Veselka Supports Fascism in Ukraine

This past Sunday [February 9], a friend of mine and I ate at a restaurant called Veselka, on East 9th Street and Second Avenue. When we were finished and leaving, I noticed this sign:

veselka-euromaidan

Since most “East Villagers” don’t know anything about what’s happening in the world, for their benefit, I will introduce “Euromaidan” to them:

veselka-the-nation1

and

veselka-ibd2

and

veselka-rev-news3

That’s it, in a nut shell. Connect to the articles footnoted below for more information.

So here it is, in the heart of the “East Village”, an open advocation of fascism, and what do you suppose the local reaction is? Well, as I already said, most people don’t even know what it means. But of those who do? Or should? Newspapers, and the like? This is how The Villager soft-pedaled efforts here to advance the fascist effort, in a January 20 article:

veselka-the-villager

An “awareness campaign”!

It’s not surprising that The Villager either doesn’t know what “Euromaidan” is, or worse, supports it. The social composition of fascist movements have historically been the small capitalists that they champion.

So on February 12, I posted this photo on Twitter, and @’d local news organizations/bloggers:

 
(Cue crickets.)

OK, not crickets exactly. EV Grieve posted something about Veselka yesterday:

veselka-evgrieve

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1The Ukrainian Nationalism at the Heart of ‘Euromaidan’
2Euromaidan: The Dark Shadows Of The Far-Right In Ukraine Protests
3The Ukrainian Euromaidan: The Solution to Putin, or Just Another Fascist Political Coup?

Class Struggle on Avenue A

So, 7‑Eleven on Avenue A and 11th Street finally opened for business on October 30, 2013, and in less than a week’s time, “No 7-Eleven NYC” (N7E) began attacking their workers on Twitter:

n7e-tweet-anti-711-worker

And from their blog:

n7e-attacks-711-workers

The claim that 7-Eleven employees are harassing local businesses comes from one of their supporters: the owner of the Hi-Fi bar, across the street (red highlighting mine):

hifi-attacks-711-workers

N7E and Co. has never been judicious with the truth. They have attempted to use everything and anything they find as a cudgel against 7-Eleven, from ministers leading campaigns against the store because it sells beer, to claims that 7-Eleven is a “crime magnet” due to the fact that 24-hour 7-Elevens in isolated areas have been robbed, to claims that the city’s attempted soda cap would give 7-Eleven unfair advantage over restaurants and movie theaters! They laud bodegas that over-charge for expired merchandise and make the bulk of their money from selling cigarettes, beer, and lottery tickets in poor neighborhoods.

bodega-front'
Yeah, bitch! Bodegas!

It defies reason to accuse the workers of 7-Eleven of this. To begin with, the workers at the new 7-Eleven are new to this hoopla. They haven’t been around since the time of the Hurricane Sandy planning session; they didn’t take the job and immediately join the fray. Secondly, their manager isn’t going to let them leave the store while they’re on the clock, especially to create mischief on the block.

I went into the 7-Eleven yesterday and spoke with a worker there. She told me the story of the owner of Hi-Fi coming in and confronting her. When she told him it wasn’t anyone from there, he became more confrontational. She also told me that most local businesses owners have been very friendly, and wished them well.

Once again, N7E rears its petite-bourgeois head. Attacking big businesses on the one hand, and workers on the other. These are the people who claim the mantle of resistance in the neighborhood.

***

Why would they even make this claim? Apart from the fact that they’ve never bothered with being honest, maybe it’s because this is exactly what they do!

Thursday, Oct 31
n7e-1031-0933

n7e-1031-2048

Sunday, Nov 3

Monday, Nov 4
EV Grieve reported that someone inside the store revised the N7E skull sign.

Later, he reported that someone outside the store destroyed the revised skull sign.

Friday, Nov 8

The accusations come easily to them because the actions themselves come easily to them.

***

Back in August, in response to the assertion that the 7-Eleven on Avenue A “targets only non-local foot traffic coming to the bars on A,” I responded “It’ll be people in the neighborhood who shop there, watch and see.”

What does N7E say?

n7e-no-customers-1109-0917

n7e-no-customers-1109-1606

I’ve made it a point to pass by there more often recently, to see who is going in, and just as I predicted, it’s neighborhood people. Mostly young mothers and children, mostly Black and Hispanic. In my two times entering the store, and the many times I’ve pass recently, I’ve noticed that the employees are also either Black or Hispanic! Of course, these people are not even on the radar of the all-White N7E!

No 7-Eleven’s Nativism

Two recent tweets from an organization dedicated to preventing the “whitewash[ing of] our community.”

Localism adopts the premise that people have free choice to structure a capitalist economy. But when people make the wrong choices, then localism can become right-wing and anti-immigrant. It critiques globalization for strengthening multinational corporations at the expense of communities.

