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BARACK OBAMA - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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BARACK OBAMA

Nevermind the Anarchists: Socialists Convene at ‘Peace Pentagon’


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DSCN0103 Rob Miller performs.

Anarchists weren’t the only oft-maligned political group to convene in the East Village this weekend. The Socialist Party USA, which has about 1,000 members nationwide, hosted a regional conference that drew a modest 15 people from New York City, Long Island and New Jersey to the party’s third-floor offices in the building known as the Peace Pentagon.

The Muste Building, a rundown three-story loft structure on Bleecker and Lafayette Streets, was named after a Dutch-born Pacifist clergyman, and has gone by its alternate name since the 1970s. Radical groups like the Granny Peace Brigade, Global Revolution TV, and the War Resisters League (which once owned the building) are among about 10 non-profits currently maintaining low-rent offices plastered with posters, announcements and pictures of New York anarchist icons like Emma Goldman.

On Saturday, entry into the Socialist Party USA’s quarters was $5, which got attendees music, a talk from a French leftist, dinner, a protest rally and plenty of lively conversation. Read more…


Know Your Occupiers: The Union Square Protester Primer, Pt. 5


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Who are the men and women seeking to occupy Union Square Park? So far we’ve met Karin Hofmann and Justin Stone-Diaz; Fathema Shadida and Tim “Chyno” Chin; John Eustor and Carlton Hall; and Ed Mortimer and James Pistocco. Today, in the final installment of The Local’s series, meet two more of your new neighbors.

Sam WoodJared Malsin

Name: Sam Wood
Age: 22
Originally from: Farmingdale, New York
Current residence: Full-time occupier. “I’ve spent a decent amount of nights here in Union Square.”
Job before joining occupy: Unemployed
Current job: Full-time occupier, unemployed Read more…


Know Your Occupiers: The Union Square Protester Primer, Pt. 4


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Who are the men and women seeking to occupy Union Square Park? So far we’ve met Karin Hofmann and Justin Stone-Diaz; Fathema Shadida and Tim “Chyno” Chin; and John Eustor and Carlton Hall. Today, meet two more of your new neighbors.

Ed MortimerJared Malsin

Name: Ed Mortimer
Age: 56
Originally from: Connecticut
Current residence: Full-time occupier. Couch surfing. Occasionally sleeping on street.
Current job: Volunteer street medic
Looking for work? No. Dedicated to work with Occupy: “I’ve never worked so hard in my whole life.” Read more…


Know Your Occupiers: The Union Square Protester Primer, Pt. 3


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Who are the men and women seeking to occupy Union Square Park? So far we’ve met Karin Hofmann and Justin Stone-Diaz as well as Fathema Shadida and Tim “Chyno” Chin. Today, meet two more of your new neighbors.

John EustorJared Malsin

Name: John Eustor
Age: 46
Originally from: Queens
Current residence: Was a full time occupier at Zuccotti Park, currently staying in New Jersey.
Current job: Unemployed computer programmer
Looking for work? “I’ve been looking for work, yeah, but I’m looking for work that is not in that corporate mindset. I worked in pharmaceuticals, banking. I worked on Wall Street for seven years. I worked for all these different kind of industries and they’re all the same.” Read more…


Know Your Occupiers: The Union Square Protester Primer, Pt. 2


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Who are the men and women seeking to occupy Union Square Park? Yesterday we met Fathema Shadida and Tim “Chyno” Chin. Today, meet two more of your new neighbors. 

Karin HofmannJared Malsin

Name: Karin Hofmann
Age: 69
Originally from: Germany. Emigrated to the Bronx at age 12.
Current residence: East 12th Street
Current job: Retired
Ideology: “Definitely a Liberal, and I say it proudly.” Read more…


Know Your Occupiers: The Union Square Protester Primer


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Fathema ShadidaJared Malsin Fathema Shadida in Union Square Park

Since members of the Occupy Wall Street movement launched their attempted occupation of Union Square three weeks ago, the protesters have engaged in a nightly tug-o-war with police. The occupiers have responded to the nightly closure of Union Square Park and arrests with rap battles, sleep-ins and dangling donuts on strings.

But who are the men and women seeking to occupy the square? In hopes of learning more about our new neighbors (some of them old neighbors, actually), The Local spoke with 10 core activists, all of whom have spent at least one night sleeping on the edge of Union Square, and all of whom are dedicating their days to the new protest camp. Here are the vitals on two of them, with more to come every day this week.

Name: Fathema Shadida
Age: 57
Originally from: Sahara, Egypt
Current residence: Brooklyn
Job before joining occupy: New York City Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer Read more…


For Real? Otafuku Selling Obama-Approved ‘Black Boss Coffee’


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IMG_3123Stephen Rex Brown Spotted in Otafuku.
Stephen Rex Brown The sign in context.

During his recent visits to the East Village area, President Obama apparently found time to endorse the Black Boss Coffee at Otafuku. The sign advertising the $2.50 canned drink also declares, “No Mercey For Michelle Backmann.”

An employee at the octopus-balls destination on Ninth Street between Second and Third Avenues said that the sign had been up for a couple of months, and that a customer made it as a joke. “It’s not our biggest seller — it’s pretty strong though,” he said.

But is it stronger than the Obama Coffee from Ray’s Candy Store?


The East Village’s Missing Name


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Four More Years?Susan Keyloun

What is it? The name that’s missing from the East Village?

Think. It’s a name you would expect to hear, but don’t. A name you would expect to encounter in cafes and bars, on street corners and buses, in parks and in shops, in the lobbies of movie theaters and the changing rooms of gyms, on subway platforms and in supermarket lines, and wherever else East Villagers congregate.

The name, still so visible on the Web and audible on TV and radio, has vanished from the neighborhood. Yet it is (surely) the most famous name in the world. It begins with an “o,” and it ends with an “a”: OBAMA! Once it was on everyone’s tongue. Now, it seems, tongues would rather utter any name but that one. The name has been replaced by silence, by the absence of a name. It is a void people no longer know what to do with except to circle around it cautiously while naming other names — Palin, Beck, Murdoch, Cantor, Tea Partiers — as if warding off an evil spell.

There are other people besides Obama you rarely hear discussed these days. For instance, Clinton, Geithner, Bernanke, Biden, Pelosi. The names of those who hold the highest offices in the land are spoken aloud almost as rarely as those of Party officials in a Communist dictatorship. It’s as if merely whispering their names were a crime. It isn’t, of course, but somehow it feels inappropriate.
Read more…