STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — May 3, 2014. Mount Manresa was a Jesuit retreat on Staten Island. Recently the property was sold to Savo Brothers, a construction firm that intends to build 250 townhouses on the site. To do this Savo hired what the Staten Island Advance called “tree trimmers” to come in and knock down one of the few remaining old growth forests in New York City, displacing wildlife in the process. In response a group of Islanders formed a community-based organization to educate the public and to appeal to elected officials to intervene — the stated goal being to convert the property into a park, a public space and wildlife sanctuary. On Saturday, May 3, 2014, the organzation held a “Take Back Staten Island” march to bring attention to the ongoing “development” and to curb what organizers see as overdevelopment on New York City’s once-green borough.

Before the march started, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James met with the marchers.

See www.savemanresa.org for more information about the effort to save Mount Manresa, including details on how to get involved, upcoming events, and where to sign online petitions.





Letitia James (r) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)





Letitia James (r) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)





Letitia James (l) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)





Letitia James (r) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)





Members and supporters of the Save Mount Manresa organization marching in Staten Island.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)

Posted by TAG - January 28, 2014 | News



Pete Seeger at the South Street Seaport, 1984
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
From thomasgood.com: Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, circa Spring, 1984. Shot on ektachrome (400) using a Pentax ME Super, 50mm f/2 SMC. Scanned on an Epson Perfection V300 in February, 2011.

 




A protester and a predator square off
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — December 18, 2013. The killing of Yemeni wedding goers by U.S. military personnel is a tragic example of unrestricted drone warfare’s fatal dialectic: “collateral damage” as an inevitable byproduct of “near certainty” in targeting alleged terrorists — for remote control assassination.




Drone assassinations violate international law
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
On Wednesday, December 18, activists held a vigil in front of Manhattan’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, mourning 15 Yemeni wedding-goers killed on December 12, 2013 by a US drone strike. The vigil offered passersby a chance to acquire that most dangerous item: uncensored and unmanipulated knowledge.

 
The timing of the event was in part a response to the recent tragedy in Yemen, and in part a reminder of what Christians celebrate during the busiest shopping period in the corporate liturgical calendar.




The demand: stop the killings
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
“St. Patrick’s is chosen for the vigil,” said Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones.org, “as a reminder one week before the birth of Jesus Christ of his witness on behalf of poor and outcast people, his message of reconciliation and peace and his challenge to the religious and political establishments of his time. In this spirit, we urge Pope Francis and other religious leaders to condemn drone warfare everywhere in the world.”




Outreach…
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
The vigil included a large-scale model of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, the workhorse of US drone assassinations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Mottern estimates that over 5,000 people have been killed in US drone strikes since they began in 2001.




Remembering the dead: sons, daughters, mothers, fathers…
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
Organizations participating in the outreach effort included: the Granny Peace Brigade; Veterans for Peace; the War Resisters League, and; the World Can’t Wait.

 


View Photos From The Event…

 

In this general necessity, guilt has no place. One man can give the signal that liquidates hundreds and thousands of people, then declare himself free from all pangs of conscience, and live happily ever after.

Herbert Marcuse

 

Posted by TAG - December 11, 2013 | News


(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
SECAUCUS, N.J. — On Black Friday labor activists visited Walmart stores across the country — not to shop but to protest Walmart’s always low wages and poor treatment of workers.


Protesting the elimination of small businesses
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
In Secaucus, New Jersey, 13 protesters were arrested for taking part in a civil disobedience held to draw attention to the issues. In several states Walmart workers participated in the protests.


Members of Staten Island’s Middle Class Action Project
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
John Kubinski, a UCFW member and organizer with the Staten Island based Middle Class Action Project, was at the Secaucus protest, standing with the Walmart workers. Kubinski was joined by a number of young MCAP members.


Labor organizer John Kubinski (left) at the Black Friday protest
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
“Walmart has made the choice to wage a war on workers, by cutting hours, altering schedules and failing to properly compensate their employees ….that’s their choice. We choose to stand up against their corporate greed and to fight for the working class in this country. That’s our choice,” Kubinski said.


