Jerry the peddler
Experience the squatting scene on New York City's Lower East Side through the life of its most colorful organizer.
Meet Jerry. He's been squatting on the Lower East Side for more than 35 years. His credits include 96 arrests under 7 aliases and 11 abandoned buildings pried open on behalf of fellow squatters. The hippy from San Angelo, Texas, was at the center of the 1988 riots in Tompkins Square Park, and he still lives in C-Squat -- a building well known for its lineage of artists, activists, and punk musicians. When Jerry's not organizing demonstrations or actions or concerts, he's peddling buttons in Manhattan and building gardens in Brooklyn. Since the early 1980s he's been at the center of a patchwork of hippies, yippies, punks and anarchists who've made up a nation of squatters on the Lower East Side. And be warned: Jerry's favorite organizing tools include weed, beer, and psychedelic punk.