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Election Celebrations Take Over Bedford

all photos by ajcranford

Sometime shortly after Barack Obama said his final "yes we can", my friends and I turned off CNN and left the apartment over Williamsburg's taco outpost San Loco, where we had watched the Senator from Chicago clinch this historic election. When we ventured out towards the obvious epicenter of Williamsburg celebratory politics - Bedford and North 7th - we ran smack dab into what Texas must've been like for every Bush win since 2004. Brooklyn kids fucking totally filled these streets.

Some would call it a riot, but even the cops tonight realized that things were cool. It was the most celebratory street take-over I've experienced, sans-broken shit, and up until I left there was no threat of police violence, overturned cars, broken bottles, or anything. I hope I don't wake up and see that changed. (Ed note: When I left, there was a definite impending police presence that threatened to turn uncomfortable, should the crowd had chosen to stick around...)

The thing is, though, everybody was having a great time. There were the bongo kids, hanging just off the southeast corner of No. 7th and Bedford, with a healthy crowd of improvisers keeping things going. There were the wealthy roofians, perched out on their 50k a foot overhang porch cheering the crowd on. The bodega dudes couldn't be missed - they sold out on tall-boys shortly after I grabbed my Bud. I spoke with a few screaming people, but in general, our conversations were drowned out by the constant refrain of "Obama! Obama! Obama!". And who the f*k is gonna mess with that?

It was honestly, a beautiful celebration of democratic finality at the corner of Williamsburg blase (my e's don't accent) tonight. When I finally left the party and hit the train for the two stop ride back to Graham, it seemed like the chants came with me. In the Bedford subway, "Obama! Obama! Obama!" echoed around the station walls. At Lorimer, "Obama!, Obama! Obama!", and at Graham, "Obama! Obama! Obama!". Things feel freaking awesome. Politics have been rejuvenated and Brooklyn has a new President that's worth getting behind. Expect this borough to be a staple of his most innovative, supportive demographic. Barack, Brooklyn f'n loves you.

I spoke with one dude, Andrew Perez of Brooklyn, who brought a poster of Cesar to the rally, because he felt Obama "was a Roman who overcame the odds...It's like history repeated itself tonight." I think that picture's in here somewhere, but really Brooklyn, God knows because it's 3am and Barack just got elected to be our next President and I'm f*cking so excited I can't contain my emotions - nor my blogging skills! We wish you the best, and look forward to hearing your stories of "The Night That Barack Built".

Check out some pictures that AJ Cranford took for us, capturing the sheer insanity that our little Williamsburg Times Square wrought.




See more pictures (via AJ Cranford) from the Obama/Williamsburg victory party, after the jump!






This looks to be the saddest collection of hipster do nothings since the old days of hippie beatniks at the Haight-Ashbury district. All you had to do was clear the streats and shut your faces. Most of you weren't even there for Obama...Just there cause you had no where else to be. And those who caught a billybat in the belly probably deserved it. Quit whining. If you're going to stand up to the man- do it like a man. No crying.

Works for me! Let the good times roll!

Not esp. related, but I couldn't resist:

Here is another great video that shows the positive energy being squashed by the riot police.

Here is the bottom line, half of the comments have no place basing opinions on others comments, you simply weren't there. This was a fun collection of people. The problem is not about hipsters or the drinking, it was because we were in the street. The real problem is excessive force, it was truly over the top. The issue of opening up the street could have been handled by a few more local police cars/officers, easily!!! The beat cops that were there were awesome and from what i personally observed they appeared to be enjoying themselves, it helped in a positive way. Involving the riot police was completely unnecessary, I was totally surprised when they showed up, my happiness quickly turned to fear.
By the way, people were also drinking in front of the cops in Fort Greene according to a resident there on the NY times comments page, and the riot police weren't involved, no-one griped online about them being stupid hipsters. People in Harlem also claimed to have been treated poorly, again no-one posts idiotic comments to suggest they are deserving of a beat down because of their lifestyle.
The problem here is not about people drinking or being idiotic, its obvious that this wasn't a dangerous group, it was allowed to play out peacefully in other areas, permit or no permits it was the same celebration, not a riotous angry mob. Things got a little out of hand as a result of mistreatment at the hands of those that should have been there to make sure no one gets hurt, quite the opposite in fact. I don't know anything about a couple of bottles being thrown, but by all means arrest that person, mace them even, remove them safely. This did not happen by any accounts from victims/witnesses. Why were peaceful others, men and women beaten with batons? again its excessive, mace would be preferable if you are going to randomly attack me, at least i wont bleed. Several people minding their own or those who simply verbalized concern in reaction to riot police excessiveness, were targeted none of which is illegal last time i checked. According to several witnesses some revelers were shoved so hard they fell to the ground into glass shards! shards that were created by a rogue (riot) officer who smashed them with a baton to intimidate. This is key, they intimidated the crowd i think if it wasn't for the original tone of happiness being set in place before hand people might have reacted more angrily.

