Hurricane Sandy has united activists and authorities.
A little over a year ago the news was full of stories about the conflict between the New York Police Department and Occupy Wall Street activists. These conflicts were intense, and often became violent. So it came as some surprise when the New York Post reported that these two opposing groups, along with members of other nonprofits, have joined together in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to keep the residents of the Red Hook housing development safe.
Despite desperate conditions in the Red Hook housing development and residences nearby, there was virtually no crime — and no storm-related deaths.
Police sources have credited the drop in crime to an unlikely coalition that included the NYPD, Occupy Wall Street activists, and local nonprofits working together to keep storm victims safe.
The cooperation between these two groups, who until now had been so fiercely opposed to one another, is a wonderful example of how tragedy can bring people together for the common good. The New York Post quotes a police source as saying:
This crisis allowed us all to remove the politics and differences we had to do our job, and come to the aid of the people. We all rose to the occasion.
I think this is something that we can all learn a lesson from. If the NYPD and Occupy Wall Street can put their differences aside to protect their community in a time of crisis anyone can. Let’s hope that this spirit of mutual respect and cooperation can continue past the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.