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Reverend Billy and one other arrested blocking tree cutters at Corlears Hook Park

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Park defenders stopped workers from fully cutting down any trees in Corlears Hook Park on Sunday morning as two protesters were arrested.

Billy Talen, the performance artist known as Reverend Billy, and Francis Pandolfino were led away from the Lower East Side park in handcuffs.

“Stop! Ecocide!” Talen shouted at a video camera as he was taken off.

Around 7 a.m., Emily Johnson, one of the leading protesters — a member of the Yup’ik Nation who identifies as a land and water protector — tweeted that sections of 80-year London plane trees were being sliced off by chainsaw and that the two arrests had been made.

The workers ultimately backed off.

Two hours later, Johnson tweeted, “No trees have been totally cut down today. Two trees have been heavily damaged. Two park defenders arrested…dozens of NYPD swarmed park defenders. All tree killing attempts have stopped now. We continue to gather EVERY DAY 1PM Corlears Hook, Lenapehoking, Cherry St & FDR.”

Lenapehoking means “homelands of the Lenape,” the Native American people who formerly inhabited the region.

The city plans to cut down a stand of cherry trees and other trees in the northeastern part of Corlears Hook Park as part of its plan to replace the Corlears Hook footbridge to East River Park and also upgrade drainage at the location.

The work is part of the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project, which calls for destroying the existing East River Park and then raising it 8 feet to 10 feet to prevent coastal flooding. Most of the park south of Stanton Street has already been clear-cut and currently resembles a wasteland.

One Comment

  1. nygrump nygrump April 10, 2022

    Democrats destroying our City – follow the money.

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