Before you all start with hipster hatred (which is becoming very boring) remember there are always gonna be a few who act poorly, but those who behaved were hurt and arrested needlessly and excessively, and that is the problem. Hipster or not.

- in response to "No police beat anyone up as much as pedestrians threw bottles at them."

I was there when in the very first instance of the police misconduct. While most of the officers were following appropriate protocol, there were a few that were completely out of line. I am seriously worried and frightened by one cop in particular; serious mental instability, I'm not kidding, he has no business being on the force and is going to hurt someone someday.
My friend and I had been at the spontaneous gathering in its early stages and celebrated for about an hour, dancing to some bongos, cheering with the crowd. We went down Bedford for a bit and returned to see Riot Police assembling, marching militarily as they led a dump truck behind them. Moments later, I heard a cop screaming “Get on the sidewalk” and turned to see a tall man directly in front of me being barreled into by this cop, barreling into him like a linebacker while the guy stumbled awkwardly, trying to walk backwards into the crowd on the sidewalk. Okay, so the guy wasn't moving fast enough, fine. But the cop instantly pulled out his baton started beating this guy, shoving him violently into the metal trashcan, using his arms to elbow others standing nearby. He continued to beat him when the guy was already on the sidewalk even after he’d fallen down onto some garbage bags.
We all started yelling, "Stop hitting him" and about five other cops ran up and randomly started throwing punches into the random onlookers. Apparently yelling, "Stop beating him" is considered disorderly conduct meriting a baton hit. WTF??!! My friend apparently blocked a punch that would have nailed me in the face, as I found out later.
This was the incident that started the entire thing. It was absolutely outrageous and no one can convince me that there was ANY justification for it.
By the way, I don't live in Williamsburg and have no reason to be anything but an impartial observer. In my humble opinion, there was no "Riot" or "Mob", it was a peaceful and overjoyed group of people being noisy, yes, some beer drinking, cheering, but traffic was getting through slowly. The police created a really hostile and dangerous situation.
This particular cop, a short guy with blue eyes, ash brown hair buzz cut, stocky build, has serious anger management issues and has no business being an officer of the law. Did anyone get his badge number? I know he was being extremely belligerent all night and that others were as shocked as I was with how out of control he was. (not the crowd!!!)
I filed a complaint with the Internal Bureau of Investigations, so if anyone can provide any info, please do!

Hey nytimes just posted an article yesterday saying a lot of police all over were ready for full riots all over nyc because they were prepping for what could of happened if mccain won. No police beat anyone up as much as pedestrians threw bottles at them. People were drunk, it got out of hand. As much as I am someone who likes to blame police, this is actually the peoples fault. You are blocking roads, damaging peoples properties, who by the way are probably Obama supporters. Next time just do it right and go to the park. Also saying you have the right to assemble makes me sad because people assemble for womens rights, and workers right, not the right to party. And those of you who think police targeted williamsburg because if critical mass, guess what you are not that critical, or that big of a mass, and the brutality incident that happened in times sq are completely different cops in the neighborhood. Yes everyone should gather and celebrate obamas win, but no need to take it to the streets. There are city parks, paid by your own money so you can celebrate in peace and security. You do not have the right to block traffic and take other peoples right away in order for you to celebrate. Please try to be held accountable for your actions and don't blame the police because it will be harder to blame them when there are REAL acts of brutality happening all thought the city all the time.

For those who keep claiming last night was a "beautiful celebration", please don't make it seem as though it was a night of song and candles lit out of hope or a bunch of people holding hands and drinking in the moment out of reverence.

It was a freaking party in the middle of the street.

Another thing...

How dare any of you accuse me of not understanding the significance of the elections last night just because my idea of celebrating does not involve getting shit-faced on the street?

Let me tell you something...

I have been proud to be an American since Carter took office through even Bush Jr.'s terms in office.

Not for one moment have I EVER been ashamed to say I'm an American...even in its darkest times.
I love this country more than any of you will ever realize.

For those who think I don't get it...I do.
The problem is you don't get it and rather than trying to understand it, you would rather hurl insults and close your ears.

Obama is about change.
The change he spoke about did not include being drunk in public, disrespecting your neighbors and disregarding your law enforcement.

It's about changing for the better and not many of you showed that last night.

