That’s Lenora Fulani on the left and the “Invited Guest” on the right, the one who did not show up.
This is the way Voice reporter Tom Robbins alerted readers of the event staged a fortnight ago by the Independence Party at Harlem’s famous Bethel Church:
Be there or Be Square! Lenora Fulani, Fred Newman, and all the wonderfully zany leaders of the city’s Independence Party kick off their big push to reelect Mike Bloomberg Thursday evening at a rally in Harlem.
The limousines arrived all right, and so did NY1. The mayor did not.
Whether the loud and prolonged anti-Bloomberg, anti-Fulani demonstration outside the church’s wide open doors did anything to change the mayor’s mind about making an appearance, who can say for sure. With people leaning out of upstairs windows, passing cars honking in support, protesters waving dollar bills and railing for almost two hours against the mayor’s power grabs, deep pockets and attacks on public schools, it wouldn’t have made a pretty photo op for him against that hostile crowd.
“HEY, BLOOMBERG, WHADYA SAY?
HOW MANY CUTS DID YOU MAKE TODAY?”
Robbins quoted from the pitch the Independents made for the event, saying Fulani “credits a ‘new alliance’ of blacks and independent voters with electing America’s ‘two most independent leaders’ — Bloomberg and Barack Obama.”
Maybe inside the church, but out on the street, Harlem wasn’t buying it. The community made it very clear that what Bloomberg has been foisting on it or allowing to go unchecked — charter school initiatives, gentrification, the redlining of real estate, to name a few — were not welcome. Bloomberg and Fulani were not speaking for them.
In a postscript, Robbins wrote:
Campaign finance filings showing how much Mayor Mike has kicked in for this bash and other Indy organizing efforts won’t be filed for a few weeks yet. But party bigs were hopeful of a big score when they endorsed Bloomberg in April.
GEM and ICE were both represented at this demonstration, and eyewitness reports and comments from them would be welcome. A short video clip of the demonstration can be seen here.
Future protests against the corporate takeover of public education and the shutting out of community voices by this mayor and his appointees and associates (Joel Klein in particular) will be listed on this website when they are known.