More than a year removed from the days of Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street has seen a major shift in perception from many of their former detractors, thanks to their ongoing work with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Mainstream media has given them credit, Mayor Bloomberg has called them "great," and now the NYPD is giving them kudos for helping keep storm victims safe in Red Hook. And even more remarkably: the NY Post had nothing derisive to say about it!
There were no storm-related deaths and virtually no crime in Red Hook despite the devastation in the weeks following Sandy—unlike similarly hit areas like Breezy Point or the Rockaways. And cops tell the Post that's thanks to a super hero team up between Occupy volunteers, NYPD, community activists, Trey Anastasio, and local nonprofits: “This crisis allowed us all to remove the politics and differences we had to do our job, and come to the aid of the people,” a police source said. “We all rose to the occasion.”
Locals are impressed with the results: "It was intense, it was working, and it was awesome," said Kirby Desmaris, a volunteer coordinator for the Red Hook Coalition, an Occupy activist, and a Red Hook resident. "There was a shift in the energy in the community." She said she worked in the same room with the mayor's office, the NYPD, and the National Guard, and there were no cracked skulls.
"It's sad that it takes something horrendous to bring us together," added local Patricia Ramirez. "Maybe Sandy stirred up the goodness in people." It seems that goodness extended to the Post, who didn't throw in any nasty descriptive terms, or package the piece with a seething Andrea Peyser thinkpiece, or even use any bad puns (okay, there was one, but they get a pass for "rage with the machine" headline). Now if only that goodness could somehow bring back thousands of books.