In an attempt to control crime in the West Village, community board 2 instated a 1am closing time for the recently renovated Christopher St Pier. Residents and business owners complained about the hundreds of people that, kicked off the pier at 1am, moved into the nearby streets. They suggested an even earlier closing time of 10pm. The debate over what to do about this is centered on the vilification of LGBT youth, especially youth of color, in an upscale neighborhood that refuses to appreciate their contribution to the vibrant neighborhood. LGBT youth of color, often harassed in their own neighborhoods or homeless with no room in shelters, go to the pier as a non-commercial, historic place of refuge for LGBT youth.

FIERCE organized some 40 members and 30 supporters to attend the meeting, adding to the 30 other people in attendance. Despite their overwhelming presence, some residents and shop owners suggested that these youth aren't the people hanging out on the pier late at night. One after another, members of FIERCE and their supporters stood to articulate the importance of the pier to the community and the need to access the space late into the eventing.

Discussion of this issue will continue until April, when the board plans to implement an agreed upon plan on a trial basis until June. Fierce hopes to speak to the different stake holders in the issue outside the community board setting in order to bring a plan to the table that addresses all interests. Check out www.fiercenyc.org for information on upcoming community board meeting. For more pictures see:  http://www.photoshelter.com/gallery-show?G_ID=G000083_ciPtfMnE