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Authors: R. J. Renna

Austerity

BOOK: Austerity
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Austerity

By

R.J. Renna

 

The following work is for private use only and may not be re-published, all or in part, without express written consent of the publisher.

Copyright 2012 Michael Collado

Officer Jacob Reid, NYPD

The day the city of New York allowed the protestor to permanently stay inside Central Park was the day I moved my family out of the city. It was the day we lost. You could control and corral 10,000 or 100,000 protestors if you control the perimeter of any area. But Central Park?! You are looking at over 1/3 the surface area of Manhattan. Even if we took every NYPD and National Guard vehicle and surround the park, the people would be able to burrow in. They could start multiple cities within that park. Those 30,000 people became 100,000 people within a week. I remember when I saw all the “For Sale” signs around the co-ops around the park go up. Property prices started to collapse. When I saw millionaires simply abandoning their park view apartments, I knew it was all over.

 

FBI Agent (NAME REDACTED), Undercover Agent, Occupy Central Park

The park organized with the kind of speed and efficiency that shocked all of us. Within five days being granted permanent residency, they had an extensive network of food, heating and medical supplies. The park’s population grow exponentially. It became harder and harder to gather intelligence because there was no central leadership. It was as though the protestors where like a human bee colony. Except there was no Queen. Nevertheless, the food and the supplies kept coming - even after the food riots broke out in other parts of the city. We don’t know how they did it at first. Hundreds of pounds of bread, sugar, even meat came in every day. Even back at the FBI office in Manhattan, the food rations where not as plentiful as what was available at the park. That was one of the major reasons we ultimately launch the operation to stop the food supply. It had nothing to do with safety. It was jealousy. They were getting fed well. Law Enforcement agencies and high government officials thought they could simply divert the food supplies back to themselves. Boy, did we fuck that up.

 

Jamel Washington, Inwood Resident and Occupy Central Park Survivor

I support what OCP (Occupy Central Park) was doing. But I didn’t join ‘cause I just felt that they would get fucked up by the police pretty quick. But they just kept growing and growing. I would check out what was going and the place became a city. I still didn’t join. Then I lost my job at the Bus Depot. Supermarkets started to run out of food. I got my ENC (Emergency Nutritional Card) and waiting in that fucking line. Always waited in line to find out they ran out of food early. The rich people got all the food they want. The police department got feed. Motherfucking politicians got fed. I ain’t gonna lie to you. I did steal rations from other people. I had to. But that started getting dangerous people, you know, started carrying Glocks and shit out in the open. Police started looking the other way. Then I heard that the folks at OCP has food. So I joined the protest. I go in there and the first thing I smell is fucking beef! I couldn’t get to the center of the park fast enough. They had all the fucking food I could eat. Bread, burgers, ribs, chicken. They had cake! No lie. I volunteered to help cook breakfast because I could eat while I cook! I became a believer. Life was actually pretty good. Then the fucking assault on the park. And all the shit.

 

Gerald Kirpatrick, Former Deputy New York City Mayor

I will say this until the day I die, the decision to go into the Park was out of the hands of the Mayor’s office. It was out of the hands of the Governor’s office. This was either a decision on the Federal Government level or the military level. We were barely holding on to law and order in the city. And we knew that if the park fell, the entire city would collapse. We had law enforcement officers abandoning their post. The rich and the wealthy had fled the city. The only people left were the poor and the hungry.

 

Selina Pena, Reporter, New York News 2

I was ready to do a live report at 3AM, Eastern Standard Time. That was usually the quietest hour of the day at the Park. Everyone slept. Even the National Guard seemed to operate at less than full capability at that hour. As I began my live report, I heard the Blackhawks. Actually, let me clarify that. I felt the Blackhawks. You could not hear the blades but you can feel the wind stirring in the air. I look up and there were about a dozen of them visible against the moonlight. You could see the commandos repelling from the choppers. Then we heard a rumble. The U.S. Army half tracks came in. I swear it appeared that the National Guard didn’t even know what was going on. After that, we lost our feed and the concussion grenades went off. Me and my cameraman, Nick, were instantly knocked to the ground. I knew then, that this was not the end of the occupation, but the beginning of something else. The beginning of a war on the people inside the park.

 

James Gagaun, Occupy Central Park Survivor

The concussion grenades woke me up. I was prepared for a “clearing out” or an attack. I knew that if I had a weapon, I would instantly be killed. My goal was to make sure that the law enforcement folks didn’t kill me or start a massacre in the Park. I did what I thought was the best thing to do and simply kneel and hold my hands up in the air.

 

I look up and see the commandos repelling from the Blackhawks. Right then, I knew this wasn’t law enforcement or SWAT. The last time I checked, SWAT doesn’t have Blackhawks. They sent the fucking military on us! The commandos seemed to know exactly where they were going. It’s then I stood up to get a better look at the situation.

 

I ran over towards the center of the Park and saw the commandos go after our kitchen. They seized out cooking supplies and formed a circle around it. I was, “Are you serious? This is all about our food?!” I started to laugh at first. Then the realization hit me. Holy fuck! They don’t need to clear us out. They are going to starve us. Immediately, I got really scared. I wanted to talk to these guys. But they wore masked and had weapons pointed in every direction. I knew there was no talking to them. They were just simply, “Following orders.”

