Sunday, June 28, 2009

Protesting BloomWeinKlein: GEM/ICE/NYCORE Show Some Muscle

Well, it was quite a day, as on less than 24 hours notice, GEM, ICE, the Parent Commission and others came out with a spirited crowd to PS 57 in East Harlem to protest at the Bloomberg/Klein/Weingarten/Patterson pro mayoral control.

The turnout was a sign that the GEM organizing efforts are having an impact. A little more notice and we could easily have doubled the crowd. When the day comes that we can turn out hundreds and then a thousand, we will begin to force the powers that be to take notice.

Not that they didn't take notice today. I confronted NYC Partnership's Kathryn Wilde (got her on video) and the LearnNY twinkies who wouldn't talk.

I was amazed at the people who showed, some based on an email I sent out early this morning. If they find a way to get mayoral control renewed by Tues. night (my guess is they will at least get the Senate to pass an extension of some kind) we need to grow these events over the next 4 years so that the next time mayoral control comes up the tweakers will be in retreat.

The biggest outrage was the exploitation of young people, almost all African-American, who were given signs and chants but were ordered not to comment when asked why they supported mayoral control.

Philissa Cramer from Gotham Schools was there and nails it with this comment:
"A smaller number of mayoral control supporters was organized by the lobbying group Learn NY, but most declined to provide their names or why they thought the issue was important."

James Eterno, ICE/TJC UFT presidential candidate running against Michael Mulgrew, was there to lend support and was interviewed by some of the press. Look for a profile soon at Gotham.

And of course Randi was there supporting BloomKlein with her personal PR person Maureen Salter. I got some video of them slinking away.

I took lots more video and hope to get it up ASAP. Photo above by Philissa. Graphic by David Bellel. Marina Ortiz has a wonderful album

Here is Leonie's preliminary report.

Story at Bloomberg: If senate doesn’t extend mayoral control, lawyers will

Also the following news media were there in force to interview protesters:

NY1, Fox 5, Channel 4 News, ABC-TV, the Daily News, the NY Post and others.

It was a great event; thanks to all who came. More later.

Leonie Haimson

David's raw video

1 comment:

ed notes online said...

I was permitted inside the press conference, thanks to David Cantor. There were no demonstrators, unless you count the small number -- 30? -- of electeds, union officials, and a few parents and students arrayed behind the Mayor and Governor. No banners, no chanting. There were about 20 reporters plus camera operators. The whole thing was a set piece to deliver the Mayor's bogus message that the system would be paralyzed if the Senate fails to pass the Assembly bill before July 1st. Weingarten did not parrot this -- though she did use the disrespect for law line -- by saying that it would be OK for the Senate to pass a different bill from the Assembly's, then to conference before the current law sunsets. The Mayor took back the microphone to say that was unacceptable. Reporters' questions dwelled on what would really happen to the schools if the law sunsets and Bloomberg simply responded that "no one would be in charge" and that unnamed "lawyers" would tie the system up in knots. That seemed to be an implicit threat that the City would challenge the new Board but he was not pinned down on the point. Also speaking in support of the Mayor's position: Patterson, Stringer (somewhat surprising to me), Markowitz, Padavan, McNally (VP, CSA).

Respectfully submitted,

Just to make it clear -- there were no demonstrators inside the courtyard where the press conference was held; but plenty outside on the street. They didn't let us in.


Posted on the NYC Ed listserve.