Bronxites demo against verdict

The Bronx chapter of Rev. Al Sharpton’s Nation Action Network (NAN) gathered on Saturday, July 22 on the steps of the Bronx Borough Hall to demonstrate against the not-guilty verdict in the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida. The hour-long program was attended by elected officials of New York City and Bronx Borough.

City Councillor Andy King of the 16th District who moderated the event said that by the verdict, Blacks and Latino youths, must be careful. He added that the verdict speaks to the notorious “stand-your-ground” law in the State of Florida. “If Trayvon were white, he wouldn’t have been killed. It is the negative profiling of Blacks that led to the Trayvon’s death, he said. Mr. King said remarked that such unfortunate event could happen in the Bronx, Los Angeles, Chicago among the nation’s major cities and called on the Federal government to take immediate action. The councilman appealed to the youths to continue the struggle.

In a short address, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz condemned the verdict and said that the notorious stand-your-ground law in Florida was largely responsible for the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin. The death of the young black man, he said was a sad reflection on the state of race relations in the country and urged that there ought to be a national conversation to address the issue.

City Council member Vannessa Gibson  asked the crowd to keep Trayvon Martin’s family in prayer and also called for a civil rights action against Zimmerman. She further stated that the “stand-your-ground” law which is championed by the Republican Party is available in 20 states of the Union. “It is unacceptable,” she commented and added that “We need to stand our ground for our children and family, and it is important not to elect those who will endorse such legislation. She demanded accountability from the Department of Justice.

City Councillor Anabelle Palmer also urged solidarity among Blacks and Latinos and urged that Floridians should elect better people. She advocated for a national conversation about the future of young men and women as highlighted in the Trayvon Martin’s death.

Assemblyman Mario Cresco expressed his disgust at the high cost of tuition at a time when Blacks and Latinos are being urged to go to school. He wondered if it was intentional to keep Blacks and Latinos out of school. He said the legacy of Trayvon Martin should be real change.

There was a unanimous expression of disgust for “stop-and-frisk” policies that target only Black and Latino youths in the nation’s cities, particularly in New York. There were appeals to ensure the enactment of an oversight law for the New York Police Department.


Bronx Borough Honors Community Leaders at Ramadan Break Fast

The Borough of Bronx on Thursday, July 25 honored some leaders in the Islamic community in the Borough at a Ramadan breakfast.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. recognized the contributions made by the Islamic community in the borough in general and the individual honorees in particular in the borough. He acknowledged the presence of other religious leaders and his father, State Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Sr. The honorees included Dr. Hamud Al-Silwi, Ramatu Ahmed and the New Settlement Apartments led by their Executive Director Jack Doyle.

Ramatu Ahmed in her acceptance speech said that the award would greatly motivate her to do more. She applauded the diversity in the borough and acknowledged the presence of other religious leaders from the Christian community stating, “Our diversity defines and strengthen us. We are one people thriving to reach a common goal. Our differences do matter, but our unity is pivotal in our faith.” Ms. Ahmed who was described by the borough president as a busy person because of the enormity of her civic responsibilities recalled that she was among those who started the first Iftar dinners which was later embraced by the borough hall. The event has now become an institution, she said.

Ramatu praised Borough President Diaz for his interest in the African and Islamic communities in the Bronx. She referred to the part the president played in organizing the soccer tournaments in the African community. “The soccer tournament is a testament to your leadership and your enthusiasm giving the community you serve equal opportunity. “We acknowledge the support that you give us; we are getting our share of the pie.”

The event which was emceed by Elhizeh Hydara of the Islamic Center included a performance by the children of the Islamic Center and recitations from the Koran. Also in attendance were City Council woman Vannessa Gibson, Candidates for City Council positions including Dr. Bola Omotosho for the 16th District and Letitia “Tish” James for Public Advocate.

Posted by on Aug 21 2013. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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