Tag Archive: Protest

Nov 25 2012

Flushing Savings Bank Protest Round 2

Be advised, the saga of the Flushing Protest continues returning for the tko on Monday. Read full coverage of their first protest on QueensCrap.

Press Advisory:

Contact: Mr. Bill Struhs

Tel. 718–846-7630

Email: QnsResAgainstFSB@gmail.com

Queens Residents to stage second
Demonstration Against Predatory Practices of Flushing Savings Bank

Forest Hills Queens:    The Queens Residents Against Flushing Savings Bank, now are again taking their battle against the Banking Behemoth to the streets.  The group has announced their campaign to expose the corrupt and predatory practices of Flushing Savings Bank to local consumers.  The Group will be in front of the Forest Hills branch leafleting and making the community aware of their bad corporate neighbor. 

At this event the Group also will announce their schedule and mobilization activities.   

Who:         Queens Residents Against FSB

What:       Protest Flushing Savings Bank predatory practices

Where:     Front of Flushing Savings Bank, Forest Hills Branch

                  107-11 Continental Avenue Forest Hills, NY 11375

When:      Monday, November 26, 2012

Time:        12 Noon

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/flushing-savings-bank-protest/

Oct 17 2011

On The Front Line Of Occupy Wall Street…A Lawyer Named Yetta.

Yetta Kurland, a civl rights litigator and an activist says her primary concern is the use of excessive force by the NYPD against Occupy demonstrators. "It's a HUGE curtailment of our first amendment rights," said Yetta. Picture from FB.

QP Exclusive: The Wall Street Movement is not going away, says Yetta Kurland a civil rights activist and former city council candidate from Manhattan’s West side. Yetta is a lawyer, no not a blood sucking corporate lawyer, she’s the people’s rep, a civil right’s litigator and she’s been working pro bono for the demonstrators arrested down at Wall Street.

Yetta really knows her issues and the law. In the interest of bringing QP readers a front line perspective, we decided to interview her.

QP Interviews Yetta Kurland:

 Yetta, what’s the scene like at Wall Street?

Yetta begins by saying it’s been more calm but, “You know what’s amazing? The visuals of the Times Square and Washington Square. The movement has grown so massive and very tense, riot gear and horses were out with significant arrests nearly 100 arrests but not mass arrests that folks were concerned with”.

You just can’t arrest that many people,” according to Yetta.

I understand you’ve been down at the courthouse volunteering your legal services as an attorney on behalf of demonstrators. Can you tell me more about that?

“I have been volunteering, it includes arraignment at the court house, and visiting precincts.” It’s easy to get lost in the system, said Yetta who has split her time between visiting precincts and at the courthouse at 100 Centre Street for more than 100 arrestees. “It can be extremely time consuming  — keeping track of those arrested,” she said. It’s a lot of work [and] it’s unfortunate and frankly unnecessary. 

“My primary concern is excessive force.”

“On one of my cases, Ari Douglass was horribly injured by police who basically ran into him knocked him over and left him pinned under a motorcycle, and in response rather than giving him care, they gave him a number of criminal charges including criminal mischief, and resisting arrest.”

“If you look at the video, he’s clearly not.”

So, what are the demonstrations being charged with?

“Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrests, Obstruction of Government administration– different charges routinely used. Ari was charged with criminal mischief. Criminal mischief depending on the degree s a felony charge.”

When Occupy Wall Street began, did you predict an end – that is for the demonstration to fizzle out?

“I don’t think this is going to fizzle out. I don’t think weve seen the full momentum of the movement.”

“971 cities across the world, Rome Los Angelas, London, Chicago. 175 arrests. Folks are willing to put themselves on the line.

Yetta continues, “When we see brutality you see more people coming out in solidarity. I don’t see any thing fizzling out.  There is obviously a question about the cities want to shutdown the efforts and weather or not the folks will be able to continue there. Last week was a great victory they were supposed to shutdown the park – and they didn’t. We are moving forward and everyday is a victory… I think that these occupiers are reclaiming public space — public spaces for the public good, I mean the public interest.”

Its really resonating not just with New Yorkers. It is true the whole world is watching this…. I don’t see this coming to an end anytime soon I see this as transformative.:”

What do you think will be the outcome on a national level?

“I hope that the outcome on the national level  is that we reinvest the public sector. I hope that we find ways to prioritize the collective public interest of our country and to seperate government from private interest — that we have check and balances to ensure a free democratic society.”

Are you advocating electoral reform?

“I think it has to happen on every level, electoral, corporate, financial reform in the way we do business reform in the way the NYPD tactics to deal with protesters in public space.

