate. Mr. Penley had not returned earlier calls from The Local about the event.