On Patrol with the Chinatown Block Watch

Posted on: May 11th, 2020 at 5:06 am by

Photo: Aidan Elias

Earlier this month, we broke news about the formation of a grassroots group of guardians in Chinatown. The Chinatown Block Watch.

Through periodic patrols, the force aims to curb the uptick of harassment citywide against Asians – often blamed for the coronavirus pandemic.

Bowery Boogie contributor Aidan Elias spent a recent afternoon embedded with Chinatown Block Watch and snapped the following photos on black-and-white film with a Leica M6 camera.

Photo: Aidan Elias

The motive behind this particular patrol was reactionary. In fact, a response to a brawl at a Chinatown store (249 Grand Street) precipitated by two customers who refused to wear face masks. The two Chinese employees who intervened were later arrested.

Days later, the group printed bilingual printouts reading, “No face mask, no entry.” These notices were distributed to various businesses while on the walkabout.

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