NY abandons plan to clear subways of sleeping homeless people

via The People’s Record.

February 25, 2014

A plan to clear homeless people from New York City subway trains in a pre-dawn Monday operation by police and transportation officials was abandoned amid pressure from campaigners.

Dozens of homeless men and women sleeping on the seats of E line trains as they rolled into the World Trade Center terminal in the early hours were left alone, despite warnings that they would be asked to leave so cars could be cleaned.

“It was postponed,” Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, told the Guardian. “We decided not to go ahead. I can’t give you a specific reason why it was postponed. But it may well take place in the future”.

Detective James Duffy, a spokesman for the New York police department, said in an email: “I’ve learned that the MTA operation for this morning was cancelled”.

City officials told DNAInfo last week that from 3am on Monday, each E train pulling into World Trade Center and the Jamaica terminal at the other end of the line in Queens would be entered by teams of medical staff, police officers and MTA officials.

Other lines were due to be dealt with similarly after the E, which has been the subject of numerous complaints from commuters. The line is particularly popular among sleepers in winter, because it runs 24 hours a day and is completely underground.

Amid sharp criticism, officials clarified that the plan was for an “outreach program” to help homeless people during cold weather. They stressed that no one could be forced to leave the subway system unless they were hurting someone or committing a crime.

“We offer extensive services, ranging from providing them with shelter to helping them if they are sick,” Ortiz said later on Monday.

However, no police or any other officials were at the World Trade Center stop at 3am. Trains carrying a number of sleeping people arrived, idled for about 15 minutes, then set off in the opposite direction.

Volunteers from Picture the Homeless, a group that campaigns for the rights of homeless people, had gathered on the platforms of both stations and were travelling the line to ensure that sleeping people were not mistreated.

“The media attention and all the hubbub probably made them [the MTA and NYPD] stay away,” said Sam Miller, an activist with the group. “But[NYPD commissioner Bill] Bratton has a record of things like this. We expect them to try again another day when we’re not expecting it.”

Picture the Homeless held a rally outside NYPD headquarters on Sunday, along with the New York Civil Liberties Union, other advocacy groups and members of the city council. They demanded that the constitutional rights of homeless people be respected.

Some 52,000 homeless people were living in New York City shelters by the end of 2013, according to Coalition for the Homeless, with thousands more living on streets. The number of homeless people living on the subway system has risen from 1,000 in 2009 to more than 1,800 last year, according to a survey by the city’s department of homeless services.




“Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance…”

via Daffodils by io_nia on Flickr. – Chronicles of a Love Affair with Nature.

Daffodils by io_nia on Flickr


we’ve put a light in the window…

via celia basto | 100% art | 100% ART.

(Fonte: chrystalines75, via this-is-the-thyme)


Heavenly library

erikkwakkel: Heavenly library Today I visited… – Among The Haze Of Memory.


Heavenly library

merton library 001 merton library 002 merton library 003Today I visited the medieval library at Merton College, Oxford as a guest of the Fellow Librarian. It is the UK’s oldest library that was designed to be used by scholars, and it has been functioning as such since its construction in the 1370s. You enter the library at the ground level through a massive door. Going up the stairs you reach the upper floor, where the books are stored. It is sensational to walk among the rows of book cases in the half-lit room. Their shelves are filled with hundreds of early-modern books (many still fitted in their original bindings), which are patiently waiting until someone will touch them again. Heavy benches hoovering over wooden floors are a reminder that this room was once filled with scholars leaning over their books, trying to catch the last light of the day. In the middle of the library a heavy 13th-century book chest is found, next to a small collection of shiny 14th-century astrolabes. What a heavenly place.

Pics (my own): library, book cases, consultation bench, book chest (13th century), stained-glass window (medieval), and entrance. More information about the library on Merton College’s website (here) and also here; more on Merton College, which dates from the 13th-century, here.