BLOOMBERGVILLE PROTESTS LATE NIGHT CITY COUNCIL DEAL JUNE 25 (PICS)Posted: June 25, 2011
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