Debunking NJ Transit Lies About A Proposed $546 Million New Fossil Power Plant Boondoggle

May 12th, 2020 No comments

Documents Show NJ Transit Lied About Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Federal Funding Driving Christie Era “Resilience” Project

New Fossil Power Makes a Mockery of Gov. Murphy’s Climate & Energy Policies

[Update – letter to DEP below]

Because I’ve followed Trenton environmental politics for over 35 years and witnessed the decline and corrupt degradation, I’m a skeptic and often a cynic. But this one was so bad it shocked me.

This one illustrates what legendary investigative journalist IF Stone wrote: the damning facts are in plain sight, in government documents. (but do journalists even read the documents anymore?)

NJ Transit (NJT) is proposing to build a $546 MILLION new fracked gas fossil fueled 140 megawatt power plant in the Meadowlands in a floodplain and on a toxic waste site, adjacent to a Superfund site, along the Hackensack River, in an air quality non-attainment area with glaring environmental justice issues in Kearny NJ, and while the public is diverted and preoccupied by a deadly pandemic. They put a 0.6 megawatt 4 acre solar farm as lipstick on this pig and portrayed it as a cutting edge energy and climate project.

Can it get any worse?

Just think what more than half a billion dollars could do to address NJ Transit’s infrastructure deficits or advance energy efficiency and renewable energy (instead of building a fossil dinosaur).

Here is the clueless NJ press coverage, which totally misrepresented the project as a done deal, with approvals:

In fact, the project faces huge regulatory and economic hurdles and tremendous public opposition. The “lights” are all flashing red, not green.

I) Orwellian Justification

In order to distract from the facts, the project is euphemistically disguised as the incredibly misleading – “NJ Transit Grid Traction Power System”.

The fossil fueled project is described as a “micro grid”, a path to NJ’s clean energy economy, and that will reduce current greenhouse gas emissions. 

Here’s the complete public notice – it would make Orwell blush.

Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 5.36.03 PM

The fossil project was conceived of, planned, designed and funded YEARS BEFORE GOV. MURPHY’s tenure. Obviously, it can not be reframed as implementing his Executive Orders and climate and energy policies.

II) NJ Transit Project Contradicts Gov. Murphy’s Clean Energy And Climate Policies

The NJT fossil fuel power plant proposal comes at a time when Gov. Murphy has promised to make deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and issued a series of Executive Orders to transition to 100% renewable energy.

At a time when Murphy’s BPU has adopted an Energy Master Plan that seeks to implement that goal.

And at a time when Murphy has issued an Executive Order that directs NJ DEP to enact regulations to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

[Note: the project quietly submitted air quality permits to DEP last year, so even if DEP were to adopt future regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, this project would be exempt from them.]

All this, while environmental groups are demanding that the Gov. impose a moratorium on new fossil infrastructure.

III) NJ Transit Flat Out Lies About Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

NJ Transit’s fracked gas fossil fueled plant would emit about 650,000 tons of greenhouse gases, not counting all the “lifecycle” methane emissions resulting from fracking wells, gas pipeline leaks, and fugitive emissions at compressor stations (none of which were even considered in the “environmental impact statement” (EIS), which was so cursory it was really an “environmental assessment”).

So, as I read the various NJ Transit documents, I was shocked by the claim by NJ Transit that their new 140 MW natural gas plant would REDUCE overall total greenhouse gas emissions by displacing more carbon intensive power plant capacity on the PJM grid.

So, I looked at the numbers.

The NJT gas plant would emit about 650,000 tons of GHG per yer (NOT considering upstream lifecycle emissions from the gas infrastructure, e.g. fracking, fugitive emissions, pipeline and compressor station emissions and leaks etc. This could be another 20% more equivalent GHG emissions).

But, NJT claims: (@ p.36)

“to provide significant environmental benefits by displacing and eliminating hundreds of thousands of tons of GhG emissions each year through generation of power for its own loads and to dispatch into the regional electric system.”

Figure 2-2 on page 37 estimates these NET total GHG emission reductions would range from 50,000 to almost 500,000 tons per year .

But, the NJT analysis uses ONLY FOSSIL FUEL SOURCES in their “displacement” analysis, not the actual mix of fuel type generation sources to the PJM grid – or the dramatic expansion in planned/projected renewable energy that will soon power the PJM grid.

So, I looked up the most recent PJM fuel mix (for 2019), and 18% is zero carbon nuclear, with about another 10% low or no carbon renewables (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal), see pie chart: (and this does not include GHG emission reductions from energy efficiency or demand management).

