Archive My Rudolph Giuliani Vent
Why I, a New Yorker, am Sick and Tired of Him

Back One

Hello, welcome to the New World Order. It's actually the New Third Reich here in New York City. The mayor is in charge and he wants to take Manhattan and turn it into Oklahoma City. I will occasionally add to the examples of lunacy here as I have time. However, in the meantime, don't you dare smoke, bare body parts, dance, walk, celebrate, protest, or make any concerted effort to have a good time here. The only thing that will be permitted is making money and preferably, in a white-collar way downtown.

Vehicle Seizures: If you are "suspected" of driving drunk in New York, the police will "seize" your vehicle regardless of whether or not you are actually found guilty. Want your car back? Better get an attorney (but, seeing what an attorney may cost vs. what your car may actually be worth at the time, the city figures you'll most likely give up on getting your car back and just let them auction it off for you). This is the city's latest effort to add to the police coiffures. It's a lot easier than doing something politically unwise like raising taxes. Even thought studies have shown that most people involved in serious drunk driving accidents are habitual offenders whose blood alcohol level exceeds [.20], they'll take your car for just registering the "socially" unacceptable [.10]. Forget your rights as an individual. NY doesn't have time for that.

Though Shalt Not Celebrate: Let's say you're French. Let's say your team just won the World Cup. You'd probably want to celebrate a little. After the victory in Summer '98, at the corner of W. Broadway and Grand, a sizable number of French and even Brazilian fans poured out of the many bars/restaurants in that area and began to "dance" at the intersection. No, no violence, just dancing and chanting and hugging and jumping up and down. One of the aspects of New York that makes it such a unique and interesting place to live is the plethora of different nationalities of people that make New York their home and give it so much of its culture. Calls were made to the police ahead of time, saying that "maybe it would be a good idea to close off the intersection for an hour." Instead, the police came (in Riot Gear), ready to do battle and get those damn happy people off the streets. Of course, this caused a rather antagonistic situation between the police and the crowd. So, instead of closing a section of West Broadway for an hour to let the crowd dance for a while, cruisers, paddy wagons, riot police and an array of officers on horseback closed off four streets and faced off with the dancers for two to three hours. Oh yeah, and don't try staging a protest march either. A planned march (despite the city's refusal for a permit) to protest the violence against the gay teen in Wyoming, turned into a rather violent confrontation between police and protesters.

Papieren: I have an image in my mind of a Nazi SS officer screaming "Papieren! Papieren!" ("Your papers! Your papers!") when it comes to this. I was surprised to learn that NYC requires that you carry your Driver's License or some form of ID on you, even when you are just WALKING around! One of my friend's got first-hand knowledge of this while being questioned for, of all things, jaywalking. I thought this was America? Why do I need my papers to walk around? We are not criminals, therefore do not treat us as such. One would not expect this in world's "alleged" foremost democracy.

Nuisance Pedestrians: Speaking of jaywalking, what the hell is up with these ass-brained attempts to limit pedestrian traffic at intersection to make Manhattan more auto-friendly. Hello? New York is supposed to be pedestrian friendly. Unlike just about any other city in America, one can live here and not need a car. As a matter of fact, owning a car in Manhattan is supposed to be a nuisance. Same for driving here. It's supposed to encourage people to walk and use public transportation. Now, Rudy's got another half-brained idea to build a new stadium for the Yankees on Manhattan. Why do we need several thousand more cars driving into the city so frequently? Why? Why? Why?

Surveillance: To ensure your safety, NYC has busily been installing video monitors at several "trouble" spots throughout the city (e.g., Washington Square Park). The purpose of these monitors, of course is to make sure nothing bad happens to you. Unfortunately, it's really just a way for the police to catch drug-dealers and monitor you. Forget about neighborhood foot patrols and community friendly law enforcement. Big brother is watching.

In summary, I see a bad trend here. New York City is a great place to live, because of it's diversity, diversity of people and diversity of things to do. It is truly the city that doesn't sleep. One can live any kind of life they want here. It is a city where "my car" need not be part of your vocabulary. It seems to me that some people (i.e., Giuliani administration) would like to change this. Sure, we can hear all the press about them taking credit for reducing crime (though, in actuality, crime has statistically decreased across this country anyway). But, whenever, we allow others to take basic rights away from any group of people, even those that are unpopular for a false promise to make us safer, we may likely find ourselves trapped within a society with few basic individual rights, and we will have helped create it. If they succeed in changing New York, then this town won't be worth living in.

Back © Copyright 2000 by Alex Poulos.

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