Friday, August 12, 2005

Steven Vincent 1956 - 2005

New York, New York, U.S. - Recently murdered freelance journalist Steven Vincent was a key player in the gentrification of the Lower East Side. Before his tragic death in Basra, Iraq he was a major opponent of squatters and anarchists in the Lower East Side. In the 1980s he helped found the Democratic Action Club and became the group's unofficial minister of propaganda. With Vincent's help the club was able to elect, one of their own Antonio Pagan to City Council. Pagan played a pivotal role in evicting community centers like Charas El Bohio along with numerous squats, closing then curfewing Tompkins Square Park, and opening the neighborhood up to real estate developers. Vincent justified the anti-squatter views by spreading the myth that they were just “upper-class kids coming down to the Lower East Side to pretend to be poor for the glamour of poverty."