Saturday, October 29, 2011

OccupyWallStreet Snow Storm

NYC Texting Alert : City is Closing Parks Due To Snow

I was talking to one of my blogger contacts using my iPhone tonight when sent me a text alert.

New York City,Freak October Snow Storm,Closing City Parks,Occupy Wall Street

Will Mayor Michael Bloomberg use weather as an excuse to close Zuccotti Park ? He already used weather to raid the park for any electric generators.

#OccupyWallStreet Protest Permits

The requirement for "protest permits" in New York City, which bedevils the #OccupyWallStreet movement, can be traced back to Christine Quinn, naturally.

On September 24, 2011, what was then the eighth day of the #OccupyWallStreet protest, about 1,000 protesters went on an unpermitted march from Zuccotti Park to Union Square Park in Manhattan. Along the way, 80 people were arrested for various reasons, according to Gothamist :

The majority of the arrests, which were for disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, blocking vehicular traffic, and one assault on a police officer, occurred around Union Square yesterday afternoon after nearly a thousand demonstrators marched down Broadway. Videos show NYPD officers corralling women with nets, indiscriminately discharging pepper spray, and tackling protestors.

How New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn figures into the arrests of what now numbers well over 1,000 #OccupyWallStreet protesters is a matter of historical record : just take a look at who approved the protest permit requirement in the first place. Not surprisingly, the development of protest permits in New York City can be ascertained by following the course of how Speaker Quinn sold out her liberal roots in pursuit of mayoral electability.

According to a discussion topic posted on September 15, 2007, by David S. Cohen on the Queer Mutiny's Facebook account, Speaker Quinn is responsible for the protest permit requirements in New York City :

In 2006, multiple courts ruled the City’s assembly rules unconstitutional, and City Council was charged with fixing them. Instead of conducting public hearings and placing the matter into the hands of City Council, Speaker Quinn abdicated her responsibilities and allowed the NYPD to write these rules behind closed doors.

In February 2007, she rubberstamped the new rules into effect. Suddenly, it became illegal for 50 or more people to gather and process through New York City—unless they request and are given prior permission from the police.

Of course, the NYPD has a long history of attacking political groups, and one of their favorite tools is to deny permit requests of groups—like the organizers of the 2007 Trans Day of Action—who they don’t like.

Why do police decide who can assemble and who cannot? And since when do the police write rules? And why is all of this okay with Quinn?

Quinn so desperately wants to be mayor that she has sold the queer community and her constituents down the historical river for her own political gain. We’ll remind Quinn that she has her pot of gold, but she better not forgot the rainbow that led her to it!

2003 NYCLU Anti-War ANSWER UFPJ NYC Feb 15 2003 - Arresting Protest Report

A political enabler with aims to minimise, and even silence, dissent.

It should come as no surprise that Speaker Quinn "abdicated her responsibilities." When Speaker Quinn is faced with the dilemma between doing the right thing and picking what renders her with an immediate political advantage, Speaker Quinn always picks what is most politically expedient. Even those, who should be her most ardent base of support, leftist LGBT radical activists, know that Speaker Quinn cannot be counted upon to stay true to her liberal roots.

Speaker Quinn has a reputation for bluffing her way through critical public policy issues, like the hole in public health caused by the impending luxury condo conversion of St. Vincent's Hospital. As has been written on this blog before, Speaker Quinn has mastered the art of the non-answer answer : "She likes to be evasive, but she is definitive about giving you the run-around. She doesn’t have to give you either a proverbial bait-and-switch or back-pedal, provided she never has to first give you any policy position with which to lure you."

But Speaker Quinn's evasiveness begins to wear thin amongst radical activists, who know that the only way to make our elected politicians deliver a tangible solution to a societal problem is by keeping them politically accountable. Here is where direct action protest organisers enter into the political equation.