 This is a referendum on police tactics post 9\11. Riot gear, massive arrests… It is a huge curtailment of our first amendment rights.

What’s your next step to support the movement?

“My only role is to act as an attorney to represent the folks down there.”

At the time of this interview, Yetta was traveling to the courthouse at 100 Centre Street.  “There’s additional activities and well keep monitoring and helping to deal with people that have been arrested. We have to go back to work perhaps go to trial. It’s a lot of expense.”

Yetta points out that the police presence is costing an exorbitant amount of tax dollars:

“Every time a huge group of police officers there’s a lot of costs involved in that we complain about financial difficulties we shouldn’t waste tax payer dollars for that.”

What do yo think about Mayor Bloomberg extolling the virtues of free speech, but denouncing the demonstration on Bloomberg radio?

“Confusing—“I’m not sure what he means by that… and free speech is exactly that: It’s not always with something you agree, or even with the medium. He’s lost in his position.

Curious, are you thinking of running for public office  again?

Oh I don’t know— it’s years away, but if I do, I’ll let you know.”

See Politicker NY article.

What’s your message to all the naysayers out there? You know – armchair politicians?

“Come down to Liberty Park and talk to the people. Remember that its easy to step back and not want to be involved or engaged. Bob Dylan said the times they are changing and if you have to wrap your head around that,” said Yetta.

“It’s undeniable. It’s not for us to naysay it’s much bigger… it’s a social movement.”

“History is being made by brave minded making a stand and standing up to simply ask for integrity in our system and that we have a balancing of our powers a truly democratic society,” according to Yetta.

Keep up the good work – QP. If you need to contact Yetta, email yetta@yettakurland.com.

A photo of Yetta during her bid for City Council (3rd district) against Council Speaker Christie Quinn.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/on-the-front-line-of-occupy-wall-street-a-lawyer-named-yetta/

Oct 07 2011

Lancman Examines Occupy Wall Street Protest

Legislator feels empathy. Offers insight in an Op-ed to the HuffPo.

In an Op-ed column to the Huffington Post, State Assembly Member Rory Lancman (D-25) takes a look beyond the occupation of Zuccatti Square.

Rory Lancman was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s a very down to earth guy and he likes to update his Twitter and FB, unlike many pols who leave it dry and lacking character. I always know what he’s up to. Lancman received his B.A at Queens College and has always lived in the neighborhood. So, he’s really in touch with what’s going on. He’s also a regular visitor to my Democratic Club.

Everyone is talking about the Occupation, so you can mention the Corporate Political Activity Accountability To Shareholders Act  to your friends and sound like  a genius.

QP breaks the letter down in bulleted format for ease of reference.

 

There is a lack of specific demands by the protestors.

Reoccurring themes are considered the source of the problem:

  1. Accountability on Wall Street for the financial crisis.
  2. A political system controlled by people, not corporations.
Results:
  • Wall Street protest reflects frustration across America.
  • Middle-class homeowners are being hurt the most.
  • i.e Warren Buffet pays less tax than most of us.

According to the Op-ed letter,

There are “shovel-ready” solutions in the form of existing bills currently before the New York State legislature.

Legislation and case law have weakened the protections of people who got a bad deal from investors.

The solution: Cut Red Tape, Increase Transparency
  1. Empower  New York’s famous Martin Act, which keeps financial fraud accountability simple.  To do this they must pass the Institutional Investor Recovery Act, which would unleash the power of the Martin Act by allowing public and union pension funds to bring their own lawsuit without waiting for the Attorney General.
  2. Legislation pending in both chambers would extend this surcharge for families making over a million dollars a year — which means most affected families would still see a tax cut.
  • New York can stop the lobbyists and predatory corporations by heeding the Supreme Court’s challenge to improve shareholder control and corporate disclosure of political expenditures.
  • The “Corporate Political Activity Accountability To Shareholders Act” requires corporations to tell shareholders what they hope to buy with their money.

We should urge our legislators to support this.

What are the results of the demonstration?  T.B.A

The question now is where that frustration leads us.  Here in New York, and in state legislatures around the country, we have a unique opportunity to crack down on abuses of the financial system, level the economic playing field, and empower people rather than corporations in the political process. But it will require focus on concrete measures. The three discussed above are a good start.

- This is a break down of an Op-ed for skeleton facts. I believe in state solutions and I believe Lancman’s suggestions are worth further examination. Discussion?

