According to both protestors and attendees of the costly fundraiser dinner event for the Bronx Democratic Party at Marina del Rey in Throgs Neck, never had they witnessed such a gathering of frustrated Bronxites at the annual event.
Today we witnessed an historic event of unprecedented proportions where Bronx residents came out to say no more to the corruption, the nepotism, the cronyism that plagues our borough.
Police officers from the 45th precinct were not prepared for the multitude of people and had to call for more officers as well as barricades to cordon off the rally.
For quite some time now we’ve been letting you know how Bronxites are waking up, fed up with the Bronx political machine. Today was proof of what we’ve been saying all along.
When I arrived with a neighbor to both document and support the protest there were perhaps a dozen folks. Several minutes later someone shouted, “Here comes backup!” and when I turned and looked down East Tremont Avenue I saw dozens of men and women marching in single file towards us chanting loudly.
As I got closer to the marchers, it became apparent that there was well over a hundred, proudly walking with their signs as they chanted, “What do we want? Jobs! When do we want it? NOW!” repeatedly over and over.
Once they got to the end of East Tremont, they gathered at either end of the entrance into Marina del Rey and the chants went on for almost two hours and getting louder as cars ferrying the Democratic elite or attendees walked in.
Local residents of the quiet and close knit community of Throgs Neck began looking from their homes on their balconies or just simply walked over in curiosity. Protestors answered questions, letting them know why we were there.
NYS Senator Serrano asked me as he came in what was the issue and if it was just one issue and I told him it was a multitude of issues. People were tired. He looked onto the crowd and proceeded into the catering hall.
Many of the union workers held signs criticizing Community Benefit Agreements – the nonbinding “promises” developers and corporations give our communities and elected officials in exchange for millions in grants and subsidies. They claim that these agreements result in no jobs for Bronxites such as the new Yankee Stadium deal that resulted in stiffing residents in the promised job creations.
Speaking of sweetheart deals filled with broken promises, the ring leader of the Yankee Stadium deal, former borough president Adolfo Carrion walked in as a candidate for mayor with his press entourage.
Carrion, rather than truly listen to the voices of the people, just pretended to listen to our demands and posed for photo ops which I’m sure will be spun to favor him somehow.
The protests continued with chants against FreshDirect’s sweetheart deal, stop and frisk, budget cuts made to needed programs yet how money always appears for these dirty deals.
When the flow of traffic into Marina del Rey died down and the revelers were inside dining and drinking at the $300 per person event, Ramon Jimenez, attorney and one of the founders of the Freedom Party as well as one of the organizers of today’s protest asked for a moment to speak.
Everyone quieted down and Jimenez thanked all who came out to fight against corruption. He said that today was an historic event for never in the history of the fundraiser has there been so many people uprising against the political machine.
He promised this to be the first of many and that the conversation must continue.
It seems that Bronxites have awoken and politicians should be scared. The undying loyalty that has been given to them is coming to an end and perhaps finally they will learn that they work for us and not the other way around.