Use of the actual carbon emissions from the current PJM fuel mix more than wipes out NJ Transit’s  alleged “displacement” GHG emissions reductions.

The “baseline” for any comparison of GHG emissions should be alternative renewable power sources.

I can’t believe they would make exaggerated and false claims on something so critical (i.e. GHG emissions) and so easy to debunk.

On top of this obvious lie, the project assumes that the 140 megawatts in power it generates would displace more polluting current fossil power. This not only ignores low/no carbon nuclear and renewable source of energy to the (current or planned) PJM grid, it has no basis in regulatory reality. There is no regulatory requirement that each megawatt from NJ Transit fossil be displaced by another dirtier fossil plant. More likely, the existing fossil sources that power the PJM grid would continue to operate, would not be displaced, and/or the PJM grid (or PSE&G) would export their power or allocate it to serve new growth or backup reserve power.

They don’t even examine the economic reality of their assumption.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of lies deployed to sell this boondoggle.

IV) Federal Funding Is Driving Project, Not Energy or Climate Policy

I found this gem, in “errata” to revise the text of the Final EIS. It’s part of a disingenuous and cynical effort to claim that the project is consistent with Gov. Murphy’s climate related Executive Orders (28 and 100) and Energy Master Plan. The revisions delete original language and replace it with spin.

But the revised text that is most revealing is excerpted below. It  reveals that FEDERAL FUNDING is what limits the use of off shore wind as a NJT power source, instead of this new $546 million fossil boondoggle. Federal funding  – not technology, economics, energy policy, or greenhouse gas emissions – is what’s driving this boondoggle. NJT is only building it because the feds are picking up the tab.You see, the project is 75% federally funded (only 25% NJ Transportation Trust). Here it is (excerpt of full text, emphasis mine):

1.5.2.9 Chapter 7 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions (p. 17-18)

• Section 7.4.5, page 7-7, includes the following text, revised and supplemented as shown

“Offshore wind energy is an emerging technology. The NJ TRANSITGRID’s design does not preclude the incorporation of the emerging technologies. In keeping with the purpose and need for the proposed Project and consistent with the source of funds for the proposed Project, offshore wind in itself will not satisfy the resiliency and reliability needs of the proposed Project at this time. Therefore, while NJ TRANSIT will likely be using offshore wind energy by 2050 through regional PJM grid, under the current funding, regulatory conditions, and grant requirements, it is not feasible to include offshore wind as a potential replacement to natural gas generation for the proposed Project.”

The “feasibility” of wind has nothing to do with the performance of energy technology, greenhouse gas emissions, or economics. The federal funding won’t allow it.

V)  Original Project Justification Revised

In an extraordinary example of revisionism, the entire purpose and justification of the project is being re-written.

The project was conceived and designed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

But it is now being sold as a project to implement Gov. Murphy’s climate and energy policies.

VI) Energy Justification Would Cripple Renewables

This issue gets fairly technical, but basically the NJT document lays out the rationale for integrating fossil with renewables, while rejecting the feasibility of 100% renewables.

This alleged infeasibility is due not only to the so called renewable power “intermittency” problem (i.e. sometimes the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow), but due to additional technical, regulatory and economic factors and barriers.

To their credit, NJT documents directly engage the issue and pose the question (starting on page 7):

As indicated, NJ TRANSITGRID is being designed to take advantage of anticipated mid- term to long-term technical innovations that will provide a path to net-zero by 2050 for the New Jersey power generation sector. However, this statement may raise the question on why NJ TRANSITGRID would not just go to net-zero power production right away? Why not go immediately to net-zero power production using large-scale renewable energy resources (such as grid-scale PV) coupled with energy storage?

Please read their answer to that question-

They also clearly lay out the fundamental system options we are faced with: either: 1) natural gas with solar & wind, or 2) 100% renewables with energy storage.

If the State of NJ accepts this analysis, it will set a precedent and have dire consequences for the economics, regulation, and infrastructure design (the grid et al) for the entire “transition” to renewables.

VII) Project Is A Federally Funded Throwback to Sandy

This NJT project originated as part of the Christie administration’s response to Superstorm Sandy. It was designed to address the “resilience” issue and provide NJ transit with emergency power. It is now being re-framed and re-packaged as a sustainable energy project and transition to a decarbonized 100% renewable economy (by 2050).