Mary one thing you are right about is that everyone should not be judged by the actions of a few stupid ones. Of the 600 or so out there I'd say about 30 to 40 were the ones trying to incite (and I doubt they even live there). They ruined it for everyone. I don't know how long you were there but we staged and sat and waited for about 30 minutes letting everyone party and have fun, then sent in a few cops to ask everyone to start moving. They were met with obscenities and refusals. Sorry I guess 30 minutes of unadulterated revelrie wasn't enough before we could restore the streets to the vehicles and sidewalks to the pedestrians. Even then we were hit with more bottles, spit and loose punches before arresting anyone. At some point enough has to be enough and even then only the aggressors get arrested. I'm sure you weren't one of the 30 trying to incite a riot. You sound too intelligent and proud of your community to do that.

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY THE HECK THEY WOULD REACT THAT WAY FROM THE BEGINNING. PEOPLE WEREN'T RIOTING IN THE STREETS. THEY FILLED UP ONE STREET CORNER. IN OTHER AREAS THE POLICE BLOCKED OFF STREETS AROUND THE PEOPLE CELEBRATING SO THAT THINGS DIDN'T GET MESSY. They could have done that here, but the police got ugly. Sorry, I have no anger toward the police in general, they have a very tough job - but this kind of thing is simply WRONG and they need to be held accountable. FULL RIOT GEAR??

hey William,
the assemblies in Harlem, Ft Greene, Union Sq...were planned rallies, not impromptu drunken melees. Whatever man we're beating a dead horse, forget it and let's get on to 1/20/09 when intelligence once again enters the White House.

sorry but if you take a few looks online you'll see that people were filling the streets all over the country- not staying on sidewalks. this is once in a lifetime, I mean you've just got to be joking.
It may be true that a few dumb people did a few dumb things- but the police should then deal with that person, not come in like an aggressive force on everyone.
stop calling us 'hipsters' I've lived here for 17 years and I work and don't have a trust fund. people were celebrating all over the country, not just wburg- I haven't heard about police with RIOT GEAR coming in. That was totally over the top, it's like they wanted to provoke something and that is how they behaved, at least that's what I saw.
They could have broken things up without being like that, it was really ugly when what I was seeing was really beautiful. (but I didn't see any bottles thrown and things like that, and if someone did do that of course it's totally not cool- but it may be one or two people, so don't judge everyone for it. The majority of people were not like that at all.)

Actually William, the first blogger in your link said that The cops had to come break up the street celebration around 2am, too:

William said:

"Anyway, They blocked the streets in Harlem and didn't get riot cops:

Actually, William, the top blogger in your link said that the cops had to break up the Harlem celebration up around 2am, as well.

guys, what the hell? celebrating is great but you have a right to LAWFUL assembly. Blocking the streets and sidewalks is not. You all should've just gone down to McCarrron park and had a blast. None of my fellow NYPD really would've cared. by the way, there are absolutely no parallels to be drawn between a black presidential elect and riot gear? You should've thought that one before you hit send guy. Hey listen, I think our new president is great. It is unfortunate that the election of our first black president should be marred by a bunch of drunken white suburbanite hipster kids acting like they were at their freshman frat rush at random long island suny school x. yeah, I was one of those cops, telling you that you didn't have to leave but you couldn't stay in the street. Yup, I was also one that got hit by several of those phantom bottles that noone threw. And yeah, I was also the one who escorted you back through the closed street because you were tired and wanted to get home. Hopefully I won't ever have to see something like that again, it was disgraceful to all of us Americans who were happy.

you know what?

I'm embarassed and dismayed by all you people spouting rumors of brutality and rough treatment by police...

a night filled with joy and hope and unity and greatness quickly dissolved and i may have even shed a tear when i saw the behaviour of American people in a supposedly progressive and intelligent community like Williamsburg.

As a foreigner living in W'burg I am a proud Brooklynite and was intoxicated by the outcome and excitement of last night's result.

I saw so much poor behaviour on 7th st last night that I consider why I am living in the neighbourhood. I saw multiple bottles thrown (at the crowd), one half full bottle barely missing two young girls standing in front of me. I saw one ginger hairded bearded d*#khead who pretended to stumble in the street in front of police offcers with his hands clasped behind him, pretending to be cuffed. He screamed at police, walking in front of the crowds on the sidewalk, trying to incite a riot. What a poor excuse for a person. What an absolute ***king disgrace. I intentionally followed him afterwards and asked to take his photo, which I did - and now serves as a dartboard in my bathroom...

Yes I know that it was only a drunken few, not many. But those shameful few should be disgraced.

Being a fanatical, aggressive and intolerant supporter for a wonderful person is to spit in the face of everything Obama represents.

Williamsburg - last night I was deeply ashamed.

To Saddened:
If they attacked this crowd because of their disappointment and belief that hipsters wouldn't fight back, how do you explain the celebrations in Union Sq. and around Columbia that happened without incident? They're all young white people too.