Christine Quinn,Freedom of Assembly,protest permits,NYPD,police permits,freedom of speech,2004 RNC,mass arrests,Radical Homosexual Agenda

A Gay City News news report, which is no longer available online, was copied on the Radical Homosexual Agenda's website :

by Jefferson Siegel
Gay City News

On Wednesday night over 500 people filled the City Council chamber for a celebration of "LGBT Pride and the Journey to End Violence and Hate." Among those honored were NYPD Detective Kevin Czartoryski, the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund, established in recognition of the brutal 2005 murder of a 19-year-old gay man from Brooklyn, and the Gay-Straight Alliance at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island.

Tony-winning actor Stephen Spinella opened the evening, and Speaker Christine Quinn, the first openly lesbian or gay leader of the Council, flanked in the front row by her partner, Kim Catullo, and her father Lawrence, recalled the city's decades-long struggle to achieve gay rights.

In the midst of her speech, half a dozen protesters from ACT UP and the Radical Homosexual Agenda unfurled protest banners from the balcony. They were criticizing a new police regulation requiring groups of 50 or more to first obtain a police permit. "You've criminalized the Dyke March and the Drag March," Tim Doody (pictured with Nina Resnick) of ACT UP yelled. Quinn allowed the protesters to have their say [for one minute], after which they were escorted from the building. There were no arrests.

Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, the chamber's other out lesbian member, who has been a vocal critic of the regulation, spoke up on Quinn's behalf. "My speaker cannot do anything until the Council is behind her," Mendez told the chamber.

''A Council Speaker Who Tightens the Purse Strings on Dissent''

Back on June 20, 2007, when activists with the Radical Homosexual Agenda were targeting Speaker Quinn over the NYPD's anti-assembly rules, activist James Wagner charged that Speaker Quinn had "made herself inaccessible" to activists, who had been seeking to meet with her about the requirement for protest permits. Mr. Wagner wrote that after the activists had been removed from the City Council Chambers, following their banner drop, Speaker Quinn said that she was "willing to meet with anyone who disagreed with her on the question of Police rules for assembly." But, as Mr. Wagner further wrote, Speaker Quinn's expression of willingness turned out to ring hallow : "For the record, I have been assured several times by those who know groups that have tried to engage her that she has repeatedly refused to do this in the past."

Sometime between the mass NYPD arrests during the 2004 Republican National Convention and the 2008 revelation of Speaker Quinn's slush fund scandal, Speaker Quinn decided that the best way to campaign to become mayor of New York City was to hitch her wagon to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gravy train. But because she does not have Mayor Bloomberg's billions, she was going to use taxpayer money to buy her way into higher office. When even The New York Times, with its many puff and fluff articles about Speaker Quinn's career, dares to report about how Speaker Quinn uses taxpayer money to stifle political dissent, you know that Speaker Quinn has begun to tread on thin political ice.

And now that activists with #OccupyWallStreet are confronting the use of excessive force of, and even brutality by, NYPD, those very activists are going to question Speaker Quinn's role in approving the restrictions on civil liberties caused by her rubber stamp on the NYPD’s anti-assembly rules. And once again, here comes another time when direct action protest organisers enter into the political equation.

Christine Quinn's protest permit law has inspired other governments to institute the same restrictions on freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, not surprisingly.

In the time since Speaker Quinn approved the protest permit law, President Obama signed H.R. 347 and the government of Quebec has passed Bill 78.

February 15th, 2003 Police Misconduct Evidence (NYPD)

Video footage from February 15th, 2003 anti-War protest at the United Nations in NYC. Hundreds of thousands of people came out on that day despite sub-freezing temperatures only to be prevented from marching or even entering the permitted protest area. Is this what a free democracy looks like ?

