Spooky Routes Through Garages & Dark Halls, Evictions and
June 1 -- The UN's emptied building was spooky and some day
dangerous during Memorial
Day's emergency Security Council meetings
about the assault on the flotilla to Gaza. In the UN's lobby, a
plywood fence has been erected. It was supposed to block
traffic from May 29 onward. But due to bad planning various UN
functions have not moved out of the building.
June 1 the door
through the plywood fence was still open. Despite signs saying that
hardhats and protective gear against asbestos were required, UN staff
whose offices had not been moved walked through the dark corridor.
"This is crazy," one of them told Inner City Press. "Is
a hardhat supposed to keep me from breathing asbestos?"
were told to access the Security Council from their
Whistleblower Free Zone over the library by walking through the
garage. One television producer said, this can't be safe, and planned
a video expose. The UN is proposing a new set of guidelines to
further restrict access to the media, the producer complained: "this
is Ban Ki-moon's UN."
"normal" way from the Press pen to the Security
Council involves going outside near the Spokesperson's Office, by the
river and up to the General Assembly, through the basement to to the
Security Council. But on June 1 the electronic turnstiles set to go
into use that day weren't assembled and weren't ready. Of the two old
elevators to the Press (and Management) floors above the library, one
UN Staff Union,
having been threatened
with eviction by Capital Master Plan chief
Michael Adlerstein, had their phones cut off on May 28. When they
arrived for work on June 2, the offices in the Secretariat Building
were empty, they say. But their equipment and furniture had not shown
up in the Alcoa Building either, having been stored on a truck all
weekend. CMP means Can't Manage Planning, they say. But now whole
floors of the empties Secretariat Building are being used for
storage, or for contractor Skanska or its consultants.
At UN, during cleaner moving times: spooky halls not shown
asked the UN Spokesperson's Office a few questions and got these
Press: What happened with the video monitors which were
installed outside the conference rooms in the Conference Building
which used to show the meeting schedules.? Will they be reused, or
were they sold, or thrown away?? Where are they now, and who is
responsible for their custody?
The video monitors were removed by the Broadcast and
Conference Support Section (BCSS), on behalf of the Department of
General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), in coordination
with the Capital Master Plan. The monitors are in the Facilities
Management Service, BCSS Store and will be reused wherever practical.
Press: Speaking of video monitors, there is a monitor in front
of the cafeteria which until last week only showed pages from a
French news/TV site.? An image of Sarkozy visiting Afghanistan in
February was frozen on that monitor for?some time.? Was that monitor
donated by France on condition that it only show images of Sarkozy??
Why is it dark now?? Who is responsible for programming that
The monitor was provided by the TV5 Monde, in coordination
and with full support of the Department of Public Information. The
monitor is to display news and informational programming broadcast by
TV5 Monde and delivered to the UN over the internet. Recently we have
had some technical issues which we are working to resolve and hope
there will be a full resumption of service in the near future.
* * *
Adlerstein as "Slumlord," Forced Relocation in the End,
Ceiling Collapse Confirmed, Asbestos Denied but not Tested
May 28, updated -- Alongside the sealing off of the UN
Building, a new ceiling collapse in the General Assembly basement and
relentlessly upbeat storytelling by the UN about happy staffers and
even reporters in their new swing space, as in many refugee
situations it all comes down to force.
chief of the UN
Capital Master Plan Michael Adlerstein has written:
event that you do not pack your materials as requested,
arrange for your material to be packed and relocated to the Alcoa
space during the weekend of 29-31 May 2010. In either event,
telephone and computer connections will be relocated ... this
weekend, and the locks will be changed at your old office in the
Secretariat on Friday night. On Tuesday morning June 1, you will not
be allowed to enter your former offices."
in New York or most real estate situation, there is no
possibility of appeal or any outside review. "It's like a threat
from a slumlord," one reader of the letter told Inner City
reflects that Information Technology staff are, in fact,
remaining in the Secretariat high rise. It is unclear when they will
be moved to the basement of the North Lawn building.
basement, workers at UN Television report they will be moved upstairs
"to where Verbatim used to be" -- that is, the Department
of General Assembly and Conference Management staff who were moved to
the bedbug ridden Albano Building swing space will not be coming
Moving, like it or not: garbage cart, Adlerstein as
locksmith not shown
series of CMP
related questions have been sent this morning to the spokespeople for
the Secretary General and for the CMP, including about yet another
ceiling collapse in the General Assembly lobby, the reported charging
of admission to see a film inside the UN, frozen and missing video
monitors and the future of the US Post Office inside the UN. Watch
1 p.m. -- from the UN, on one of eight questions:
to your first question from CMP
From: UN Spokesperson -
Do Not Reply
Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM
To: Inner City Press
is another ceiling collapse in front of the gift shop, in the
public area of the UN.? Has the UN done testing to confirm that there
is not asbestos being released in the vicinity of visitors, including
children?? When were the tests done, and will the UN make them
10 sf of plaster have fallen down near the Gift Shop.
The plaster in that area had to be replaced a few times before due to
a recurring leakage problem. This plaster does not contain asbestos.
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