Occupy Sandy Helped Us Fight Crime After Storm, Says NYPD Source

From Occupy Sandy’s Twitter

A New York Police Department source credits Occupy Sandy with helping to deter crime in Brooklyn’s Red Hook housing development after the October storm, reports the New York Post.

In fact, the unlikely cooperation between law enforcement and Occupy Sandy community volunteers resulted in a crime-free spree in and around the Red Hook housing development, which is Brooklyn’s largest public housing project with roughly 5,000 residents.

TheNew York Postwrites:

Police sources have credited the drop in crime to an unlikely coalition that included the NYPD, Occupy Wall Street activists, and local nonprofits working together to keep storm victims safe… A police source said would-be criminals were deterred by the high number of Good Samaritans in the area, as well as the increased cop presence.

‘We had all these potential people who could call 911, in a heartbeat. All the volunteers were potential witnesses,’ said the police source.

In addition to being “eyes and ears” for the area’s residents, Occupy Sandy helpers also worked with police in Coffey Park to set up tents to distribute food, clothes and medicine. Surely, working to meet community members’ basic needs also helped to deter looting and other crimes.

The economic justice movement turned community relief organization is making a discernable impact. Brett Goldberg, who is a veteran of Occupy Wall St. and a full-time activist, told the NY Daily News:

What Occupy Sandy is doing is it’s making a lot of the Occupy organizing very tangible for people. It is definitely bringing in people who never really connected with Occupy before – but now it’s starting to click for them in a different way.

Occupy Sandy has helped to organize a network of six community-hubs, some of which are outdoor, that offer food, supplies, clothing, and human services to people the government has “under-served, neglected, or abandoned.” The grassroots movement has already raised more than $600,000 online and has said it plans to continue community aid for two years.

Last week, we reported that Mayor Mike Bloomberg is threatening to shut down some Occupy Sandy community assistance sites. Click here to see what you can do to help.

Meanwhile, present-day Occupy isn’t limiting itself to only storm relief. As we speak, hundreds of people are filling Times Square to protect the right to organize of low-wage workers such as the NYC food service workers who went on strike last week.

The event is called Rise Up New York! Smash Austerity! Support Workers Organizing and it’s happening right now.


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