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McDonald's Melee St. Patrick's Day 2012 -- W. 3rd St. NYC

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Published on Mar 19, 2012

Little riot St. Patrick's Day 2012 -- In front of West 3rd Street McDonald's, Greenwich Village, New York City (c) 2012

Note 22 March 2012:

Well, my little YouTube video of the St. Patrick's Day brawl in front of the Greenwich Village McDonald's near my house has now gone semi-viral -- well over 50,000 hits in three days -- and has been appropriated by several websites and tv and print news agencies including Huffington Post, Gothamist, New York Post, Gawker, DNA Info, The Interrobang, WPIX, even MixedMartialArts.com. Newscorp (Fox News) asked for permission to use my video and I refused, and to their credit they have honored my preference. [Update: I now see my video up on the Fox News website with an accompanying article.] None of the others using the video even bothered to ask, except the New York Post, whom I also refused without some kind of payment, but they have put it on their website anyway (who is not happy to do unpaid charity work for Rupert Murdoch and his needy children?). The comments in response to the video at each of the websites it appears are for the most part mad funny.

Huffington Post, btw, refers to the brawlers as "McDonald's patrons." Wrong. They may have been customers at some time in their lives, but not that night. The 20 to 30 boys involved were never inside the restaurant -- they came from the direction of Washington Square Park two short blocks to the east, and the entire fight took place outside on the sidewalk and street in front of McDonald's. The patrons inside ran to the large front display windows to watch as the commotion hit like a sudden storm, with several of the brawlers banging up against the windows and double-door entrance.

I find it interesting that several news agencies assigned reporters to write stories about what appears in my little 42-second video, but not one person bothered to contact me to ask me any questions as to what I witnessed. Comments on the video at its various embedded locations include the usual knee-jerk racist dross. I've responded with my observation that it seemed like an equal opportunity dust up involving our entire beautiful mosaic in all racial directions; a Benetton ad gone wrong.

Some news agencies claim that my little video has caused controversy. Much of it decrying mayhem in the streets, societal decay, etc. (what, a kid can't get drunk and trade punches with another drunk kid on St. Patrick's Day?), but, more interestingly, about the fact that while these scamps were tearing it up in the West Village, the police were doing what power does best in New York City: making sure that another group of youngsters understand that here the US Constitution is just so much Charmin tissue, particularly the Fourth and First Amendments. As we are all aware, March 17 just happened to be the six month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, so, priorities being what they are, an army of cops that normally would have been deployed to maintain order in the West Village party zone, on St. Patrick's, on a Saturday night (triple whammy -- foreseeable booze-fueled mass bedlam), were instead sent further south to Zuccotti Park Saturday night to terrorize peaceful, sober, serious people exercising their creator-endowed inalienable rights.

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