Monday, July 6, 2009

Rally at Tweed Protests Mayoral Control

They came from all over. Black, white, Latino/a, old, young, teachers, parents, communuity activists, students, ICE, GEM, Parents Commission, ISO, independents. There were hundreds. On five days notice and people were away for vacation. It is only the beginning. I have video. More reports tomorrow before heading up to PS 123 for the 1 PM protest against that breaking and entering public school thief, Eva Moskowitz. (See the July 4 posting: Moskowitz B&E at 123: Rally on Tues July 7).







Those who attended the Rally heard things they had heard before, as in "Preaching to the Choir" and happily much that was truly News.
But when a still as yet unidentified speaker, wearing a white blouse took the microphone the audience heard something very few could or would ever have expected.

Near the end of her remarks she said words close to the following:
"And I know some here may not like hearing this, but New York City has now become the "Jews against the non-Jews", she said.

Those were very close to her exact words. Amazingly the audience hardly stirred. One or two people were not quite sure she had actually said what she said because it was so unexpected as well as so outrageously unacceptable, that I imagine it was simply not really "heard" or at least digested by the huge crowd of people listening to this speaker.

Indeed I was not certain I had just heard what I thought I heard and so I turned to a complete stranger next to me and asked her if she just heard what I thought I had heard. The stranger was not sure.

When the speaker finished her remarks I decided to ask her to repeat what I thought she had said, but by the time I made my way through the crowd, two women from the audience had already beaten me to the punch- one Jewish and one not Jewish.

As fate would have it this still to be identified speaker did not deny what all three of us heard but she then tried to back peddle saying she had only used the "Jews" by way "of example" to name a particular group and that no insult was intended.

Of course this made no sense and we all knew, including the speaker, that she was just trying to wiggle or squirm out of her despicable verbal "faux pas".

Apparently the high number of Minority faces in attendance had blinded this speaker to the fact that there might be a few Jews and even non Jews in attendance who found her blatantly anti-semitic statement off the wall in the 21 rst Century.

Or does her statement imply that she believed this audience would not find her remark about Jews as offending as it is and was. Did this bigoted speaker believe that those in attendance agreed with her twisted and warped view of the Universe (just as Hitler spoon fed the Germans to believe), that all the problems one can see around them can always be laid at the feet of "the Jews", "the Other".

The attempt by three people to get this unidentified speaker to explain her anti-semitic remark only went in circles so I approached one of the key organizers of the Rally, a man who entered the field Education the same year I did, 1968, and asked for a comment.

Strangely though his business card, which I requested, identified Mr. Jitu K. Weusi, as "Chairperson, Board of Directors", the card did not carry the name of a Company or group.

He would not provide me the name of the speaker I wished to discuss with him but he did appear genuinely perturbed and/or perplexed by the situation and requested I phone him the following day.





So now here is where the tailwind of history hits the fan and flies back to haunt us all.

Because of people like Joel Klein, who I have written about "ad nausea" (here there and everywhere) for years, is now so widely and deservedly loathed by all and sundry, including myself (as reflected by my own private Federal Lawsuit against Mr. Klein in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York), he has been identified by some, not only as a despicable Chancellor without experience or credentials, but worst of all as "that Jewish Chancellor".

As a Jew myself, and an Educator for forty years, (who was decorated personally as a Teacher of the Year, in NY City Hall by Rudy Giuliani), I sometimes worried that a day would come when all the evils of the present NYC Dept of Education, under the direct and firm control of Bloomberg and Klein would one day lead some sorry bigot to mouth the words which I and others heard on the steps of The Tweed Courthouse during the Rally.

My I say for the record, and as a member of the Jewish Faith, that the "De-Klein and Fall of the NYC Dept of Education" and its present "Reign of Terror" has nothing to do with Jews.

Michael Bloomberg and Joel Klein do NOT speak for me nor for millions of other members of the Jewish Faith. Joel Klein, Esq. is what he is because that is in his personal makeup- but it has nothing to do with the fact that he might be a Jew. He might just as well have been a Hindu or an Eskimo.

Yes, I am the very first to say he is a common thug, a despicable bully, an affront to all American attorneys, including my attorney Father, my attorney Brother and my attorney Son who happen to all be members of the Jewish Faith.

However, Klein is an embarrassment to me, my family, my friends, and my colleagues, NOT because he might be a Jew but because Klein pretends to be a member of the human race but does not act accordingly.





The litany of crimes, hurtful to New York City's children Joel Klein is alleged to have committed due to his policies, are legendary.

And the crimes his NYC Dept of Education has committed against me will be heard by a Federal Judge and Federal Jury in open Court in due time. That case is a matter of public record which anyone can access and read.