MAYBE, just MAYBE, these kids got out of hand? Maybe they blocked the entire damn street and didn't cooperate when asked to move? It's not an excuse for violence and I disagree with excessive force, but we all know how the NYPD reacts when you don't obey their requests/commands to move out of the damn street.

Then again, most of these kids are little suburban transplants who think NYC is one big playground with no native inhabitants. Maybe they're unaware that - just like in their little hometowns - you can't block a major street for upwards of one hours without being asked to move.

Obama-mamas comment:

You actually think that they targeted Williamsburg because they hate critical mass riders? Are you retarded? There were celebrations in OTHER bastions of white hipsterdom (Columbia U, Union Square, LES and Fort Greene) and none of them turned violent. There's not even any fucking cyclists in most of those photos???

If you need a reason to get outraged about the NYPDs treatment of CM riders, there are plenty of examples. This is NOT one of them.

they wanted to celebrate all the hard leg work and door knocking they did for the campaign. I'm just kidding. If a girl dressed like pat benetar with a combover comes to your door and asks you to vote for someone, you're likely to vote for anyone else.

Also one more thing to those of you who apparently take issue with "hipsters" watch how you label and stereotype, you are hatefully judging peoples happiness based on buzzwords and contemporary stereotypes, and this is from many of you who weren't even there. It was a terrific bunch of people of all backgrounds, I suggest you watch the videos posted above.

Here is one of people gladly getting out of their cars to rejoice, the bus making its way around the party and some very non hipster happy chaps at the end:

To suggest that this would prevent emergency services is absurd, It was one block! If we can get around the NY marathon then we can get around one block, if a fire truck came through everyone would have moved. What do think people were doing rioting? get a grip is was a great day don't spoil it.

Secondly there were people doing the exact same thing in Harlem and many other places on a much larger scale, so please everyone chill out.

I was there, it was amazing to see what you feel inside outwardly expressed as a collective, it wasn't unruly it was extremely pleasant. I think it was a perfect way to end a monumental day in our collective history. I imagine it was similar to what my mother described when she experienced the anouncement that "war is over" in school in England, they all danced on their desks and ran into the hallways, everyone loved each other for a moment in time.
This is the purest form of joy, celebrations like these happen once in a lifetime maybe twice if you are lucky. I was honored to be there and be a part of it. Some of its beauty is that everyone is equal regardless of how old, you are how cool, or beautiful you are, there is no judgement when people come together and change history and the rejoice together. Everywhere.

To JH: I find your comment out of place and selfish you really missed out the bigger picture, its about being a part of a collective not your personal space and how your daily order and routine is affected. This was no ordinary day, and you are missing out on perhaps the most single important day of your life, for whining about your rest. Get tired! drink a beer, smoke a joint, cry, kiss someone or something, poop if it makes you feel good, but realize you are a part of something bigger than yourself, and you have no place tarnishing it with your whiney ranting.

yeah. it was a regular tompkins square riot...

I still think the cops did this because they thought they could get away with it - they didn't realize that they were stomping on the technology and creative class of young professionals in NYC (who just happen to dress like bums)....

Anyway, They blocked the streets in Harlem and didn't get riot cops:

New York is a pedestrian city? Are you fucking kidding me? So the BUSES that couldn't get through, or the emergency services vehicles - there WAS a big fire in Greenpoint last night that some of the engines might have had to get to - don't matter?

Nothing like this happened anywhere else. Because stupid trust funded hipsters don't live anywhere else.

You don't get to dictate to other people how they live their lives. Isn't that what you just voted for, assholes? You don't get to decide how much I celebrate, how I celebrate, or when and where I celebrate.


go put on a tiny ironic Obama shirt, dorkweed. You use Rec 68 as though you actually know what went down there. You would have RUN AWAY SCREAMING from Grant Park in 1968, or asked your mommy and daddy to get you out of jail.

Hipster = Embryonic Republican

I came across the scene on N7th on my way home - coming out of the subway. I can fully attest as to the peaceful nature of this gathering. Some people were drinking - most weren't. By and large people were just standing around, elated, enjoying watching and spending time with other elated people. If you moved away from the crowd at around 1:30 am or so you could see the forces amassing. The cops made no attempt to peacefully curb the excess of the crowd. Several people witnessing the amassing of troops were telling them that they were about to incite a riot. The worst offense I witnessed was that the intersection of N7th and bedford was blocked by the crowed. But come on - New York is a pedestrian city. Get over the temporary lack of vehicular transportation access and celebrate life and history once in a while. There was no riot, the cops over reacted. Period.

listen, everyone wants to celebrate and have singularly special moments all the time but if everyone is the same kind of "quirky" and everyone has to pile into the streets and everyone has to be the one to take it that much farther then there's going to be trouble. you can't have Burning Man and the Idiotarod every single day, kids. It's a neigborhood, not a college campus.