Christine Quinn Pays Lip Service To St. Vincent's Hospital

St. Vincent's Hospital,9-11,September 11,terrorism,first responders,Occupy Wall Street,Healthcare for the 99%

''The whole planet pays homage to Ground Zero, but they pay lip service to the hospital that was on the front lines that day,'' said a man named Christopher, who spoke at a rally at the end of a healthcare march by #OccupyWallStreet. Christopher spoke outside St. Vincent's Hospital. Because St. Vincent's was a Level 1 Trauma Center, it was the hospital designated to receive those injured by the September 11 attacks. It was closed in 2010, because we don't have a single-payer healthcare system. Right now, Brad Hoylman and Christine Quinn want to turn St. Vincent's into luxury condominiums in a controversial plan by the Rudin Management Company.

Friday, October 28, 2011

More People Living In Poverty

Since Christine Quinn Changed Term Limits, More People Are Living In Poverty.

From The New York Times :

More New Yorkers Living in Poverty
New York State’s poverty rate climbed to 16 percent last year, the third consecutive annual increase and the highest rate since 1998, according to census figures released Tuesday. Nearly 3.1 million New Yorkers were living below the official poverty rate in 2010, also the highest total in 12 years.

The statewide rate climbed from 14.2 percent in 2008 to 15.8 percent in 2009 and inched up to 16 percent last year.

The poverty rate was 43 percent among households headed by a single mother, 24.6 percent among children younger than 18, 14 percent among 18-to-64-year-olds and 11.1 percent for people 65 and over,

“People have trouble conceptualizing number as large as three million, but this new data means that if New York State residents in poverty all held hands, they could create a line that would run from Times Square to the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Joel Berg, the executive director for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “For those of us who see surging lines at food pantries and soup kitchens citywide, these new numbers are no surprise.”

# # #

“Since they changed term limits, more people are living in poverty in New York City. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg’s wealth has grown over three-fold while has been in office,” said Louis Flores. “With Christine Quinn’s help, Mayor Bloomberg has been laying off police, firefighters, and teachers ; closing senior citizen centers ; cutting childcare ; and closing hospitals – just basically shredding the social safety net. Also, how is Mayor Bloomberg allowed to make money from inside information through his new company called Bloomberg Government ?”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Keith Olbermann reports about #OccupyWallStreet's march to St. Vincent's Hospital

#OccupyWallStreet Healthcare march to St. Vincent's Hospital is reported by Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Keith Olbermann interviewed Dr. Steven Auerbach about the closing of St. Vincent's Hospital and the #OccupyWallStreet march for Healthcare for the 99%. (The segment about St. Vincent's and the #OWS march begins at about 0:34.)

St. Vincent’s was a Catholic-run hospital, which had a charity mission to serve the under-insured and uninsured.  St. Vincent’s lacked the corporate clout to negotiate fair reimbursement rates from profit-driven insurance companies, leading to financial instability.  Moreover, the short-term focus of the highly-paid executives and consultants pushed St. Vincent’s into bankruptcy – leading to a public health emergency:  there is now no hospital on the Westside below 57th Street.

Politicians ranging from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to Manhattan Community Board 2 Chair Brad Hoylman to Mayor Michael Bloomberg did nothing to save St. Vincent's.

Two months ago, The New York Post reported that the Manhattan District Attorney was investigating whether hospital executives intentionally let St. Vincent’s fail, so that the Rudin Management Company could buy the hospital’s real estate as part of a controversial luxury condominium development project.

Rudin paid pennies on the dollar to buy the hospital’s real estate, and Rudin now stands to sell luxury condominiums and townhouses, once constructed, that are expected to have a combined fair-market value of over $1 billion.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quinn Term Limits Protest

Protest to mark the Third Anniversary of the Term Limits Extension

2011-10-23 Term Limits Protest - Third Anniversary

Bloomberg and Quinn sold the lie that they would save the economy. Have they helped you with the economy ?

Taxpayers and voters are gathering at City Hall Park on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m., to commemorate the three-year anniversary of “The Day That Democracy Died” : when Speaker Christine Quinn strong-armed the City Council to extend term limits, allowing herself, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others to run for a third term in office.