A distrust of foreign people creeps in. Being rooted in a place enhances relationships, whereas “(m)obility erodes community.” Migration brings displacement and alienation. This parochialism extends to non-local workers, who don’t contribute to local economies and spend what they earn elsewhere. Since value for localists is created only through exchange, foreign workers bring no benefit.

N7E Blocks Quilas!

I’ve been pretty busy at work lately, so I haven’t been able to check my Twitter account as often as I’ve done in the past, so I don’t know if what I’m about to report happened recently or a little while ago, but today I was scrolling down my feed and I noticed a distinct absence of tweets from No 7‑Eleven NYC. “That’s odd,” I thought. “Have there been no robberies at 7‑Elevens in the Southwest lately?”

So I went to their home page, and the Follow button twitter-follow-buttonwas active, instead of the Following button twitter-following-buttonthat I was accustomed to seeing. That’s odd, I thought, so I clicked it.

twitter-quilas-blocked

Well, blow me down! They’re blocking Quilas from receiving their tweets!

OK, no big deal. I can always go to their home page. I saw one thread I was interested in, and clicked twitter-view-conversation, and got this:

twitter-quilas-not-authorized

Apparently they’ve never heard the adage “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” They’re not my enemies, but if you follow this blog, you know we don’t agree on some things. Still, you would think that they’d want to know what I was saying on Twitter, if it had anything to do with them, no? Presumably, they won’t receive tweets of mine with their address in it twitter-n7e-address. How do you run damage control when you don’t know what’s going on?

Silly people!

The Kiss of Death

A little over a week ago — April 25, to be precise — I was checking my stats, out of idle curiosity mostly, when I noticed a spike in connections. I looked at the referring links, and they were from The Local East Village, a supplementary blog of the New York Times. I had to see what was leading them to me, so I clicked on the link.

thelocal-plods-on

Plods? I suppose that’s accurate. The responses I’ve been getting from N7E have been laborious!

It’s not the first time The Local mentioned Quilas. Earlier in the month they linked to No 7-Eleven on Avenue A in their daily wrap-up, called The Day:

thelocal-mentions-quilas-0404

But this time, the link garnered more connections. I was waiting for them to tweet the story so I could re-tweet it, since they always tweeted every story of theirs, but it never came. They must not have wanted to promote it. Who can say? I was too busy at work to write my own tweet, so I just let it go.

And then it happened, and on May Day, no less:

thelocal-eastvillage-logo
thelocal-final-post

The Local is no more! They linked to Quilas, and they bit the dust.

They’re keeping the site on-line, though, at least for now. After all, N7E is still posting to their Comments section!

Postscript

While writing this piece, I checked The Local‘s twitter page, to see if they ever did tweet the link to “…Plods On”. Here is what I found:

thelocal-eastvillage-twitter-link

Their twitter page is gone! Vanished! As if it had never existed. So, unlike the blog itself, if you want a reference to past The Local tweets, for whatever historical research you might be conducting, it’s not there. Not on Twitter, anyway. You might be able to get it from the NSA, if you file a FOIA request, but I suspect any reference to Quilas will be redacted!

Gated Communities, Redux

There are these people in the neighborhood who have a Twitter account, and have tweeted information about towns around the country that seek to prevent certain types of stores from opening within their boundaries. The idea is that the “East Village” should emulate this effort.

An interesting thing about these towns is that their populations are significantly lower than that of the “East Village”.

Print

An even more interesting fact is that the median household income of these towns is significantly higher.

Print

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All figures from City Data.

Ed Koch

UPDATED 3/30, 09:20

This morning, I signed onto Twitter only to find, in the Who To Follow column, Ed Koch:

twitter-ed-koch-recommended

For those who don’t know, Ed Koch was the Mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. He died in February, 2013.

His publicist needs to take care of this! Or is he tweeting from the grave?

ed-koch-tweet

Speaking of Ed Koch, I see that Aron Kay is in the hospital.

lev-aron-kay-in-hospital

He and Ed Koch go way back.
lev-ed-koch-aron-kay

Follow the Money

I’m not ready yet with my next installment in the gentrification series, so I’ll return to one of my other recurring topics, a small-business association whose stated goal is preventing 7‑Eleven stores from opening in the East Village. I am referring, of course, to No 7‑Eleven NYC. They posted a flurry of tweets two days before the law was to go into effect banning the sale of sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. Here is one of them:

In another tweet No 7‑Eleven NYC posted, they advance the idea that once in place, the law will be ineffective, because people will go into 7‑Elevens and bodegas to buy their sodas (which they seem to think they will then be permitted to take into restaurants and movie theaters), but in the one above they claim that the ban will hurt bodegas. The fact is that, while the ban would not have affected 7‑Eleven, neither would it have affected bodegas. Bodegas don’t sell sugary drinks in cups, and bottles and cans would not have been affected by the law.