Where I live now (prospect heights) people stood by the road and cars honked and people hugged and danced and had a good time but no ran into the streets like a headless chicken because no one assumed that they owned them. The entitlement displayed by all you honkies over there is annoying.

I agree that a few people that might have been doing stupid things is not ok. but I did not see them, what I saw was joyful and peaceful and when the police came they were in full riot gear, and were extremely aggressive and yes, violent, pushing people forcefully and causing chaos for the people who were being peaceful, and beating people up- there is never, ever a need to beat and push people- you can just take them away if they're doing something, but you don't have to beat and push people. the riot gear is too much, it's already sets a threatening tone. totally unneccessary. one thing to come in and say ok we have to end the party- another thing to come in with riot gear and crazy aggression. they need to be able to assess a crowd of people reveling on the most historic night of our lifetimes, but instead they reacted like it was an angry mob looting.
There were celebrations in the street all over the city, and in cities all over the country-- sorry people, we all have jobs and have to wake up in the morning. people needed to rejoice and deserved to.

I agree with Meg.

I voted and everybody I know voted. I was out there screaming and yelling and keeping JH up. It was amazing. I'll never forget last night. Ever.

People were on their knees, crying in joy.

I didn't see anything "ruined" and I saw no violence whatsoever until the boys in blue showed up and quarantined everybody to the sidewalks.

When is the last time you are proud to be an american? Lets enjoy this!

I am proud of our country and proud of Brooklyn last night for steppin up and showing some emotion....

noise complaints in wiliamsburg for 311 calls is the on of the biggest brooklyn 2008 dont blame the cops

So... let me get this straight: there were similar gatherings all over the city (including right outside my window in the West Village - no complaint from me, I just donned some earplugs), and apparently only this one ended with some partiers getting roughed up, while the police let all the others go on without incident...

Hmm, what was different about this one? Could it actually be that the crowd got out of hand??? No, it must be the cops trampling on the rights of hipsters to stand on cars that don't belong to them!

Our candidate won, ergo I am free to wreck shit that doesn't belong to me. And anyone who doesn't agree with me must be a fascist pig.

C'mon saddened, be realistic. How would you react to a defiant and obstinant drunk in a rowdy crowd of drunks? Pat him on the head?

the point isn't whether or not people have a right to block traffic and be drunk in the street and keep people up at 1am. i guess they don't. the issue is the stupidity and stormtrooper mentality of these cops. peaceful celebrations exactly like the bedford ave one took place all over the city, notably in Harlem, without incident. these cops clearly were pissed off about the election and realized the hipsters were not going to fight back the way a crowd in Harlem might. they dealt with it in an entirely incompetent way. very very sad.

i urge everyone who witnessed this to write a letter to bloomberg. apparently the city lost millions in lawsuits after this same shit happened during the repub convention of 04 and he was very pissed off about that. he should know that it hasn't abated.

You haters won't get me down. GObama!!!!!!! The celebrations ACROSS the world were full of joy. What an amazing feeling. FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT EVER. I feel like a cloud has been lifted from our country. January 09 can't come soon enough. Word of advice for everyone on here that is wasting their time reacting with comments to the idiots that are trying to ruin our day, please IGNORE them. Don't feed it, keep it focused on the happiness of the moment! This is history people. WE made this happen. Let's continue the celebration, and take a moment to acknowledge what an amazing milestone we have just reached together as Americans. I am truly proud. :) I don't remember the last time I felt this kind of happiness! Let's hear it for our future president people! YES WE DID!

Of course there was cause for celebration last night! And there's nothing wrong with shouting at the top of one's lungs or gathering in the middle of the street at 1am. However, that doesn't excuse people from disregarding police officer's requests or damaging private property. Actually, that kind of juvenile behavior and "rail against the man" attitude that has lowered the quality of community and artistic life in this neighborhood over the past few years. We don't need dumb or disrespectful people here!

NYC cops are the best and most professional police in the world. I value their presence and purpose as much as any member of my wonderfully diverse community. Park your suburban attitudes at the door kids. This is a community, not an amusement park.

I just got back from Kazakhstan, and I suggest you also visit sometime if you want to witness real police misconduct (e.g. ski-masked men with machine guns pulling riders of my bus off at random and destroying the contents of their suitcases by the roadside, then detaining some of them to secure bribes for release).

Be thankful for living in a country as great as ours where we can witness such an historical election. Be thankful for this amazingly diverse and creatively fertile neighborhood we have here. Have some dignity and realize its not all about being a Pabst Blue swilling, tattoo sporting miscreant shouting down cops. Follow Obama's example and embrace all your people.