The Third Reich was convinced it would last for a thousand years. Likewise Joel Klein, Esq. a former Federal Prosecutor carries in himself the Grand Illusion arising from some warped sense of over-arching vanity, egotism and Hubris, that he will succeed in making our beloved Public School System after his own image- even if it takes him a thousand years.

Like all pathetic and detestable such Dictatorial personalities, Klein is doomed to failure.

In time he will be consigned to the scrap heap of History consisting of all such sad excuses for human beings whether they be Banana Republic Dictators or failed NYC Chancellors or failed American Presidents who claim and believe they receive Messages directly from God.

But let us not at this late date in history confuse the Man or the Woman with whatever religious Faith they were by an accident of fate born into and with which they claim some affiliation.

At a Rally during which all people of all Faiths and colors should have been focusing on our common enemy, a totally dysfunctional NYC Dept of Education that has been temporarily high jacked by individuals who know nothing at all about the field of Education, (to the supreme detriment of more than one million innocent children), let us stay focused on our common goal which is to rescue those children from the opportunists and profiteers.

The still unidentified woman who spoke into a microphone at the Rally on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse must be Forgiven for one must hope she knew not what she did when she told hundreds of people: "New York City has become the Jews against the non Jews".

I do not know what New York City she was talking about but it is certainly not the New York City where I was born and raised and educated in public schools from Kindergarten thru College.

My New York City does not countenance racism or bigotry of any kind and never will again despite the many sad mistakes of the past.

In the Fight to ensure Justice for our children, there are no Jewish New Yorkers or Christian New Yorkers or Muslim New Yorkers- there are only New Yorkers committed to protecting their precious children against all harm no matter the source of that harm, no matter from whence or from who it originates.

There will always be the Klein's of this world and the Bush's of this world and all the others of this world who with their delusions of grandeur think they know better than anyone else what is best for "The People".

But in the end, in the final analysis, History has shown over and over again, throughout endless centuries, that it is the "People" who know what is best for the "People", not Despots, regardless of their Color or Religion.

And "We the People" will not allow ourselves to be distracted at this place where we now stand, at this Crossroad in New York City's history. Not by some bigot's misguided remark at a Rally and certainly not by some viciously egotistical Chancellor's Reign of Terror for which that Rally was meant to serve as a protest.

The 3020a State Trial of David Pakter, former Teacher of the Year, is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, and resumes on Wed. July 22, at 10 A.M. on the 6th Floor of 49 Chambers Street, directly facing The Tweed Courthouse. The Trial continues on Thurs. July 23 and then Wed. August 5 and August 6.

Anonymous said...

To place the emphasis on a few words from one speaker out of over a dozen speakers is to do a disservice to what looked like an excellent rally. What many people without power see is Jews in control of the education power structure in New York. Bloomberg, Klein, Weingarten, Meryl Tisch as head of the state regents.

Not to excuse such a comment but it would be surprising if some people didn't reach that conclusion. There were many Jewish teachers and some parents at the rally and through working together over time, these feelings will be mitigated.

I am Jewish by the way and sometimes I feel the same way. Irrational of course, but if Jews sometimes feel that way there is a lot of work to do.

jw said...

Where you say that "amazingly the audience hardly stirred" at hearing her words, I think there was a momentary feeling of genuine disbelief. I myself thought she might have said "choose" instead of "Jews", and no one around me could figure it out either. People were groping for some other possible word configuration that could make it come out right. There wasn't any. She had said it.

I too complained to the organizer and he denied knowing her name. A mistake, not only because I believe he was lying (he had just given her the microphone), but it made me think that when the previous speakers had used the word "community", it had been code all along for "some" communities and not others. If that's really where the organizers want this to go, some will think there's not enough common cause here and will fall away.

The lady herself was not to be convinced that religion has nothing to do with the general and widespread contempt the protesters have for BloomKlein. She sees this war only in terms of a hated Them and Us, and was willing to label the hated Them with the name of a religion.

I agree with Anon. that there is a lot of work to be done, but is there a table big enough in this city to iron this one out?

ed notes online said...


How many speakers were at the rally? Black and white? There were so many great words spoken. To emphasize a few misguided words of one speaker and to pick at these bones does a tremendous disservice to the cause and serves to degrade what was a seminal event and give fodder to the enemies. The very tittle of this email "Rally shocker" is offensive. The real rally shocker to BloomKlein was that so many people in the white and black community, which they have courted so carefully, could come together.

I could understand if you wrote a report on the rally repeating all these wonderful aspects and mentionned that the only note of discord were those words. But the detail you go into in your comments while leaving the positive elements out demonstrates a distortion of events.