But there are bigger issues than this. Back in January they tweeted:

The day after Judge Milton Tingling blocked the ban from going into effect, the NY Times ran an article detailing the relationship between the soft-drink industry and community groups around the country:

    Dozens of Hispanic and African-American civil rights groups, health advocacy organizations and business associations have joined the beverage industry in opposing soda regulation around the country in recent years, arguing that such measures — perhaps the greatest regulatory threat the soft-drink industry has ever faced — are discriminatory, paternalistic or ineffective.

    Many of these groups have something else in common: They are among the recipients of tens of millions of dollars from the beverage industry that has flowed to nonprofit and educational organizations serving blacks and Hispanics over the last decade, according to a review by The New York Times of charity records and other documents.

These activities echo those of the tobacco industry, that for decades contributed to minority and women’s organizations, encouraging them to focus on concerns other than smoking. Leaders faced a real conflict: either accept the money, or speak out about the disproportionate toll of tobacco on the health of minority populations. Women’s groups, heavily supported and buoyed by support for events like the Virginia Slims Tennis Tour, were silent on the rapidly escalating epidemic of lung cancer in women, focusing instead on breast cancer and other problems. (Advocacy Institute 1998).

When speaking publicly about their products, the beverage industry uses a playbook similar to that used by the tobacco industry, that focusses on “personal responsibility,” raises fears of government action destroying personal freedom and civil liberties, criticizes studies that hurt the industry as “junk science,” and promotes physical activity over diet.

Both industries’ tactics rely heavily on “personal responsibility” arguments that claim regulation isn’t necessary because it’s up to consumers to make healthy choices, yet they spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to undermine personal responsibility. On February 24, the NY Times published an article describing the efforts food companies have made over the years to addict people to their products:

    As the sensory intensity (say, of sweetness) increases, consumers first say that they like the product more, but eventually, with a middle level of sweetness, consumers like the product the most (this is their optimum, or “bliss,” point). …

    “[M]outh feel.” This is the way a product interacts with the mouth, as defined more specifically by a host of related sensations, from dryness to gumminess to moisture release. … [T]he mouth feel of soda and many other food items, especially those high in fat, is second only to the bliss point in its ability to predict how much craving a product will induce. …

    “[S]ensory-specific satiety.” In lay terms, it is the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm the brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more. … The biggest hits — be they Coca-Cola or Doritos — owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating.

Efforts to encourage these industries to self-regulate are failing. Instead, the companies are consolidating power by building financial connections with health agencies and non-governmental organizations — and using that power to lobby politicians to oppose health reforms. In the February 23 issue of the English medical journal The Lancet, a team of researchers from around the world wrote:

    [T]hrough the sale and promotion of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink (unhealthy commodities), transnational corporations are major drivers of global epidemics of [non-communicable diseases] NCDs. … Despite the common reliance on industry self-regulation and public—private partnerships, there is no evidence of their effectiveness or safety. Public regulation and market intervention are the only evidence-based mechanisms to prevent harm caused by the unhealthy commodity industries.

On the day the ban was halted, No 7‑Eleven NYC retweeted:

That’s where they stand.

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Further reading:

Swedish House Mafia

I’m adding a new tag today: Swedish House Mafia. Why, you ask?

I recently did a search on Google for “shmnyc”, to see what would turn up. I discovered there was a group (or band, or “crew”) called Swedish House Mafia, that some people abbreviate as SHM:

shmnyc-google-search

I guess shmnyc refers to when the Swedish House Mafia plays in New York City. Kids these days, with their txtspk! It’s bad enough that smh is a dyslexic ordering of my initials.

Why do I bring this up? It’s not as if sharing initials with some pop band is uncommon, or even worth mentioning. It’s that I get tweets attempting to reference them, such as:

So as a bonus feature for my readers, I will post these whenever I get them. It’s probably not as interesting as Kenneth Goldsmith reading the fan mail he got that was intended for Kenny G, back when he was at WFMU, but hey… you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.

Neil Smith Walking Tour

I was just about to post the next in my gentrification series when… Take a look at this! It was retweeted by David Harvey. I got it at 2:27pm:

(I don’t know how to explain what happened. The time I got this was 2:27pm. The walking tour began at 2:30pm. Now, however, when I embed the tweet, the time shows as 2:45pm.)

I replied: “When? Today? In three minutes?” Right away, though, I deleted it. I thought “David Harvey isn’t responsible for this tour. And he doesn’t even know me!”

So I went to the source tweet, and responded to them something like: “You really need to give people more notice of these things.” Then I thought “Maybe they did. I don’t follow them, I follow David Harvey,” so I deleted that one too.

Apparently, Neil Smith led walking tours in New York. I never knew this. I’m really surprised I never knew this. In all the years I’ve lived in New York, this is the kind of thing I would know. Maybe they were CUNY-Grad events? I don’t know. I’m sorry I missed these though.

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