“Since they changed term limits, more people are living in poverty in New York City. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg’s wealth has grown over three-fold while has been in office,” said Louis Flores. “With Christine Quinn’s help, Mayor Bloomberg has been laying off police, firefighters, and teachers ; closing senior citizen centers ; cutting childcare ; and closing hospitals – just basically shredding the social safety net. Also, how is Mayor Bloomberg allowed to make money from inside information through his new company called Bloomberg Government ?”

Protesters will hold a rally, make speeches, and distribute voter registration applications, so that Speaker Christine Quinn and other City Council Members, who passed the term limits extension, can be voted out of office in 2013.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christine Quinn Mass Trauma Exercise

A Mass Civilian Trauma Exercise was held outside St. Vincent’s Hospital.

One of the participants at last night's "mass civilian trauma exercise" at St. Vincent' Hospital asked, "Where is Christine Quinn ?"

As part of the "mass civilian trauma exercise," many participants wore surgical masks and paper signs around their neck. The signs indicated what accidents, diseases, or emergencies they "have." Then, the "sick" participants "waited" for emergency medical treatment on the sidewalks outside St. Vincent's. No emergency help ever came, precisely because there is no longer a hospital in the Lower West Side. Some participants did not "make it." After the "mass civilian trauma exercise" came to an end, team of "survivors" marched to Grace Church, 86 Fourth Avenue, Tuttle Hall, to ask for help from Jason Mansfield, the chair of CB2's Environmental, Public Safety & Public Health Committee.

Monday, October 17, 2011

NYPD Joining OccupyWallStreet ?

NYPD is One Layoff Away from Joining #OccupyWallStreet

Seeing as how we living under weekly threats by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of layoffs of important first responders and other providers or protectors of the important social safety net in New York City, it should be noted that the New York Police Department is probably one layoff away from joining the activists at #OccupyWallStreet.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Christine Quinn #OccupyCB2 St. Vincent's

You are invited to participate in the enactment of a mass civilian trauma exercise on the sidewalk outside St. Vincent's Hospital.

Watch this YouTube documentary for background information about the controversial Rudin condo conversion plan for St. Vincent's Hospital :

2011 10 17 RE ACT OccupyCB2 Flyer
2011-10-17 Stop the Rezoning of St. Vincent's Hospital Flyer #OccupyCB2

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Operation #OccupyCB2 Flyer

Please e-mail me at : louis.equality.flores (at) for information about the planning of a sustained direct action campaign against William Rudin, Christine Quinn, and Brad Hoylman.
2011 10 10 OccupyCB2 Flyer

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quinn Living Wage Bill Betrayal

Christine Quinn, Who Has Already Sold Out On Her Labour Roots, Is On Cusp Of Killing Wage Bill Backed By Labour Supporters

''Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, facing conflicting pressures from her longtime labor allies and her new supporters in the business community, said Wednesday that she was not ready to take a position on a controversial proposal that would require employers who benefit from city subsidies to pay workers higher wages,'' reported The New York Times.

By keeping her silence, Speaker Quinn is bluffing her way through the living wage bill -- another important piece of middle class legislation, precisely because Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposed the living wage bill.

''How can she justify blocking a bill for that requires employers who receive city subsidies to pay workers $10/hour, especially in light of the fact that it is sponsored by a majority of Council Members ? Where's the humanity ? Where's the democracy ? How much of this behavior are you willing to forgive because you like the idea of having a gay person or a woman in higher office ?'' asked the government integrity activist Donny Moss on the Facebook social media site.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Like Medvedev, Like Quinn

From The New York Times :

Like Putin, Like Bloomberg

October 4, 2011, 8:44 AM

Political ploys under way in Russia could almost serve as an instruction manual for the leadership at either end of New York’s City Hall. You have to slap your forehead in wonder that the New Yorkers didn’t think up comparable high jinks for themselves.

In case your idea of foreign news is a revised menu at the International House of Pancakes, allow us to explain.