I've hear many shocking things over my years in the system, an awful lot directed in the other direction. I've even heard people say they wouldn't go to Harlem because they were afraid, a statement that could be taken as racist. If I were to repeat what every person, some of them Jews, has to say about black people, I could fill volumes.

The issue raised is something to be dealt with in discussions between all groups over future collaborations.

No matter how much you attack Klein and Bloomberg, I believe emails like this serve their interests to divide and conquer.

jw said...

But when there's widespread mistrust, it's not something that a few individuals can work out amongst themselves.

Ednotes happens to be one of the biggest ed discussion boards in the city, so it's landed in your lap.

Nobody likes to feel duped. A couple of years ago, when the ACLU opened their rally against habeas corpus and other violations with a religious benediction, I went into shock. The ACLU of all people putting that into a secular event. How alienating. At an anti-Bush war protest down in DC the same year, the organizers gave the mic to an 11-year-old-girl who claimed she had gotten a "vision" from God to come and speak at the rally. Chills went down my spine then and at all events when demonstrators put posters in the hands of children to carry their very adult messages.

Is the all-embracing, umbrella purpose of these demonstrations more important than the bigoted, anti-secular, racist, anti-Semitic currents circulating in amongst some of the attendees? Probably.

The good thing about an umbrella is that the sides are open to let the light in. Pakter's statement might have focused on a few words, but it affected many people for more than half an hour and sowed the seeds of distrust.

Let it be discussed, and to hell with BloomKlein if they think they're dividing and conquering when we take to the streets. Of course, they really ARE dividing and conquering, but not here. They're doing it massively in the schools and communities, and all of us under this umbrella with the wide-open sides are focused on those crimes.

Anonymous said...

I was not able to attend any of the rallies, but I did see channel 11's spin on U Tube this morning.

THIS is what is becoming clearer and clearer as the days go on:

1. The fatcats are busy consolidating power over other humans, appropriating money, labor, possessions, etc. from them at an alarmingly accelerated rate.

2. Protest of any kind is undesirable to these folks AND the brutality is increasing.

3. The insistent and consistent yammering/hammering of the media about "wasted taxpayer dollars" ALWAYS in tandem with "state law allows this, makes it impossible to get rid of bad/dangerous teachers" is softening "the public" up for the ELIMINATION OF ALL STATE EDUCATION LAWS THAT COULD PROTECT CHILDREN AND/OR ADULTS. Period.

If you say, "no, you're being extreme and you're going too far," all I have to reply is what I habitually and sadly reply, WAIT!

4. Divide and conquer is, of course, part and parcel of fascism, authoritarian regimes, dictatorship, etc. FEAR OVER ALL and EVERYONE!

5. Unfortunately, it is a fact that klein, bloomberg & weingarten are all part of this putsch and all Jewish. As a Jewish woman, this has long pained me, partly for personal reasons, and partly because anti-Jewish sentiments have seemed to be endemic to humans for thouands of years now.

6. Piggybacking on the last statement: anyone who is NOT Jewish can come talk to me about the vicious, vicious, sadistic treatment I've suffered from the DoE and UFT since the minute I stepped into a DoE building to teach in February 2000 (a detention facility for kids who were arrested and not yet tried).

People attacking my very survival: white, black, hispanic, catholic, muslim, jewish, female, male, straight, gay.

Compassion and caring and courage are all we have.


Anonymous said...

Bloomberg, Klein and Weingarten did what they did because they must be quite confident that they can eventually count on jewish voters in the city, and will get away with their wrongdoings.
I have to say that any real change will be forced upon them by the people from black,latino and other minority communities. They are the groups who as a whole will not be bought by them, everyone else is for sale.

JordanJacqui said...

If Klein and Bloomberg followed Jewish ethical teaching their behavior would be radically different. They have abandoned the morality of their forefathers and have traded it for power and money. David Pakter resents a prophetic voice that justly accuses them of their crimes. Their behavior helps fuel antisemitism that is a dangerous and ignorant reaction.

Anonymous said...

I was there, too, and participated in the Storming of the Bast___Tweed.

David is a hero to me.

I just want David and EVERYONE to understand that if anyone gets in there to try to divide us, now is the time to stop them in their tracks! There were plenty of all kinds there (black, white, latino, asian, muslim, jew, christian & atheist, young & old) in unity and in unison with one singleness of purpose.

I detected no crazy rivalries, racism or divisiveness, other than the politician who was decrying Bloomberg, but was taken to task for approving the end of term limits, supporting mayoral control and for also having supported Bloomberg for election before. I am in favor of letting the opportunist hypocrits have it who are trying to pander to the crowd!

HOWEVER, DO NOT let the Bloomberg campaign infiltrate instigators who would divide & conquer or usurp the movement!

