|Photo by Robert Holden|
The protesters assembled at the Holiday Inn Express near Maurice Avenue and marched through the streets of Maspeth, led by civic leaders and State Senator Tony Avella. Several candidates for election, including Democratic Assembly candidate Brian Barnwell, Republican Assembly candidate Tony Nunziato and State Senate candidate Michael Conigliaro participated. In fact, the Queens County GOP sent several reps to march with their banner, but not one cog of the Democratic Queens Machine bothered to show up.
The marchers left the hotel area and entered the heart of Maspeth, heading east on Grand Avenue and shutting it down. After marching through almost the entire length of town, they doubled back and marched up 69th Street, stopping to jeer Marge Markey at both her office and her home. They then walked down to Maurice Park and over the pedestrian bridge back to the hotel.
Yesterday was quite hot but thanks to water donated by Rosa's Pizza and O'Neill's Restaurant, nearly everyone who participated made the full 5 mile round trip.
Although the tweeders, through their lackeys in the media, like to portray Maspeth residents (or anyone opposed to a homeless shelter) as "racist", there were a number of non-white people either marching or cheering the protesters on from their homes. People of all races don't want their quality of life destroyed, their families living in fear, or their property investments threatened by the presence of a facility that even the city admits will cause major problems in the community. And that's what Lincoln Restler, Bill de Blasio and the rest of the tweeders need to understand before they get swept out of office by an electoral tsunami.
However, with responses like THIS, it doesn't appear that Liz Crowley is getting the message:
A light rain was falling as Community Board member Jerry Drake addressed about 200 protesters on Thursday night, August 25th in front of the Holiday Inn Express near Maurice Avenue and the L.I.E in Maspeth. Drake was the last speaker of the night and reported on a meeting he had earlier that day with Council Member Elizabeth Crowley in her Glendale office.
Drake told the crowd that he had asked Crowley if she would attend the giant protest march scheduled for Saturday, August 27th through the Maspeth community to protest the de Blasio Administration's decision to convert Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter for 220 adults. Crowley told Drake that she would not attend the march. The news however did not surprise the crowd since Crowley had not attended any of the 9 daily protests that regularly draw between 200-300 protesters. A frustrated Jerry Drake asked Crowley why she decided not attend the protests or the scheduled march to support her Maspeth constituents in a show of unity against Mayor de Blasio. "I didn't like the way I was treated at the Martin Luther School homeless meeting (on Aug. 3rd)," said Crowley. Drake reported that he asked Crowley what he should report back to the protesters. "Tell them whatever you want," she replied.
Crowley then told Drake that the Maspeth shelter was going to happen because the Mayor wants to place homeless shelters in Queens and particularly in the Community Board 5 area that has no shelters. When Drake reminded Crowley that she is up for reelection next year she responded, "I'll cross that bridge when the time comes." Crowley's response angered the protesters with many chanting ‒ "Vote her out!"