I left as things heated up with the cops, but what my husband and I saw last night in our neighborhood was incredible. We have been devastated and unrepresented for EIGHT YEARS! We have the right to celebrate. People were singing the national anthem and "Give Peace A Chance". If you have a problem with that, I got nothin' for you. And you know what, every person I spoke to DID register and DID vote. It was beautiful and amazing and I applaud every Brooklynite today.

Oh, so now it's a problem if a historic celebration stops traffic and people can't get their precious 8hrs of sleep. Since when is this a problem let alone a surprise.

Hey guys, what about the f*cking marathon?

Nobody says sh*t about that.

It took me 20 minutes to cross the effin' street, oh but wait, that's cool cause it's people running? What?!?

Drunk people happen.

What planet are you living on if you think drunk people won't show up. duh.

That's like, a given. So it's no use talking about it.

It pisses me off how people just hack away at a memorable moment, just for the sake of argument.

Go back to the Blackbird Parlor and drink $8 lattes and talk about the band that nobody has ever f*cking heard of.


That was a fun celebration! The only thing is it started to get out of hand the drunker people got. I saw people jumping and falling off of cars and getting hurt and as the celebration swelled and got crazier I felt this increasing sense that it could go south really quickly.

In that case I really feel that the cops needed to do thier duty to try to break it up. Unfortunately the protocol is riot gear and numbers (for protection) and firetrucks and ambulances in case people get hurt. It seems excessive but you really never know what a mob will do.

The unfortunate thing is that people get stupid when they get frenzied like that and they can't see sense and just obey the cops. They have to provoke, which gets them hurt. When the cops started trying to break it up, people just started getting more and more rowdy, louder and provocational. If they just used thier sense they wouldn't have gotten hurt.

The right to assembly does not come with the right to break the law. It could have been fine if people kept it a little more subdued or they moved it to McCarren Park.

I am definitely not with that guy who complained about losing sleep. I mean, c'mon, how crotchity can you get? I get pissed off when the bar across the street gets really crazy on a weekend night, but this is a historic occassion---let people dance and sing, come out and dance and sing yourself! It's like nothing I've ever experienced in my lifetime, so to hell with sleep.

Luckily, cops can beat their way through a drunken Williamsburg crowd and never have to worry about hitting a black person.

I biked home around 1:30 and passed two huge victory parties in the streets of Fort Greene. Tons of cops near Lafayette and S. Portland and SO many happy people. More people at Carlton and DeKalb but fewer cops (bcs the crowd was mostly white?). Then I got back to the neighborhood and heard the helicopter overhead and tons of sirens. I followed the noise and flashing lights to Bedford and N. 6th and saw just a few people milling about and maybe 30 cops in full on riot gear. What?! People were upset that they weren't allowed to celebrate. Why should Williamsburg be any different than Fort Greene? This is fucking history, people. Sorry if you can't sleep. The helicopter flying around until 4am was way louder than happy Americans.

JH says:

"Don't remember seeing anyone chugging beer in the footage I saw of Grant Park."


You are the people that are being replaced. Change your ways bro. Wahhhhh, wahhhhhh.

if you didn't enjoy the beautiful chaos there is something wrong with your f*cking priority list. If sleep is more important to you than being part of the single most historic moment of our entire lives, then fine, bug off.

I loved it.

I loved the fact that the cops showed up. The looked so confused. At one point I asked the guy "what the f*ck are you doing here?" he said: "Who knows?" I wish i was partying.

Hipsters or no hipsters, chill the f*ck out. Enjoy life. have a beer. Hug a stranger.

This only happens once.

Some people are so sensitive.

Yeah, and the guy that "had to work" this morning. Join the f*cking club dude. Idiot. I'm glad you didn't get sleep, at least you witnessed history in the making.

I wish it got crazier.

As someone who lives on the corner of Bedford and North 5th I run into this shit all the time. Any pushback on a hipsters having their “good time” is considered a violation of their human rights and or I/we just don’t “get it”.

The collateral impact of their “spontaneous” behavior is never considered to be of any consequence. But there are consequences – real consequences for real people.

My only thought through last night’s melee on Bedford was I wonder how many of these assholes actually took the time to register and vote.

can't we all just get along and talk about how awesome the lone woman riot cop was? i mean she was so awesome!

can't we all just get along and talk about how awesome the lone woman riot cop was? i mean she was so awesome!

Someone's put a video of the party starting on youtube

check it out - how the party started:

Video of the police violence is starting to come in on Youtube.

