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, New York's only underground newspaper, began publishing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in March of 1989, as a result of distorted mainstream media coverage in the aftermath of the infamous Police Riot in Tompkins Square Park from the evening of August 6 through the morning of August 7, 1988, during which hundreds of "New York's Finest" descended on our neighborhood in furtherance of enforcing a non-existent park curfew.

A week earlier, on the evening of July 31, cops had beaten people in the park in order to remove them under the same excuse. Over the course of the following week, cops built up their forces inside and around the perimeter of the park, including a command station inside, riot vehicles outside and maneuvers on horseback, Like a scene from West Side Story, it was clear to us that they were letting us know that they were the bigger gang and were preparing for an old-fashioned New York-style rumble that coming weekend. Not to be outdone by the NYPD, our people were preparing for the upcoming rumble as well.

On the evening of August 6, hundreds of people demonstrated against the non-existent curfew, as riot cops looked on. As we marched in and around the park, bandanas to cover faces were distributed as loud M80s exploded every few minutes. As soon as marchers left the park, cops read the "Riot Act" over a speaker, announcing that, as it was then 1:00am, their curfew was going to be enforced. Realizing the tactical error of having left the park, many demonstrators ran to jump over the park fence in order to get back in the park. Riot cops jumped them. The riot was on.