(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 


War Resisters protesting drone killings.
(Photo: Ed Hedemann / WRL)

 
NEW YORK — November 24, 2013. The War Resisters League (WRL) have a message for the holiday season: drone manufacturers are making a killing.

 
On Monday 25 members of the NYC War Resisters League, Granny Peace Brigade, and other groups demonstrated outside the world headquarters of L-3 Communications,Third Avenue and 39 Street. The activists were protesting L-3’s manufacture of electronics for the Predator drones, used by President Obama, the CIA, and the Pentagon to track and kill “insurgents” — men, women, and children — in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

 
The most infamous of the drone strikes was the Wech Baghtu wedding party airstrike which killed 63 people including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 insurgents on November 3, 2008. The group was celebrating a wedding at a housing complex in the village of Wech Baghtu, a Taliban stronghold in the Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. On November 5, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that President Barack Obama stop killing civilians.

 
The War Resisters are calling on Nobel laureate Obama to stop killing, period.

 
The L-3 project included LED-illuminated signs provided by the Light Brigade and projected messages by The Illuminator art collective. The WRL is well known for its use of creative visuals — one of their posters features the tagline, “More creativity, not war.”

 


Related: would-be consumers of alcohol must be 21-years-old to buy beer or liquor in New York. Recently the City Council voted to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes. Yet, 18-year-olds can still enlist in the armed forces — and be deployed to Afghanistan. It would appear that indiscretion can be both youthful — and useful.

 


Bill de Blasio speaking at a 2013 labor rally
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
NEW YORK — November 6, 2013. The long lead-up to the New York City mayoral election is over and the winner by a landslide is: New York City.

 
Bill de Blasio, the self-described progressive candidate, didn’t simply win, he crushed his opponent, former deputy mayor and MTA boss Joe Lhota. De Blasio did this despite Lhota’s red-baiting and fear mongering tactics. New Yorkers didn’t seem to care that de Blasio once described himself as a “democratic socialist” or that he honeymooned in Cuba. De Blasio campaigned on two signature issues: taxing the rich to pay for education and ending stop-and-frisk, the NYPD’s controversial program that targets African American youth for random (none dare say arbitrary) searches.

 


Don’t re-enact scenes from Platoon with Joe Lhota
(Image: YouTube)

 
In the end, Lhota’s personal attack ads didn’t make a dent — de Blasio got 73 percent of the vote. Now that the election is over dinnertime television can file the personal attacks in the dustbin and we can all return to the nightly news being punctuated by big pharma selling four-hour erections. To be honest, a part of me will miss Joe Lhota’s adverts. His over-the-top ads featured the tag line “Don’t let Bill de Blasio take us back” — to a crime wave — which was reminiscent of the Direct TV ad campaign that featured Charlie Sheen. “Don’t re-enact scenes from Platoon with Charlie Sheen. Get rid of cable and upgrade to Direct TV,” the deliberately off-the-wall ads advised — after stating that being unhappy with cable logically led to being in a Turkish bath house with Sheen and ultimately to acting out scenes from Platoon with an armed and wild-eyed Charlie. Unfortunately for Lhota, people took his scary advertisements about seriously as the Direct TV commercials.

 


Waiting to be crushed: Joe Lhota on Staten Island’s boardwalk (last Tuesday)
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
This reporter has followed Bill de Blasio’s career for some time, not because of a sixth sense, but because de Blasio is a workhorse who appeared at numerous progressive events and forums over the years. And now he has pledged to work to take New York down a “progressive path.” Doubtless we will miss our diminutive billionaire mayor – who will save us from sugary soda? But this writer has a hunch we will muddle through without Mike telling us what to eat. And just maybe our teachers will get the support they need to do their jobs effectively.

 


City Council member Debi Rose at an 2010 event honoring Martin Luther King Jr
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
It’s worth noting that De Blasio’s win wasn’t the only good news for progressives on election day. On the other side of New York harbor, in conservative Staten Island, progressive City Council member Debi Rose easily defeated the Republican challenger, Mark Macron. Could it be that progressive politics are in the ascendant in New York City?

 

From NY Dada, NLN’s smartass sibling:


Chris Christie, The Governor?