But the NJ Transit documents reinvent this history and present the project as advancing 100% renewables and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s how NJ Transit responded to public criticism:

The proposed Project is designed to serve as a bridge between today’s available technologies and those of the future and has been innovatively designed to evolve over time. During normal operations, the power generated and used by the NJ TRANSITGRID project will eliminate the need for NJ TRANSIT to purchase power from less efficient higher emitting power generating resources, such as older coal and natural gas technologies.

But here is the actual original justification for the project, from the “Purpose and need” section of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) selected the NJ TRANSITGRID TRACTION POWER SYSTEM as one element of the “NJ TRANSITGRID” project, a Public Transportation Resilience Project in response to Hurricane Sandy. FTA’s selection of the proposed Project makes it potentially eligible for funds made available under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113-2).

Clearly, the project had nothing to do with energy or climate policy or Gov. Murphy’s Energy Master Plan or Executive Orders.

VIII) GHG Emission From The Project Are Exempt From DEP Climate Regulations

The project submitted its DEP air quality permits over a year ago. Projects are regulated based on the rules in place at the time permits are submitted, so even if DEP revises regulations, the project is exempt.

Because NJ DEP still does not have enforceable regulations on greenhouse gas emissions – and the BPU Energy Master Plan has no teeth – instead of killing the project for the right energy and climate reasons, the Murphy DEP has the authority and will need to kill the project using the Clean Water Act.

NJ Transit’s own documents explain how:

2.4.7 Water Quality Certificate

Freshwater wetlands and regulated activities in waters of the U.S. within the Meadowlands are regulated by the USACE, not the NJDEP DLUR. However, the USACE requires projects to receive a Water Quality Certificate from the NJDEP DLUR prior to the USACE issuing a permit pursuant to the Clean Waters Act of 1977 or Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, verifying that proposed projects will not negatively affect the quality of waters of the U.S. As the proposed Project includes up to 2 acres of permanent impacts to freshwater wetlands and waters within the Meadowlands District, a Water Quality Certificate will be required.

IX) How has this remained below the radar?

Will NJ environmental activists get the word out?

Will the NJ press corps expose this fraud?

Will Gov. Murphy and DEP Commissioner McCabe walk the walk and block this fossil dinosaur?

Will the NJ legislature hold oversight hearings?

Sadly, we’re not optimistic.

[Update – 5/13/20 –  I sent the below email to Ruth Foster, who heads DEP’s Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review, the Office that reviews Environmental Impact Statements on behalf of DEP:

———- Original Message ———-
From: Bill WOLFE <bill_wolfe@comcast.net>
To: Ruth.Foster@dep.nj.gov
Date: May 13, 2020 at 10:37 AM
Subject: DEIS NJT power plant, Kearny

Hi Ruth – I was just made aware of and read some of the documents on NJ Transit’s proposed 140 MW fossil power plant on the Hackensack River in Kearny.

The DEIS was superficial and flawed, as were your Office’s comments on it.

I realize that DEP still lacks regulations to authorize controls on greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts, but did you even review the material regarding the claim that the plant would reduce current greenhouse gas emissions via displacement of other fossil power generation of the PJM grid?

That displacement argument was totally mis-leading because it did not consider the actual fuel mix on the PJM grid.

There were also major energy and climate technical and policy arguments made that required serious consideration by both DEP and BPU.

The EJ analysis was a joke.

When will DEP take climate and energy infrastructure project reviews seriously?

Wolfe

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

US Supreme Court Finds That Christie Administration Engaged In “Wrongdoing — Deception, Corruption, Abuse of Power” — Christie Claims Vindication

May 7th, 2020 No comments

Court Reaches An Absurd Legal Result 

“Regulatory Choice” – no matter how corrupt – is exempt from federal fraud laws

christie-b4

Today, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in the appeals of convictions of Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni in the Bridgegate scandal.

As the NY Times reports, the Court overturned the convictions, ruling that federal fraud laws do not cover what the court found was a mere exercise of what the Court called “regulatory choice:

[Justice Kagan] went on to write that “the evidence the jury heard no doubt shows wrongdoing — deception, corruption, abuse of power.”

“But the federal fraud statutes at issue do not criminalize all such conduct,” she wrote. “Under settled precedent, the officials could violate those laws only if an object of their dishonesty was to obtain the Port Authority’s money or property.”

And, she wrote, “the realignment of the toll lanes was an exercise of regulatory power — something this court has already held fails to meet the statutes’ property requirement.” […]

Anti-corruption laws, the court has indicated in the McDonnell case and others, were meant to cover only classic bribery and kickbacks. […]

“Justice Kagan wrote that the defendants had given false reasons for their actions, but that lying by government officials was not by itself a federal crime. The lies must also result in “obtaining money or property”.

