NYC Still Needs Your Help!

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Go to OccupySandy.org to find out how to donate/volunteer.

Leaderless Movement Lacking Specific Demands FTW!

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So, I was reading this super shitty article, from my home state of Wisconsin, about the Solidarity Singers, whom I know and love dearly, and was completely caught off-guard when I read ONE paragraph about the occupy movement in there:

“That’s what happened with the Occupy movement, which grew out of anger at Wall Street and a financial system perceived to favor the richest 1%. The movement grew too large too quickly for organizers to keep up. Without leaders or specific demands, it eroded into an amorphous protest against everything wrong with the world and eventually fell apart.”

Uhm, they’re saying the problem with the occupy movement is that there’s no clear leaders or demands? Actually, that’s one of the best parts about it! It’s this awesome, organic, ever-changing movement that can involve anybody and everybody who wants to fight for social and economic justice. If there were clear leaders, then they may not do what the majority of people want. If there were specific demands, then people who aren’t extremely passionate about those demands may feel left out. A leaderless movement lacking specific demands is exactly what we need right now.

Just look at Occupy Sandy Relief – In many areas, occupiers were the FIRST responders. Even more than a week after the hurricane, I was in a neighborhood in the Rockaways, and they told us we were the first people they had seen. This is because we don’t deal with the top-down bureaucratic bullshit that the organizations also responding to the hurricane have to deal with. Instead of taking time bickering over who should lead what, or which goal or demand is better – we just DO stuff. We each take charge as individuals and do what we can to make this world a better place.

Quick Update!

For those of you who have been following my blog to get updates about the hurricane Sandy relief efforts – I’ve been sick as a dog for the past 3 or 4 days, which is why I haven’t posted anything new about it, and may not for a few more days. The doc said I’ve got some bacterial infection and put me on meds, so hopefully I’ll be better in no time. But, for now, I’m stuck in bed, eating soup, and watching movies, so I am unable to make it out to take photos. Stay tuned for more updates once I’m feelin’ a-okay!

In the meantime, please keep checking OccupySandy.org for updates and to see how you can get involved in the relief efforts!

Jenna Says:

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“Fuck you, Hurricane Sandy.”
For doing this:

Occupy Sandy Distribution Hubs

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Occupy Sandy has two main distribution hubs set up in Brooklyn – One at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, and the other at St. Jacobi Church. They use these spaces as main drop-off points for supplies, where they are then sorted and distributed to location that are in need. The space at St. Jacobi is only available until November 30th, so they are currently looking for a new space. If anybody out there has a space to offer, please call them at (347) 470-4192 or e-mail them at OccupySandy@interoccupy.net. Ideally, they’re looking for something in Brooklyn because it’s a good central location for the areas that they’re sending supplies to, but please send any ideas you have their way.

Check out my photos below to get a view of these two distribution hubs.

St. Jacobi Church:

Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew:

Rockaways – 21 Days After Sandy

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Today I went to the Rockaways in NYC for the second time since hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. The last time I went out there, I was with my friends from Occupy Astoria, and was helping them deliver a bunch of supplies out there. This time around I was able to spend more time capturing the widespread destruction, and the volunteer services set up in the area. I realized that the Rockaways is the hardest hit area I’ve been to so far – from the major flood damage to much of the peninsula, to the homes that burned down in Breezy Point (which I posted about a few days ago), to the outright destruction of many of the homes on the coastline. Check out my photos from today, and click here to find out how you can help with the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Breezy Point in Ruins

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Breezy Point, Queens. November 13th, 2012.

I finally made it out to Breezy Point on Tuesday, which was 15 days after hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. Although I had seen many photos of the area where over 100 homes burned down from downed power lines and gas leaks, I was unable to grasp the massive devastation until I was standing amidst the ashes and charred metal, and breathing in the air that smelled strongly of burned materials. One can only describe the scene as post-apocalyptic, with blocks of homes now in shambles, and only a few chimneys still standing amongst the rubble:

As I was taking photos of the homes that burned down in Breezy Point, a lady approached me and we started chatting. She ended up telling me that if I walked just down the beach from that area, I would come across multiple homes that were also destroyed during the hurricane. She said that the media has been so focused on the homes that burned down, that many people don’t realize how much destruction there also was in the rest of Breezy Point. I decided to head down that way, and was amazed at what I saw.
Other than the homes that had burned down, this was the most devastation I have seen yet. Many homes had completely collapsed. Others were pushed off of their foundations and shoved up against other homes. I have seen some of this in other areas, but not on as large of a scale as this:

Click here to find out how you can help with Hurricane Sandy relief.