 
NEW YORK — November 6, 2013. Yesterday’s election saw Chris Christie re-elected governor of New Jersey, Bill de Blasio elected NYC mayor, and Staten Island City Council Member Debi Rose re-elected. What tied it all together was the fact that the winners didn’t have to wait long to hear the results of their respective races: Christie, de Blasio, and Rose all won in landslides. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some loose ends.

 
Following her loss to Chris Christie, Barbara Buono lashed out at fellow Democrats and what she called “good old boy machine politics”:
“The Democratic political bosses, some elected and some not, made a deal with this governor. They didn’t do it for the state. They did it out of a desire to help themselves.” [1]

 
Shocked to hear about allegations of corruption in The Garden State, NY Dada reached out to former Atlantic City treasurer Enoch Thompson (Republican) who declined to comment.

 

Mark Macron, Mayor of Pripyat?
(Photo: Justin Stahlman / Flickr [2])


 
Across the Kill Van Kull from New Jersey, Republican darling and City Council candidate (District 49) Mark Macron was soundly defeated by incumbent Debi Rose. A poorly placed and unnamed / unreliable source tells NY Dada that Macron is considering running for mayor of Pripyat in the Ukraine. Macron’s campaign for the New York City Council appeared to center around his fondness for ferris wheels. Pripyat has a ferris wheel and, in the wake of Chernobyl, a very small electorate. Odds are Macron could run unopposed.

 
[1] http://blog.northjersey.com/thepoliticalstate/8992/buono-delivers-blistering-concession-speech-attacking-garden-state-democrats/
[2] http://www.flickr.com/photos/93823488@N00/457486416 – modified by NY Dada

 

 




A lone piper on Staten Island’s boardwalk
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — October 29, 2013. On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a group of relief agencies and storm survivors held a ‘resiliency march’ on the boardwalk that traverses some of the hardest hit areas of Staten Island.

 




Members of Tunnels To Towers involved in hurricane relief
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
The march, which wound its way from South Beach to Midland Beach, was attended by community members who survived the storm, hurricane relief organizations, and local politicans.




State Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis marching with Sandy survivors
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
Community members carried signs that read “Rebuilding Without Consultation” and “1 Year After – Still Exposed To Storms” — expressing the concerns of Islanders who are struggling to rebuild their shattered homes.




“Rebuilding Without Consultation”
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Lyn Governale, whose home was badly damaged, demands “Sustainability In A New Climate”
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Islanders from Ocean Breeze ask for a buyout
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 


View Photos From The March…

 


Paul Buhle’s latest book: Radical Jesus
(Image courtesy of Paul Buhle)

 
MADISON, Wis. — November 5, 2013. Paul Buhle, retired Brown University professor and former editor of Radical America, an SDS publication, is back with a new book whose protagonist is well known to readers of all ages — or is he?

 
Buhle has been releasing graphic histories for some time. His most famous offerings include Wobblies! A Graphic history of the Industrial Workers of the World (2005) and Students For A Democratic Society: A Graphic History (2008) which was written by Harvey Pekar, illustrated by Gary Dumm, and edited by Buhle.

 
And now Paul is back with a new offering. Radical Jesus. Contributing to the book are long time Buhle collaborators Sabrina Jones (illustrator), Gary Dumm (illustrator), and Nick Thorkelson (illustrator). Buhle is masterful at assembling a team of writers and illustrators and producing high quality graphic histories in very short order. One look at the Amazon.com Paul Buhle page tells the story – there are graphic histories of the Beats, FDR, Isadora Duncan, Che Guevara, Emma Goldman, Bohemians, etc. Radical Jesus takes up where the other histories leave off, or perhaps serves as a prequel. An anti-imperialist Jesus? Buhle and others say, Absolutely!

 


Paul Buhle at Brown University (2008)
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
The Wisconsin State Journal ran a piece by Doug Erickson that outlined Buhle’s motivation for writing the book: “A lot of the book comes down to rich and poor and how religion can contribute to the world today and the crises we face,” Buhle told Erickson.

 
Anyone interested in meeting the author, getting a signed copy, or learning more about the book and the art of comic book histories will have an opportunity to do so on April 28 at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan.