New York City’s Washington Square Park has been in the news for its rampant drug use, partying, and cops alternating between doing nothing and clamping down like riot police.
I live around the corner and have gone there daily without fail for over a year to pick up litter, forming relationships with some of the dealers and users. Mostly to perform what I consider a civic duty and what any member of a community would do. As best I can tell, I’m the only person who picks up litter, in contrast to the 75 percent at least who bring packaging that will become litter or contribute to overflowing trash cans whose contents spill out and become litter.
I took pictures of my neighborhood and the park this morning and commented on them, along with newspaper articles for context, in the video below. I consider it one of my most important works. Everything builds to some points at the end, which connects to where you live too.
Please share on your social media (here’s the direct link: https://youtu.be/agVosBLdIVI). Please contact me when you’re ready to take responsibility and act, not just watch and imagine individual action doesn’t matter or that only governments and corporations can make a difference.
The links in the video
Here are the articles and posts I link to:
- My blog: Used syringes littering my neighborhood
- NY Post: Washington Square Park ‘drug den’ horrifies Greenwich Village neighbors
- NY Daily News: The wrong way to police Washington Square Park: How things got so bad
- Gothamist: West Village Residents, NYPD Call For Permanent Curfew In Washington Square Park
- The Village Sun: Woman trampled in Washington Square as revelers flee from man waving Taser
- NY Post: Taser-wielding madman sparks mayhem in Washington Square Park, cops say
- Guardian: Bin there, done that: Scotland fans clean up litter in central London
- Guardian: ‘It’s brutal’: Las Vegas cooks amid blazing heatwave – and it’s going to get worse
- Story of Stuff‘s Story of Plastic images
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