Destruction on Bay Shore Dr in Toms River

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Below are photos I took on Bay Shore Dr in Toms River, NJ – 14 days after hurricane Sandy tore through the East Coast:

Cleaning up in New Dorp – 13 Days After Sandy

A young boy looks on as a skid loader clears debris off of the road.

Last Tuesday, two friends and I came across New Dorp, a neighborhood in Staten Island that was hit hard by hurricane Sandy. Several homes were completely destroyed and left in ruins, and many others received major flood damage. As I was walking through the streets, I couldn’t help but think that the area looked like a war zone. It was heartbreaking to see the residents starting to clean out their homes, as many of them lost basically everything they owned. Although, it was extremely heartwarming to learn that the Brooklyn-based Hallowed Sons motorcycle club had come in the day after the storm, and has been taking care of this neighborhood ever since. You can read more about that story here.

Since then, I have returned to New Dorp almost every day in order to follow the progress they’re making while cleaning up and salvaging what they can. The first couple of days I was there, garbage piled higher than me lined the streets, making them completely impassable. Now the sanitation workers have been picking up this garbage on a regular basis, although so many people are throwing their damaged belongings out that it’s impossible to keep up with it. I saw three Con Ed workers in the neighborhood this afternoon, and tonight I noticed that the street lamps on just one street are now lit up. Although the rest of the area is still without power, it’s nice to see that some progress is being made.

Below are some photos I took in New Dorp today:

A young boy looks on as a skid loader clears debris off of the road.

A camp set up by the Hallowed Sons motorcycle club.

A restaurant that was destroyed during hurricane Sandy. As I stuck my head in through one of the broken windows to get this shot, the building reeked of spoiled food.

“4 sale as is, slight water damage.”

A sign posted at a donation center in New Dorp. It says: “The measure of a man is not what he does when the sun is shining, but what he does during and after the storm…” – H.D. Thoreau

There was one street that has street lamps on tonight, so it looks as though there’s at least some progress being made as far as getting power turned back on.

It’s going to take a lot of work to get this neighborhood cleaned up after hurricane Sandy.

A couple of volunteers who came from out-of-state.

Where the garbage is being put at the end of Cedar Grove Ave.

A large tree that fell onto a home.

The Hallowed Sons motorcycle club.

Coney Island – 11 Days After Sandy

As I walked along the beach in Sea Gate, Coney Island today, I couldn't help but think how post-apocalyptic it looked with debris everywhere and chunks of homes missing. Although I've been to areas that were hit much harder, this place definitely has the most eerie feel to it.

Tonight, I honestly don’t know what to write. Different place. More devastation. More suffering. Many still without power and running water. I’m speechless.

Check out my photos below. If it breaks your heart, then go to OccupySandy.org to find out how you can help with the hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

As I walked along the beach in Sea Gate, Coney Island today, I couldn’t help but think how post-apocalyptic it looked with debris everywhere and chunks of homes missing. Although I’ve been to areas that were hit much harder, this place definitely has the most eerie feel to it.

A sign on a school in Coney Island that is still closed after hurricane Sandy.

A tattered American flag flying next to a home that was destroyed in Sea Gate, Coney Island.

I ran into a couple of Occupy Sandy volunteers who were serving hot soup out of the trunk of their car on Surf Avenue.

A car stuck in a pile of sand that was washed ashore in Coney Island during hurricane Sandy.

A swing set that is now surrounded by debris.

A bike that was swallowed up by the sand.

Homes destroyed.

This is all that was left of one home in Sea Gate, Coney Island.

Standing on the beach in Sea Gate, Coney Island tonight, watching the sun setting over the ocean, as homes stood in ruins behind me. It was an oddly beautiful scene amongst so much destruction.

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