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UPDATE:

Today, 4\7  NY1 reports that the message has reached the White House and the President has responded.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/lancmanwallst/

Oct 06 2011

Observer Says Chicken McNuggets Likely To Be Thrown At Republican Pol

My City Council Member Dan Halloran, (R-Whitestone) was spotted at the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zucotti Park according to a report in The New York Observer and it wasn’t exactly a warm welcome.

City Council Member says he prefers red meat.

Outnumbered and outgunned, D.H is the man for sticking to his libertarian beliefs in a very liberal protest. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. At least this is the impression I got from the article.

According to the report,

The best Councilman Halloran could do was invoke Ron Paul and hope there were some Libertarians in the audience… -NY Observer

We’re sure that went over really well: Councilman Halloran is lucky to have made it back to the office without being pelted with rotten produce Chicken McNuggets. -NY Observer

The Observer article gave readers the impression that Dan was unwelcome and yelling I don’t believe in anything you people are doing here. We are not exactly sure why the Observer invoked Chicken McNuggets as the reference, Dan has assured me that he was just sticking up for his beliefs in a policy discussion.

Me encanta, Dan.

Dan responds to the Observer:

Dear Editors:

Maybe you should try and get the facts straight once in a while. Your commentary in the article, “City Councilmen Break Out In Spontaneous Debate in Liberty Plaza”, that I was “lucky to have made it out without getting pelted” belies the bias sensationalistic reporting you routinely engage in.

I spent over three and a half hours at Zuccattti Park, talking with dozens of people individually, without incident. Then I gave three impromptu press scrums and engaged dialogues with people and press, including one that included almost 50 of the young folks there. I had a lively and friendly banter with CM’s Rodriguez and Williams, and we had a good time engaging people. Not only was I warmly received but had a series of constructive dialogues. Maybe you should do a better job of fact checking- or look at the dozen or so YouTube and news reel videos where it even shows *gasp* I got applause and cheers..

Liberty doesn’t require us to agree, simply to debate civilly and discuss the issues as rational human beings. That we did and more- many agreed that corporatism is a looming problem, banking deregulation has caused severe damage to the stability of our nation, that government should not be subsidizing private companies and conglomerates, and the Federal Reserve is fundamentally flawed- even discussing Madison and Jefferson’s debates on a National Bank…. so there, liberty republicans and libertarians found common ground with the angst over Wall Street.

I discussed Teddy Roosevelt and Trust/Monopoly busting and the similarity in the modern era created by the big-bank mergers. We also talked about Campaign Finance reform, and voter participation and election involvement as tools to repair some of the damage done in this current disenfranchised age.

Next you took a cheap shot at Ron Paul, who at least has the courage of his convictions and isn’t owned by any corporation or union or other special interest. Over 2000 young people came to Webster Hall last week to listen to him – he is reaching out to the future of our Nation. Does that bother you? As a matter of fact there are dozens of libertarians camped out in the occupy wall street movement – NOT that you bother to report that fact.

In sum, the left-bias you betray in the framing of your last line in the story shows your are less interested in fostering true discussion and dialogue and instead would rather whip up controversy to perpetuate division and the problem of talking past each other – rather than search for solutions.

If no Council Members went there, you’d ask “where were they?” and if a Republican didn’t go you’d say, “see they dont care”…. but a Republican Council member went- one of the first politicians to show up there- so of course, you have to find fault… because, heck, that’s all you can do…

Good job!

 

Council Member Dan Halloran (R-Queens)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/chicken-mcnuggets-thrown-at-republican-pol-at-occupy-wall-street-protest/

Sep 30 2011

Council Member Daniel Dromm Leads A Protest Against Proposed Newsstand.

City Council Member Dromm never strays far from his roots as a community organizer. This time he is bringing attention to a proposed newsstand that will increase congestion on on the busiest intersection in Jackson Heights. Poor City Planning? Probably, but as long as Dromm is on the issue, I wouldn’t worry too much.

Check out the video here. NY1: Residents Rally Against Proposed News Stand.

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/09/council-member-daniel-dromm-holds-protest-against-news-stand/

Sep 30 2011

Dan Halloran Demands More Busses For School Kids

City Council Member Dan Halloran says to City: Get us more busses.  My illustrious City Council Member, is one of my favorite throughout the Queens delegation. He’ works tirelessly to help community residents especially the weak and vulnerable. I don’t care much for his conservative, libertarian philosophy, Halloran gets an A+ for outstanding work in the community.

Did you know that during this year’s hurricane scare, Dan Halloran was driving around the district reporting to first responders locations of flooding and downed trees? Well, he was. I was following him on Twitter and his office was open for 24 hours. His staff bought their sleeping bags!


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/09/dccd/


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