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Hipsters vs. Old-timers battle flares up again

Williamsburg was one of several neighborhoods that spontaneously erupted after Barack Obama’s election victory on Tuesday night. Brooklynites had reason to cheer: the borough gave Obama the most votes of any county in the state.
Ryan Muir

Dozens of hipsters — and the old-timers who resent them — stormed a community meeting on Monday night, showing the ongoing clash of cultures that collided when people flooded the streets after Barack Obama’s election win on Nov. 4.

Three people were arrested during the celebration — and many more were roughed up, according to witnesses — and on Monday night, dozens of people who had danced in the streets had a chance to vent their frustrations at the officers of the 94th Precinct.

One after another, youngsters stood up and alleged mistreatment at the hands of the police on the night of Nov. 4-5, after Barack Obama was declared the winner of the presidential election shortly after 11 pm.

At that time, hundreds of people, mostly young, poured into the streets of Greenpoint, shouting and celebrating. At 3 am, after several noise complaints, police dispersed the large, unauthorized crowd, sometimes roughly, speakers said.

“I was filming the event,” said one person, who identified himself as a video producer, “and an officer with a handlebar moustache threw my camera to the ground and smashed it.”

Another person claimed he experienced mistreatment despite not even being at the celebration.

“I was walking in the street with my friends at 11 pm,” said the man. “A female officer stopped us and accused us of having an open container [of alcohol].”

He that this was not the case, but the officer remained abusive.

“She refused to believe us, and told us that we could file a complaint, but it wouldn’t matter because it would be an officer’s word against the word of a civilian, and she had a ‘perfect record.”

Each anti-cop comment at the meeting of the 94th Precinct Community Council was met with increasing vociferousness from old-time residents. At times, Precinct Captain Dennis Fulton appeared to lose control of the crowd, and one of the meeting’s co-chairs tried to use a soda can as a gavel to restore calm.

In the end, the three dozen younger residents heard a mouthful from older residents, who complained just as vocally that three cops were injured in the election night celebration and that the streets are not the proper place for a celebration in the first place.

The undercurrent, of course, is that many longtime residents feel just as angry as the youngsters about what is happening in a neighborhood that has seen rapid change and gentrification over the last 15 years.

“The police reacted with too much restraint,” said an oldster.

Another elderly man directly addressed the younger crowd.

“You people think you can just break the law and create anarchy,” he said, drawing boos and cries of exasperation from the hipsters.

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