12/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

East Village Squatters Lose a Leader, Michael Shenker

Throughout much of the 1980s and '90s, a certain segment of the East Village appeared to be in nearly perpetual rebellion. There were the squatters who took over abandoned city-owned buildings. There were the gardeners who reclaimed trash-strewn lots. And there were the anarchists and artists who declared rhetorical war on developers while holding roving protests and sometimes skirmishing with the police.
One of the people who seemed always to be at the center of such events was a wiry, bespectacled man named Michael Shenker, who arrived in the neighborhood as a teenager in the early 1970s and died on Saturday of liver failure at the age of 54.