A Co-op’s form of resistance

| 20 Feb 2017 | 06:39

The building at the corner of 101st Street and Central Park West has a distinguished legacy, home to past generations of famous writers, singers and jazz musicians, some honored on a bronze plaque on the façade. Last week the 17-story co-op was the site of another message, as residents planned to put signs in their windows along the park, most reading, “Resist.” The display was timed to coincide with nationwide protests planned for President’s weekend.

“People in the building wanted to show unity and resist against everything that’s happening in the Trump government,” one resident who did not want to be named told photographer Joe Carrotta on Saturday. “But in a positive way we wanted to take a stance and remember all the things that are going on.” Another resident who chose to remain anonymous summed up the action this way: “Resistance — that’s what you see on the signs.”

But the signs were short-lived: the building management declared that they were a violation of house rules. Citing the rule violation, a complaint from a shareholder and an open house scheduled for the weekend, the memo requested that signs be taken down “immediately.” Christopher Dunn, associate legal director at the New York Civil Liberties Union told the New York Times last September that “there would not be a constitutional right to post your sign if the landlord is saying no.”

According to another anonymous resident, the rule against signs in windows is common for co-ops throughout the city. “No signs of any kind,” the resident said, explaining that it doesn’t just apply to political displays. The resident said there was discussion beforehand of the rule, but that some in the building deemed the issue important enough to merit breaking the rules. “It’s a very active group,” the resident said. “They’re very moved and concerned by the current political situation and felt that this was a way they could express that.”