Shut up you dumb hipsters. You guys had a party on the street and were wrecking peoples cars and stopping traffic. People were being drunk and dumb like frat kids. I bet when you go back home to visit your parents in some non descript suburban town, you dont go doing stupid shit like standing on peoples cars, and hanging off street lamps. You guys should just be happy the only reason you werent beaten is cause you are white with rich parents that can get lawyers for you. Im sure you arent ehe kind of supporters Obama wanted. But regardless, GO OBAMA!!!!

"sorry jh, we forgot that traffic is more imporant than our constitutional right to assemble. bs

jh, youre whats wrong with america - chill the f*ck out."

Do you even understand what your right to assemble is?
Where does it say that your right to assemble includes disturbing the peace of people who live in the area?
I had no idea drinking, stripping and screaming at the top of your lungs were included in this so-called right to assemble.
I'm what's wrong with America?
I think not.
Your selfish sense of entitlement exemplfies what's wrong with America.

"We ALL had to work this morning.

Sorry if this historic election disturbed your beauty sleep."

To throw the importance of this election in my face is not really making your point anymore cogent.
Let me ask causing a public disturbance the only way someone can celebrate the occasion? Especially at 1 or 2 am in the morning on a Tuesday night?

It was fine until 1am but after that...come on.

"Across the nation, parties like this happened in all the cities. It was probably the first time that most of these people ever felt even remotely patriotic.

And actually - the drivers on Bedford were joining in. They were stopping their cars and playing music with the doors open and joining the celebration."

Not all the cars were celebrating. I guess you didn't notice the cars trying to drive down Bedford but were forced to reverse and find an alternate route.
I guess you didn't notice the bus that was docked on Bedford not sure where to go.
They didn't look like they were celebrating to me.
They looked like they needed to get somewhere but couldn't bc a bunch of people blocked off the street and refused to get out of the way.

And the parties elsewhere?
Yeah...saw that on tv.
I hope to God that they weren't like the one on Bedford.
Don't remember seeing anyone chugging beer in the footage I saw of Grant Park.

"Rebelious"? What's rebellious about a neighborhood of Americans flooding out into the streets and waving American flags and celebrating the election of the new President?"

Nothing is wrong with it.
What I meant by "rebellious" was when the police showed up, the crowd felt empowered and were even more unwilling to get out of the way so traffic could pass.

"OMG, you saw people smoking pot? You must be kidding me - DEATH PENALTY FOR THEM ALL!

If you didn't notice, last night across the nation, in several elections pot was decriminalized and made available for medical use - so get over yourself."

Actually...learn to respect the law. What may be legal in other states is still not legal here. So until it does become legalized, I don't see how you can decide on your own what should be deemed lawful or unlawful.

I'm happy Obama won and didn't mind the celebration before 1am but after that was too much.

All over NYC, there were impromptu celebrations just like this one (harlem, bed-stuy, etc) - just ask around. Only in Williamsburg did the police show up AND show up in Riot Gear.

This along with the insane targeting of critical mass cyclists needs to stop.

We need to organize our community to protect ourselves and our neighbors from these angry McCain supporting cops.

Our President!

Our City!

Our Streets!

What they forgot to say was that bottle were thrown at the police. People where stand on cars and destroying peoples property. It was disorganized intoxicated people. Im glad the police were called. And from what I saw the police were very restrained and only arrested people that got out og hand. If these are the people suppoting Obama maybe he needs to come to Brooklyn and teach them how to act! I would like to wish President elect Obama best of luck... He'll need it with supporters like these.

Does anyone have photos or video of the police brutality?

I was there and I'm super-fucking pissed off. I'm trying to write a Op. Ed. piece and it'd be great to have some accompanying material.

Things I witnessed:
- An officer striking the ground with his steel baton in an attempt to intimidate, breaking several glass bottles which sent shards everywhere.
- A photographer was slammed up against a trashcan, shattering his camera.
- A young girl curled in the fetal position was hit three times by an officer with a baton as her protesting boyfriend was dragged away.
- A man carrying his dog was cross-checked from behind by a cop's baton, causing him to drop his dog.

That said, I saw exactly one bottle thrown. And was into a garbage truck as it drove by.

When I first saw the violence directed at civilians, I called 911 and filed an internal affairs investigation. The detective on the line asked me for badge numbers and I gave him as many as I could.

If you're as pissed as I am, please get in touch.

I gladly missed out on a couple hours sleep for one of the most significant days in our nation's history. I didn't take part in the shenanigans, but sometimes you just gotta stay up and celebrate, or at the very least, realize there's more to a celebration than just a "drunk party" and stand in your window smiling. For once in a long time, our country made a wonderful decision.. and for that, I'm tired today. And that's ok.