But DO take to task those who would install another mayor who would continue mayoral dictatorship and continue with the incompetence of Joel I. Klein!

Polo Colon








I feel I must publicly thank Polo Colon for his comment here in which he saw fit to defend my comments re the Rally.

Ed Notes criticized me for expreesing at length, and in detail, my personal reaction to something that happened during this very important Rally.

As Ed Notes stated and I quote:

"There were so many great words spoken. To emphasize a few misguided words of one speaker and to pick at these bones does a tremendous disservice to the cause and serves to degrade what was a seminal event and give fodder to the enemies".

It would be the height of naivete to imagine that this Rally that took place immediately outside Klein's office windows was NOT carefully monitored and likely filmed, photographed and/or taped by assorted BloomKlein, stooges, lapdogs, lackeys, and "enforcers".

And it would surely be the height of naivete to imagine that the blatantly anti-semitic statement, made by a still as yet unidentified speaker was NOT duly noted by BloomKlein "watchers".

It is NOT me who did a grave disservice to our Collective Cause by commenting here on the despicable statement made by that single Rally Speaker that "New York is about the Jews against the non-Jews".

It is that single Speaker's unfortunate, unforgivable and personally offensive remark, that did a very great disservice to us all and marred what was otherwise a flawless and Noble Rally.

I very much doubt that I was the only person at the Rally who had family relatives who were murdered in Hitler's Concentration Camps.

But even if I am, it does NOT alter in the least the fact that not only is it my right but in fact my Duty to point out that this Speaker is the person who did us all a great disservice- not myself- by my commenting on her offensive words when that Speaker addressed the highly mixed coalition crowd of people at the Rally.






Ed Notes is correct in pointing out that a grave disservice was done to the Cause on the day of the Rally. However it is unfortunate that Ed Notes has chosen to point the finger at the wrong person who did our Cause a disservice.

But then some things never change in this world. When people do not like the Message- the standard procedure, from the Dawn of History has always been to "kill the Messenger".

Unfortunately, that knee jerk reaction is, and always has been, proven to be ill advised.

The lesson that should be taken to heart here is that Our Collective Cause has been tarnished by a single individual's intemperate remarks.

For me that is the real message here which we should neither condone, gloss over or ever allow to be repeated.

There will always be bigots in this world and I rather doubt I alone have the capacity to alter their personal world views.

But speaking only for myself I will NOT stand by silent while a single individual is allowed to put at risk, things that I and so many others have been fighting for all these many years.

As the great philosopher George Santayana correctly observed:

"Those who do not study History are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the Past".

When people bury their heads in the sand and avert their eyes to the Truth, they only do themselves a disservice and put whatever Cause for which they are fighting at enormous and unnecessary risk.

Let us all resolve that the views of one individual cannot be allowed to tarnish the image of Hope so many have slaved to create in the public eye.

We are fighting for the future of New York City and the for the future of more than one mullion NYC children.

No single individual can be allowed to inflict damage on such an important goal or be allowed to tarnish that Dream.

Let all good people Stand Up and Speak Out against intolerance and bigotry whether it comes from without or emanates from within.

There is far too much at stake and at such a late and critical hour- silence in the face of bigotry is not an option we can afford or have the luxury to tolerate.

ed notes online said...

While you and I probably are in agreement on 90% of the issues, we differ in approach. You come from the "I will NOT stand by silent" while I come from the concept of building a "we" because the "I" while making people who express themselves feel good, so often does not lead to building a movement that can have an impact.

Thus, as a guy with an ego of my own, I struggle with the concept of when my personal expression is useful or not in terms of building.

What you saw on Monday in terms of turnout of black and white people working together in a mass group, something that has not occurred very often, did not come about by accident but has been part of the process. Your statement seemed to totally ignore that aspect and instead focused on the one negative comment. In the long run, you feel better, but it weakens the movement and strengthens BloomKlein.

The issues you raise need to be dealt with and will, not by shouting them from the rooftop but from internal discussions.

AS I said, I have heard some pretty harsh things said going the other way, often from people who think themselves liberal. I don't presume that making such statements public and embarassing the individual would do much to change much. But enlightened conversation might.

As an ecample, I sighted the statement by a liberal I know expressing fears about going into certain neighborhoods which can be misconstrued as racist if shouted from rooftops.But there might be a context for such a statement.

To the narrow view of the person who made that remark about Jews - someone who probably sees names like Bloomberg, Klein, Weingarten, Moskowitz, Steinhardt, and many others- that is their context.

Our job is to reach out to people with that attitude and broaden the context,not shout condemnations. Because in the long run, that person is much closer to us as an ally than all of the above named and we should treat this person in that manner, not as an enemy.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ed.