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Pier 57

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Pier 57

Within a half hour of arriving at the massive detention center at Pier 57, I noticed a young woman who had one of her arms freed from her plastic handcuffs. I asked her if she would help me get some pictures take n so that people could see what the conditions were like. I never got her name but she and her friends did a great job of snapping a few shots while not being seen. While some of them came out blurry (photography conditions were not optimal), there may be details visible to someone that could be significant so I'm including them all here.

Full-Size Image (1536 x 2048) Here's a view of the southern side of the building (we're currently facing east). Directly ahead is a buffer zone which contained two porta-potties. These had not yet been made available to the detainees. When th ey were (after about an hour), people could line up and be let into that penned in area where they would have their cuffs clipped and be searched (although they didn't think to begin searching until well after th e porta-potties started to be used). These ones were used for males. Females would line up in a similar area in the back of the pen (west side).

Full-Size Image (2048 x 1536) Here we're facing northeast. You can see the entrance to the pen on the right while the rest of the fence simply separated the detainees from the cops. Directly in front were a bunch of tables where eventually pr operty would be itemized. To the left (north) was a corridor that led to some offices in the back.

Full-Size Image (1536 x 2048) Another view of the same basic area. Note the condition of the floor. If you made the mistake of sitting on the ground with your palms facing down, they would be black when you stood up.

Full-Size Image (2048 x 1536) A wider view where you can see the width of the pen. On the right side (beyond the porta-potties) were a series of smaller pens that held female detainees. On the left side was the same setup, only for males. Thi s is where people would be transported to after spending a bunch of hours in the main pen. In our case we wound up all coming back into the main pen in the end and being forced to sit in rows on the ground, filli ng the entire space.

Full-Size Image (1536 x 2048) A blurry look at the right (south) side. Maybe there's a significant detail here, maybe not.

Full-Size Image (1536 x 2048) Many people took advantage of whatever space was available to lie down or stretch. This was very early in the evening and there was still lots of space since there were only a few dozen of us. Later, when that tu rned into hundreds, people would sit along the fences while others milled around in the center. There wasn't enough space to lie down once it got to that stage which tells you how many people were crammed into wh at was really a pretty huge space. (Incidentally, you can see a cop walking on the outside heading away from the offices in the back and towards the tables in the front.)  

Full-Size Image (2048 x 1536) At this point I had my camera back and was actually inside the porta-pottie in the front. Since my cuffs had been clipped (it's difficult to go to the bathroom with cuffs on), I was now free to use my phones and camera. I took this shot out of the top where there was a slight gap. Looking towards the front of the building (east), you can see the fence directly in front of the porta-pottie, a line of people waiting to get into the big pen, and a couple of porta-potties straight ahead that were part of one of the smaller female pens mentioned earlier. In between these pens and the one I was in were piles of property in plastic bag s (you can see some in the front). Beyond the pens in the background was the area where the buses would eventually pick people up to take them to the Tombs. (The buses that dropped detainees off at Pier 57 did so on the left side (north) near the male pens.) Also in this area was a most incredible site - dozens and dozens of cops slumped over tables fast asleep. Of course, by the time we got over there, just about all of our cameras and phones had been confiscated.

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