I saw no problem with what the police were doing. At one point a guy in an SUV was trying to get through and a woman hit his rear window loud enough for it to cut through the noise. A cop instantly grabbed her by the arm and basically said "cut the shit". She had this offended look on her face that a cop would grab her so forcefully, but didn't seem to realize that she was the cause of her situation. A couple photographers took photos of it and I'm sure they'll go on and on about how it was an example of the police using excessive force, not a cop stopping a dumbshit girl.

As for the riot gear, it was probably a standard precaution and they do have to protect themselves in the event that something gets out of hand.

The party on Bedford last night was amazing, and it truly was an experience I will never forget. YES WE DID!! I loved the bagpipes and the cab drivers beeping in time to chants of "YES WE CAN" and "YES WE DID" and "OBAMA!!" Wow. Im finally proud of our country and elected president. What an amazingly wonderful historic moment...people of all ages and races were hugging and dancing and waving flags and posters. Aaaaaaamazing!!! :)


You have the right to assemble, but you should do it in a way that doesn't, you know, block traffic, where say emergency vehicles might need to pass. Say for instance, your grandmother's heart is puttering out and the ambulance can't get to her in time because a bunch of people decided they wanted to exercise their constitutional right to be SELFISH.

Keep in mind too, some people might need to take the bus home after working til 1, 2, or 3 a.m. and the last thing they want to do is sit and wait while you have your party before they can go home.

Your privileged. Get over yourself.

rec'68: OMG you are such a fucking tool. Even your commenter name shows how much of a clueless libtard you are. "constitutional right to assemble"? Do you even know what is actually in the constitution? Partying on the street is not a political demonstration. Go back to your NYU freshman history class bullshit.

That said, glad everyone had fun and the NYPD are a bunch of guido fucks.

We need more public space that allows unplanned assemble and we need police who practice crowd PROTECTION not crowd CONTROL. Everyone I talked to said they never saw anything like this *in America.* The Europeans in the area didn't know what the big deal was to the police.

jh said 'It was a drunk party in the middle of the street that refused to move for traffic or even buses that were on that route.'

sorry jh, we forgot that traffic is more imporant than our constitutional right to assemble. bs

jh, youre whats wrong with america - chill the f*ck out.

"The police officers were actually pretty civil when I was out there but the crowd seemed to get louder and more rebelious (for lack of a better word) when they showed up."

Yeah - because they showed up to an election night celebration of the election of the first black president in RIOT GEAR. Duh. What the hell was the NYPD thinking?

We ALL had to work this morning.

Sorry if this historic election disturbed your beauty sleep.

Across the nation, parties like this happened in all the cities. It was probably the first time that most of these people ever felt even remotely patriotic.

And actually - the drivers on Bedford were joining in. They were stopping their cars and playing music with the doors open and joining the celebration.

"Rebelious"? What's rebellious about a neighborhood of Americans flooding out into the streets and waving American flags and celebrating the election of the new President?

OMG, you saw people smoking pot? You must be kidding me - DEATH PENALTY FOR THEM ALL!

If you didn't notice, last night across the nation, in several elections pot was decriminalized and made available for medical use - so get over yourself.

I live a block away from where the N7th celebration took place and I'm glad that the police/riot police showed up.

I don't mind celebrating but I *do* mind drunk people screaming at the top of their lungs when it's past 1am in the morning.

I actually got out of bed around 1am to see what the hell was going on since I couldn't get any sleep (which really bothers me bc some of us have jobs to wake up to).
The police officers were actually pretty civil when I was out there but the crowd seemed to get louder and more rebelious (for lack of a better word) when they showed up. Also take into consideration that more than half the crowd was drunk off their asses or stoned (saw people smoking pot).

In regards to this comment:
"Once the nice cops in uniforms left and the riot police showed up - they treated the voters who were celebrating like they were criminals."
First of all...this has nothing to do with oppressing "voters". It was a drunk party in the middle of the street that refused to move for traffic or even buses that were on that route.
It was disruptive and disrespectful to say the least.

Personally, I found it to be a really disappointing sight to see.
Obama carries himself with dignity and the people who supported him used this historic occasion to get drunk and be obnoxious.

All I know is the lone woman riot cop was awesome! and very helpful in assisting me onto the sidewalk.

Ummm... You didn't stay long enough. Eventually the riot police showed up and started hitting people with batons and arresting anyone who stepped off the sidewalk. It was the most disgusting abuse of NYPD power I've ever witnessed.

And that was their reaction to a celebration.

I actually spoke to several of the officers who expressed their disdain for President Elect Obama, and it was clear they didn't consider it a celebration. Once the nice cops in uniforms left and the riot police showed up - they treated the voters who were celebrating like they were criminals.

things got very very ugly, the police got outrageously aggressive, beating people up, needlessly, in what was a beautiful night. very sad.

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