 

FBI Agent (NAME REDACTED), Undercover Agent, Occupy Central Park

The whole fucking night too me by surprised. We were never told of a military operation at the Park. Seizing and stopping the black market food supply was not something we wanted to do. Yes, stopping the food supply was popular rhetoric for the politicians. However, we knew that once you took away the food, the situation in the park would deteriorate immediately. And, at that point, all bets are off the table.

Gerald Kirpatrick, Former Deputy New York City Mayor

It was a gigantic clusterfuck. No one told us about the operation. We were getting reports that the National Guard and the U.S. Army Rangers had exchanged fire at one point. There was no real order the Mayor could give to the Chief of Police, on the situation besides to maintain order outside of the park perimeter.

 

It was only about five hours later that the Mayor had a conversation with the Secretary of Defense about the removal of the food supply. The Mayor was irate. He knew right then that Washington had backed him into an unwinnable situation. Washington had no idea how big the population had gotten at the park. Estimates were putting the occupation at one to two million people. You simply could not “get everyone out” safely. And if the Mayor even tried send food into the park, that would only piss off the other residence in the city and give them reason to occupy the park. Not to mention that our public safety officers barely had enough food supply for themselves and almost nothing for their family. We basically had to sit there are simply wait to see what would happen.

 

Lt. Col. Greg Hennings, U.S. National Guard

When the sun rose, word spread quickly about the commando operation. We started to see a sprinkling of disbursement of people. We all started to feel as though this would be the beginning of the end. We estimated that about 10% of the park had left by noon.

 

At around 16 hundred hours, the City of New York arrived with food supplies as an “enticement” for people who would vacate the area. A few thousand more left the park. However, by the evening, the disbursement has stopped. That’s when my heart began to sank. About 1.4 million people are going to take their chances, in the park, with no food.

 

James Delgado, Occupy Central Park Survivor

By the afternoon, we started hunting anything that moved, squirrels, pigeons, rats, even fish out of the reservoir. We had to ration out everything very thin. Only women and children ate. Men started eating the leaves off of the trees. We were like locusts. By the third day after our food was taken, we ate everything that could be eating, in the that park. Many people were starting to get sick due to eating diseased plants or animals. By the fourth day, I started to see some desperation.

 

FBI Agent (NAME REDACTED), Undercover Agent, Occupy Central Park

I had to make a decision here. I could come and go as I please. However, if I showed any evidence, that I ate anything, my cover would have been blown. I would have been in the middle of the park with a million potential hostiles. I had a 9 millimeter but that wouldn’t have gotten me out of the park.

 

I went for six days without eating solid food. Instead, I started ingesting supplements to ensure that body would not deteriorate to an unhealthy level. However, I started to see women and children starve. Some of the older people, in the park, were beginning to have a serious downturn in their health. By the seventh day, I voluntarily blew my cover.

 

I was surprised that no one expressed anger or disallusion when they found out my true identity. Instead, they seemed to trust me more. They knew we were all in the same boat. That’s when I started to sneak in and share my meager food supply allotment with three other people. It was at that point, that I started to spiritually side with the occupiers at the park.

 

Jamel Washington, Inwood Resident and Occupy Central Park Survivor

We all started to starve a week after the food went away. You started to see people lose lots of weight. Everyone in the park started to get skinny. The kids really started to look bad. The city promised that they would feed the kids but they couldn’t feed the parents. So you had moms and dads make this decision. Do they give up their kids to the city so the kids could eat. Or do they keep the kids and watch them starve. Some gave up their kids. Others didn’t trust the government with their young. That’s when I started to lose my mind. Shit just didn’t make sense anymore. I prayed for God to come down and straighten this shit out.

 

Lisa Dolan, Occupy Central Park Survivor

I started to hallucinate. I had not eaten in four days. I would see these humanoid forms in front of me. I would hear voices in my head. And I would shake. I had never felt this level of hunger and desperation in my life. I kept saying, “Let me out. Let me out.” I wandered around the park for an entire day looking for a way out.

 

By the early evening, someone had escorted by to the outskirts of the park. I collapsed and a National Guardsmen placed me on a stretcher. They lied me down next to another woman. There were 35 of us. All women. We were all mumbling. The Guardsmen gave us water and an IV feed of nutrients. After an hour or so, I asked someone, “Where are the men?” One of the women answered, “They don’t have enough supplies for them.” I am only alive today because I was a woman. The men were left to fend for their own.

 

James Gagaun, Occupy Central Park Survivor

I was so hungry that I started eating the dirt. I didn’t even know where I was anymore. I started seeing things at night. It look like there were ghosts among the trees. Then on, day nine after we lost our food, I went crazy. I started running through the trees. I just kept running and running. I finally emerged from the park where a National Guardsmen shot me with a rubber bullet. Because they shot me, they had to take me to a medical tent. I got an IV. I got water. I was never so happy to have been shot in my life.

 

Sgt. Casey McDonald, U.S. National Guard

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