Through chainsaws and woodchips: Inside the East Side war over coastal resiliency project at waterfront park

Residents on the East Side are continuing their war with the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the New York City Parks Department over the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) amidst what they claim to be illegal construction following the issue of a temporary restraining order.

In the last of the day’s dying light on Dec. 10, they clung to the chain link fence — fingertips interlocked with the mesh — and pleaded for the construction to stop. Since the early hours of Dec. 10, activists and local residents had attempted to halt the embattled flood protection plan from resuming, leading to two arrests that morning of Harriet Hirshorn and Alice O’Malley. This fight continued the following day on Dec. 11, with one more arrest as workmen took chainsaws to trees, sending wood chips hurtling into the air and park trees piling up.

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