Dmitri A. Medvedev, who is Russia’s president but not the guy in charge, plans to step aside so that his place can be taken by Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, Mr. Medvedev’s predecessor and still the true power. Once Mr. Putin is installed anew as president, Mr. Medvedev will move in as prime minister. In some countries, leaders swap political favors. In Russia, it seems, they swap jobs.

The reason for this folderol is that Mr. Putin, though not thrilled with the idea, yielded the presidency three years ago in accordance with a constitutional provision limiting him to two consecutive terms.

In other words, this former K.G.B. man, known for strong-arm tactics, was more scrupulous about observing the niceties of term limits than were New York’s political leaders: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his Medvedev equivalent, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker.

You will recall that Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Quinn could not bother themselves with observing the letter, let alone the spirit, of a voter-imposed city law limiting them to two terms. With the help of complaisant council members, they simply changed the law to reward themselves with third terms. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to look less faithful to democratic formalities than Vladimir Putin.

There is no need to belabor the wobbly nature of this third term. Names and phrases like Cathleen P. Black, the 2010 blizzard, Stephen Goldsmith and the CityTime scandal tell you at a glance how things have often gone.

For the privilege of presiding over all that, Mr. Bloomberg distorted campaign financing beyond all recognition — yet again — by spending $108 million in 2009.On Monday, he was forced to testify at the trial of a political consultant accused of stealing $1.1 million from that campaign. Theft, if proved, is bad, of course. But Mr. Bloomberg tosses around money so freely that his losing a million dollars is like an average person’s having coins slip between the sofa cushions.

Nor are finances the only area of distortion. The normal balance between the executive and legislative branches in this city has been knocked askew in the Bloomberg-Quinn era. Theirs is not quite the Putin-Medvedev relationship, but it bears a certain resemblance, sort of a second-rate Moscow on the Hudson. Not unlike the Russians, Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Quinn are trying to make sure that power remains within their alliance.

He leaves no doubt that he wants her to take his place after 2013. His administration goes out of its way to include her in news conferences even when the Council’s role is close to nonexistent, whether the issue is Hurricane Irene or, as was the case last week, an announcement that New Yorkers were eating more fruits and vegetables.

In turn, Ms. Quinn often acts as if she were not the Council speaker but, rather, the deputy mayor for legislative affairs. The latest example came a week ago when she bottled up a bill loathed by the mayor. It would have required mayors, including the wandering, Bermuda-loving Mr. Bloomberg, to let the rest of us know when he strays far from the city — certainly when he leaves the country, as he did before the 2010 blizzard. Ms. Quinn made sure that the Council would not even debate this proposal.

There is, however, such a thing as excessive coziness. A NY1-Marist College poll last week confirmed that, for now anyway, Ms. Quinn is the Democratic front-runner in the 2013 mayoral election. But it also showed that nearly half of Democratic voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had Mr. Bloomberg’s support.

How does that aphorism go about being careful what you wish for?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Quinn Looks The Other Way After Mass Arrests -- Again

Live Mass Arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge #occupywallstreet - Streaming Video by We are Change

In a flashback to the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, police rounded up and arrested over 700 activists on the Brooklyn Bridge during a political demonstration.

Police said that those activists, who impeded vehicular traffic on the bridge were were arrested. But The New York Times reported that "many protesters said they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across, only to trap them in orange netting after hundreds had entered." Look at this independent video :

Some of the activists, who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, had their hands bound with plastic ties that the NYPD has used at other mass demonstration. Separately, the NYPD admitted that they police force had taken their own videos of the protesters, who had taken part in the demonstration, deliberately and intentionally tracking and monitoring the peaceful activists.

Attorney Wylie Stecklow, whose law firm represents many of the activists, who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, said that the pattern of the NYPD's behaviour toward the Occupy Wall Street protesters was reminiscent of the mass arrests that police made during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Once again, Speaker Quinn has not challenged the NYPD over the #OccupyWallStreet mass arrests, just like she did nothing over the NYPD mass arrests during the 2004 Republican National Convention.