Answer (3): Pier 57 and RNC

The Portland IMC link in the question posted here leads to a letter from a person named Erin Starr, from Hawaii, who's daughter was arrested during the RNC. She writes "My husband called the NYPD to ask who had issued a Certificate of Occupancy or Fire Safety Inspection Certificate and who wasmanaging Pier 57. He was given the number for the Republican National Committee. Yes. My husband and I looked at each other in silent, cold horror. In America?" This may just have been a mistake on the part of the switchboard.

On the other hand, we do know that the Republican Party provided the city with money for security. Was some of this money used to lease Pier 57? Or did the Republican Party lease it?

I called the Hudson River Park Trust just now (10:30 AM Thursday, September 16th, 2004). The man I spoke with said Pier 57 was leased to the NYPD sometime in August and ended last week. He didn't have specific dates in front of him, and I didn't press further.

If the police had to pay to use the pier, then a case could be made that security money provided by the Republicans financed the Pier 57 detention center, quite a different thing from the RNC actually renting it out for the NYPD. The more significant point in all of this is Pier 57 itself, and the fact that it existed at all, the health concerns there, etc. We know that the Republicans provided security money, and that is also a significant detail, because it can be construed that police tactics were a response to the investment of the RNC in security, which turned into something quite different from security during the convention, as many would argue.

For further information or documentation, contact:

Permit Office
Hudson River Park Trust
Pier 40
W. Houston Street
2nd floor
(phone 212-627-2020)

Thanks to Lisa and Ben, who did the original work for this question.