Volume 74, Number 27 | November 10 - 16, 2004

Villager photos by Bob Arihood (mosh pit) and Clayton Patterson (arrests and Leftover Crack)

Punks clash with police

On Saturday afternoon, a hardcore punk rock concert in Tompkins Sq. Park devolved into a violent confrontation between punks and police at the end of the event. According to a Police Department spokesperson, officers attempted to issue one of the concert-goers a summons for having an open container of alcohol, when members of the crowd “surrounded and assaulted” the officers. Police made six arrests, with charges including assault and one charge for inciting to riot. Witnesses said some of the punks spit on the police and others jumped on officers.

“It was a confrontation obviously. I don’t know if ‘riot’ is the right word,” said Detective Gifford, a Police Department spokesperson.

According to witnesses, some in the crowd had been drinking steadily for four hours in the park and there was a strong smell of marijuana wafting in the air. As punks smashed together in the mosh pit, others threw beer cans and beer bottles, which broke against the asphalt, splattering them with beer, while others dispensed with the throwing and just poured beer directly over each other. Some of the plastered punks were observed holding onto each other to keep from falling over.

At past punk concerts in the park, police usually would wade into the crowd and stop people from drinking, but that reportedly did not happen this time.

Also adding to the combustible mix was the last band, Leftover Crack, whose anti-authoritarian lyrics fired up the crowd. The cover of Leftover Crack’s album ‘F—k World Trade” shows President Bush pouring gasoline from a Halliburton pump onto the burning World Trade Center.

Some said the punk concert was an anti-Bush rally, but others said it was just “like old times,” referring to the riots in Tompkins Sq. Park in the 1980s over the eviction of the homeless tent city and imposition of a nighttime curfew.

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