Barbara Bowen, President of PSC-CUNY, the union of faculty and staff of City University of New York, will be returning to Bloombergville tonight this time to speak at our sidewalk university. Professor of English at Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center, Dr. Bowen is a scholar of 17th Century English Literature and African American studies and also has a long career of progressive activism and labor organizing. She will be talking about the effects of the budget cuts on education.
We hope everyone comes out to give her a warm Bloombergville welcome.
6:00PM Speaker at Bloombergville: Barbara Bowen
As Bloombergville gears up for the large rally and demonstration against the budget cuts on June 28th, we decided to kick back on a Saturday afternoon and have a Kids Day Party across the street from Bloombergville in City Hall park. There was food, face-painting, and drumming. Parents brought their children and it was a lot of fun for everyone.
Check out the gallery:
But this is no fun: $50 million dollar in cuts are currently proposed for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Don’t let Bloomberg cut down the imagination of our kids. Show your support, come to Bloombergville — stay for an hour or bring a sleeping bag and stay for the night — and join the fight against these cuts!
Photos Courtesy of Erin Markman and Yoni Golijov.
“This is what Democracy looks like!” — First video of Last Night’s Protest. Bloombergville protesters following City Council Members up the stairs of 52 Chambers Street to the entrance of the building. Until that moment, police had kept the group on the sidewalk outside the building.
Video Courtesy of Cesar Arenas-Mena
Last night at 9pm, Bloombergville learned City Council was meeting to make last moment deals on the budget at their offices at 250 Broadway, half a block from the encampment. Postponing the General Assembly, about 2 dozen members of Bloombergville gathered banners and posters and drums and set off immediately to protest.
Outside 250 Broadway, the chanting and picketing begins, as more Bloombergville participants and supporters arrive and join in. Among the chants: “They say budget cuts. We say: That’s Fucking Nuts!” and ”Come on, let’s face it — these budget cuts are racist!”
Support comes from the streets, too. ”Honk for the Workers” one sign says. Fire trucks, city buses and sanitation trucks honk their horns as they pass by.
As Council Members leave the meeting, Bloombergville follows them to 52 Chambers Street (the Tweed Courthouse behind City Hall) where the deal is finalized with the Administration and a press conference will be held.
By 10pm, about 50 protesters are gathered at the steps of the building. To get upstairs, Council Members have to pass through the crowd.
A line of police officers keeps protesters off the stairs. ”How come we’re down here — and they’re up there?” a Bloombergville organizer calls as he and a few others start up the stairs, chanting “This is what Democracy looks like!” (See video here.) More follow. Soon police move back as all the protesters crowd the entrance.
Chanting “Let us in!” “Vote No! Vote No!” “No Cuts! No Layoffs! No Compromise!” and “Your Job Next!” Bloombergville stays at the entrance for more than 30 minutes.
As City Council left the building — most taking a side entrance to avoid chants of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” — two Council Members met with protesters. “What you’re doing is making a difference,” said Jumaane D Williams, Council Member of Brooklyn’s District 45, “Your voice is being heard… But you have to keep fighting.” They report that fire stations and senior centers will no longer be cut and “only” 2000 teachers will be eliminated through attrition. Other cuts remain.
Afterwards, protesters returned to Bloombergville to assess the action and plan what’s next. There will be cuts, Yotan Moram, one of Bloombergville’s organizers, said to the group, but they also had to acknowledge “what has been achieved is the result of a movement we started.”
Photos by Harry Newman
Elizabeth Whitman, Inter Press Service –
They have taken over a strip of the sidewalk at Park Place and Broadway, handing out flyers to passersby and taping posters to the ground and to the metal crossbars of the scaffolding that shelters them from the rain.
They sleep here too, on the sidewalk, and hold assembly meetings twice daily for people to raise concerns and plan events. Their bottom line: no budget cuts.
Calling their takeover and sleep-in Bloombergville - an allusion to the infamous shanty towns known as Hoovervilles that sprung up during the Great Depression – they are New Yorkers Against the Budget Cuts (NYABC), a coalition of different groups and individuals united by their opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget for next year and their determination to press the City Council not to adopt it.
Activist and scholar Mimi Abramovitz will speak at our sidewalk university on Saturday at 6pm.
The Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at Hunter College School of Social Work, Professor Abramovitz interests include low income women’s activism, the history of the US welfare state, and the impact of neoliberalism on women and communities of color.
She is the author of many books and articles about women, poverty and the welfare state, including Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy From Colonial Times to the Present, Taxes are a Women’s Issue: Reframing the Debate, and Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the United States. She is currently writing a book: Gendered Obligations: The History of Activism Among Black and White Poor and Working Class Women in the US Since 1900.
Please come out and give her a warm Bloombergville welcome.
6:00PM Speaker at Bloombergville
Mimi Abramovitz: Gender and the Attack on Public Sector Program, Workers and Union Members
New Date… New Date… New Date… New Date
We found out last night that City Council will now be voting on the budget on Tuesday June 28. Meet at Bloombergville and go together to 49-51 Chambers Street to protest.
DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE BUDGET CUTS
June 28, 12:00PM
Bring the message directly to City Council
Join us at 12pm on Tuesday at Bloombergville (Broadway and Park Place) then come with us to 49-51 Chambers Street (the Emigrant Bank Building) where City Council will be holding its vote. We have to let them know New Yorkers reject this budget — and they should too!
With a $3 billion surplus and hundreds of millions in uncollected revenue, the city has more than enough money avoid all cuts.
Since June 14, a coalition of students, city workers, activists, and concerned citizens has operated Bloombergville, a protest encampment occupied 24 hours a day across from City Hall in Lower Manhattan. Through leafletting, calls for protests, and creative street actions, the residents of Bloombergville and its supporters have worked to spread the word and rallied New Yorkers against the devastating impact of the proposed budget cuts. It’s not too late to have our voices heard.
COME TO BLOOMBERGVILLE ON TUESDAY – THEN COME WITH US TO PROTEST CITY COUNCIL AND THE BUDGET VOTE
Bloombergville and supporters have followed City Council to the Tweed Courthouse at 52 Chambers.
MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW…
As City Council meets in secret to make its budget deal tonight, Bloombergville has headed to their offices at 250 Broadway to protest.
Join us now!
More details to follow..
In the day since the Bloombergville Declaration was released, response to it has been very positive. More than a dozen leading writers, scholars and activists as well as community organizations have endorsed Bloombergville and what we stand for.
The first to endorse was Noam Chomsky. Other endorsers include Z Media’s Michael Albert, New York Councilman Charles Barron, Arun Gupta of the Indypendent, social geographer David Harvey, historian and political scientist Frances Fox Piven and new names continue to be added.
THE BLOOMBERGVILLE DECLARATION
We stand with all those struggling against austerity around the world.
We are in active solidarity with those refusing any and all cuts when solutions to deficits are clearly available. The solution demands a reorientation of the fundamental priorities of our countries. We reject our money going to war, tax breaks for the rich, and subsides to banks.
No library should close. No teacher or worker laid off. No tuition raised. No fire station closed. No unaffordable housing. And no social services ended.
By increasing taxes on the wealthy and ending the wars and occupations the US engages in, we could help those most affected by the budget cuts: working people, people of color, women, students, the homeless, among others. The solution is clear, and will only come from collective struggle.
Bloombergville is an encampment to intensify and strengthen the struggle against austerity in New York City. It is a site of struggle and a community of resistance. We have drawn our inspiration from similar actions around the world, and we hope to inspire others.
So long as austerity is on the agenda, we will be on the streets!
To see the complete list of Endorsers, go to www.bloombergvillenow.org/declaration