The Court downplayed the implications of the exercise of regulatory power, essentially distinguishing it from “money or property”.

But that is a false distinction betrayed by abundant facts. The exercise of “regulatory choice” obviously legally is a “thing of value”.

I have spent a 40 year academic and professional career working on “regulatory policy” and what the Court describes as “regulatory choice”.

I can assure you that “regulatory choice” has incredibly large economic, social, environmental, property and political impacts and that these impacts can be and are monetized.

In fact, corporations routinely sue governments for exercises of “regulatory choice” as “takings of private property” in violation of the Constitution’s “takings” clause in the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution.

In fact, there is an entire field of academic and applied economics of the methodology known as “cost-benefit analysis” that seeks to quantify and monetize the economic impacts of “regulatory choice” (phone call for Cass Sunstein):

OIRA under Cass Sunstein has continued to serve as a conduit for industry attacks on environmental, health and safety regulations, often substituting the scientific judgment of its inexpert staff for that of the agencies themselves, and it has persisted in imposing a deeply flawed cost-benefit analysis, all while slowing down an already glacial regulatory process.  In short, the Obama Administration’s OIRA has functioned very much like the Bush OIRA, serving largely as as an impediment to vigorous regulation.

In fact, politicians spend incredible sums of money to attain office and be able to exercise official powers of “regulatory choice“.

Day to day politics routinely involves using “regulatory choice” to reward friends and sometimes to punish foes. Sometimes those exercises are corrupt.

In fact, corporations spend millions of dollars in direct campaign contributions and in lobbying to influence the exercise of “regulatory choice” by government officials (e.g. see: This Is What Regulatory Capture Looks Like).

In fact, many government officials have gone to jail for accepting bribes and kickbacks in the exercise of “regulatory choice” in ways that benefit specific individuals and companies that paid the bribes (Google the criminal conviction of NJ Assemblyman Van Pelt).

So, for the Supreme Court to categorically exclude the exercise of “regulatory choice” from federal fraud laws – on the basis that it does not involve “money or property” – is absurd.

And let me offer this specific illustration of exactly that kind of corruption of “regulatory choice” and show how it involved perhaps billions of dollars.

This corruption was uncovered during the Bridegate investigation, and has gotten very little media coverage:

In this case, Gov. Christie used DEP’s “regulatory choice” powers as leverage in a political deal with the Mayor of Hoboken and the Rockefeller Development Corporation.

That “regulatory choice” too is a corrupt abuse of power. It was a “choice” that sought to confer huge economic and political benefits on specific individuals and corporations for corrupt reasons.

And it shows why exclusion of regulatory power from fraud laws is absurd.

“Regulatory choice” can kill you – whether it’s an ambulance blocked in GWB Bridgegate traffic, or regulatory choicesallowing unacceptable levels of chemicals in your drinking water, food, or air – or extraordinarily hazardous chemical storage in your neighborhood.

Congress now must act to strengthen federal fraud and corruption laws by making them apply to corrupt forms of “regulatory choice”.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

COVID Cover – Murphy Order Expands Suspension of Environmental Regulations, Monitoring and Enforcement

May 4th, 2020 No comments

Gov. Murphy On An Executive Order Spree

Sierra Club Decries “Polluters Holiday”

I’m having trouble keeping up with NJ Gov. Murphy’s issuance of a series of Executive Orders that restrict public involvement in various DEP regulatory actions, while providing an effective moratorium on DEP enforcement and a suspension of polluters’ legal obligation to monitor and report on pollution discharges to air and water.

A pattern has emerged that clearly limits the public’s interests, while creating massive new loopholes that benefit polluters and developers. (Note: from now on, I promise to stop using “developers”. These folks don’t “develop” anything, they are mostly land destroyers.)

We previously written about Murphy Executive Order #118 (that closed state parks and forests) and Executive Orders #103 and #127 (that suspended DEP enforcement, regulations  and monitoring requirements)

We understand the administrative problems created at DEP by the COVID pandemic emergency.

In fact, given the impossibility for the public to exercise their legally mandated opportunities to participate in DEP regulatory and permitting decisions, we previously called for a moratorium on DEP actions.

In response to a huge DEP regulatory proposal to roll back toxic site cleanup standards, back on April 6, we wrote:

VII) Public shut out due to COVID public health emergency

There should be a moratorium of on all DEP permitting and regulatory actions until the COVID crisis is over.

We then had to blast DEP for flat out lying to the public about their failure to include a mandatory public hearing on that ill advised rollback rule proposal.

But instead of treating the public and polluters on an equal basis by enacting a moratorium on important DEP decisions during the COVID emergency, Gov. Murphy and DEP Commissioner McCabe are engaged in an expanding policy to allow polluters and developers to exploit the COVID emergency by creating needless regulatory loopholes.

Most recently, on Saturday, we learned (via NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club press release) that Gov. Murphy issued another ill advised Executive Order #136.

This Order specifically targets almost all DEP programs, expands upon the prior Executive Orders, and is the worse so far.

EO 136 systematically and specifically extends timeframes for various polluters, but provides vague and limited relief for the public.

EO 136 provides:

All timeframes governing public notice, review, or final action on applications for, or renewals of permits, registrations, plans, petitions, licenses, rates, and other approvals under the following statutes administered by DEP are tolled, beginning on March 9, 2020, by each day during the Public Health Emergency declared by Executive Order No. 103 (2020)

The Order then goes on to specifically identify several regulatory mandates that are suspended.

In contrast, here’s the only vague provision that protects the public – and this is far less than a moratorium and does not even mandate public hearings or a specific number of days (i.e 60-90) that comment periods are extended or how long the extension lasts (e.g. until the end of the COVID emergency:

Within five days of the effective date of this Order, the Commissioner of DEP shall issue an Administrative Order that extends the regulatory timeframes to accept public comment on applications for, or renewals of permits, registrations, plans or other approvals where necessary to ensure adequate public participation.

The NJ Sierra Club blasted the Order:

“This weekend, in one of the biggest giveaways to polluters, DEP extended all permits, rules, and regulations. This will allow more environmentally sensitive and flood-prone areas in New Jersey to be paved over, leading to more flooding, more pollution, and more sprawl. DEP is also not requiring reporting during the Grace Period and not doing enforcement, creating a ‘polluter’s holiday.’ At a time when we need to be more careful of the environment, DEP is creating an open door for bad projects to continue to move forward, bad permits to be extended, and more pollution,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This continues the extension of permits for developers and polluters without public input. New York extended public comment periods by 60 days, and New Jersey should do at least the same. We’re concerned that this extension means that they will be playing politics to push through bad projects.” […]

“What’s even more troubling is that DEP has evoked a Grace Period for reporting on enforcement for air, water, land use, and solid waste pollution. This means that they don’t have to report how much pollution they’re emitting, and there is no penalty if they violate environmental standards. Without enforcement and oversight, there will be more pollution. This is like removing the environmental cop from the beat, resulting in more accidents, spills, and environmental violations,” said Jeff Tittel. “New Jersey is criticizing the Trump administration for having a Grace Period and cutting enforcement, but now we’re doing the same thing. This is a double hit because we won’t have a backstop for the EPA’s extensions and lack of enforcement.”

It seems that Jeff Tittel is the only environmental leader left in NJ that is paying attention and willing to hold Gov. Murphy and DEP Commissioner McCabe accountable.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Salt River Canyon

May 2nd, 2020 No comments

Don’t let it bring you down – it’s only castles burning (Neil Young, 1971)

_DSC6159

This is a shot of the Salt River Canyon, along US Route 60 in Arizona (about 60 miles south, southwest of Show Low).

Another gorgeous place along an endless road.

Often:

Put your dreams away for now
I won’t see you for some time
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind. ~~~ Lost in my mind

_DSC6161

somewhere in Tonto National Forest, Arizona

somewhere in Tonto National Forest, Arizona

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

May Day (Reposts – Under COVID) – General Strike Soon

May 1st, 2020 No comments

Apologies for this late post, I was on the road all day and am out of Arizona and in lovely Colorado!

Given the gross abuse of front line workers – especially the meat packing plants, healthcare workers, and Amazon et al – and nascent national strike, we repost prior May Day posts:

May Day – NYC Cops Are Out of Control

May 8th, 2012

[Update: 5/15/12 – just came across this right on story from the gothamist – consistent with my experience, it includes some scary videos of NYC cops chanting “move, move, move”:Police and Protesters Clash by Wall Street After Euphoric May Day –   end update]

I went to New York for May Day. I was there to support labor (and OWS  and  OWS and  participate in what appears to be the building of bridges by labor to the Occupy Movement. (I’ve  previously urged various other occupations).

But how does a festive and wonderful peaceful protest (above) turn into a near police riot? (below):

I wanted to put a little time and distance between the event and writing about it, both so I could cool down and reflect on some of the coverage of the event.

Well, it’s been a week and I’ve moved on to other work, took a deep breath, and read Chris Hedges’ piece, “The People’s Bishop”, which again ratified my take on things.

So, now I will write about what I saw and felt that day.

I guess some will call this narrowly and negatively focused sour grapes from one of the people that the NYC cops manhandled down in Vietnam Veteran’s Park (a little after 10 pm, which apparently the cops decided was closing time). I got abused by while exercising what I naively believed were constitutionally protected rights.

But I found this snarky observation relevant:

So Obama was running both as the peace candidate and the tough guy who ordered Navy Seals to shoot an old man in bed. And he just happened to position himself that way in a televised speech on the same day that Ray Kelly wanted us to be suspicious of brown people with bombs in their butts. And that just happened to be the day that protest season began with Occupy Wall Street putting untold thousands of people who hate corporate capitalism into the streets.

I know. It’s just a coincidence. Or conspiracy theory. The .01% who rule the United States would never stoop to such stunts to knock Occupy Wall Street off the front page and surround it with mentions of terrorism. It was somebody else who beat up all those protestors in parks around the United States last fall.

Like the author of that piece, I too spent all day in Union Square, later marching with about 25,000 people down Broadway to Wall Street.

Like the author, I too think it was no accident that the media downplayed the May Day protests and again distorted their meaning with respect to labor history and the current pro-labor anti-corporate Occupy Movement, while focusing on and exaggerating isolated incidents of violence(all while ignoring police violence, that I again experienced first hand).

I was at the tail end of the Broadway parade, so shortly after I arrived in the Wall Street district, the cops were moving in to crush any attempts to “occupy” public space of any kind.

I guess the problems start with zealous cops.

I was harassed along the end of the route, by aggressive cops on scooters, who ran into me and hit me several times as I marched in the parade (and refused to yield to them).

I guess it’s not far from being assaulted by scooters in the street to being physically manhandled by cops in the park. Can cops arbitrarily and unilaterally decided when to issue a curfew on peaceful protest? I thought, not in the USA!

Shortly after the police announced closure of the park, they moved in with force.

I was taking photos of their tactics and was soon myself physically removed from the park by 3 different police officers. The first grabbed me by the collar and violently tried to throw me to the ground. A few moments later, another cop, after shoving me several times, was quickly joined by 5 more cops. He physically grabbed me by the arm and dragged me  out of the park and threw me on the sidewalk. Moments later, as I was shooting photos of protesters being dragged into police vans, I was picked up by the belt of my pants and carried away by a short and violent cop (beware of short men with badges on steroids!).

Police were randomly grabbing people out of the crowd, violently throwing them to the ground, and arresting them:

After being roughed up and handcuffed, protesters were taken to several waiting police vans, who had converged on the site, redolent of some banana republic street repression operation:

As the handcuffed protester were dragged into waiting vans by police, they shouted their names out. As the protesters started chanting and repeating their names, the police quickly slammed the van doors shut, to prevent fellow protesters from supporting them and shaming police violence and repression.

When I complained about my own violent mistreatment and the violent abuse of protesters to at least 6 white shirted police supervisors, all of them revealed an ignorant and arrogant hostility to fundamental constitutional rights of speech, association, and peaceful redress of grievances.

They all told me the same story – that I had disobeyed a lawful police order – and that anything a policeman ordered was lawful and that there was no right to disobey a policeman’s order.

Like I said, NYC cops are out of control.

I really find it difficult to accept that police are this violent in crushing non-violent peaceful and lawful protest. It is intolerable to me and should be seen as unacceptable by the American people as a fundamental assault on our values and Constitution, which not only protects, but promotes the right to dissent.

So, an otherwise great day was ruined by violent, disrespectful, and/or arrogant and ignorant police.

Well, on the bright side, at least the “Dodgers” were in town for a Double Header!

Awesome Beauty of May Day

 

 

 

 

 

May Day Message: People, Peace, and Planet Before Profit

May 2nd, 2014

Scenes From May Day in New York City

Dr. Jill Stein speaks at Union Square - "People, Peace, & Planet Before Profit" was her message

 

Union Square Park

 

may day3

 

 

 

may day5

 

may day6

 

Defense of US Post Office at Staples on Broadway

 

City Hall rally

 

 

 

Convocation at City Hall rally - dignity and justice for all

 

may day13

 

may day10

 

Zucotti Park - where have all the protesters gone? It looked at LOT better Occupied!

 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: