Saturday, August 16, 2008

Panda Riot Blocks Kent Ave;
NYPD Brings Air Support

Panda Riot 3

About 75 Williamsburg hipsters staged a mini riot around 10 pm Saturday evening, waving waving Asian-themed panda banners and sparklers, chanting something about pandas, and temporarily stopping Kent Avenue traffic when they pulled construction barricades across the busy street.

The generally-nondestructive and upbeat mob, walking and riding bikes, moved west along North 6th, leaving sawhorses and newsboxes strewn about the street in front of the Edge sales office. Turning south on Kent Avenue, marchers dragged a long plastic barricade across the entire width of the avenue, then continued down Kent to Metropolitan where they were met by police cruisers and quickly dispersed.

Amazingly, within moments an NYPD incident response truck was at Kent and North 6th, pushing the barricade out of the street as confused drivers looked on. Almost simultaneously, a PD helicopter swung overhead, sweeping the Northside waterfront with its spotlight, looking for...suspicious-looking hipsters?

We thought it was a promotion for the indy band Panda Riot, but they played Rehab back on August 7th and should have been in Athens, GA this weekend. Our better half suggested it was a stunt to promote a new Panda Express location. Anyone got anything else?

Williamsburg Panda Riot photoset [Flickr]