Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Day 2012

For workers and Occupiers in New York City this year, May Day seems as exciting and is as much anticipated as Christmas. There will be a whole day’s worth of activities all over the city. I’ve made my own choice.
Heading down to the church to take the train with Teddy and Steve to Federal Plaza for Tracy’s May Day demonstration. Teddy tells me that Antonia was very happy and thankful to be able to be  inside last night. Teddy had assigned Little Chris to take care of her. He’d made her a bed, got her somthing to eat, found her some fresh clothes. When she got up in the morning, she was helping to make breakfast, helping people with their beds. Teddy called Project Reachout right away and Kris came. Antonia agreed to go with Kris to see if they could find her a place to live. A good start to the day.
As we step outside to head to the subway, Teddy points out the unmarked cars from the Drug Enforcement Administration across the street. Anna has told us stories of late night crack use, crack sales. When I first came here in ’95, the corner of 87th was notorious. The trade seems to be amkig its way south into our neighborhood again. Teddy jokes about the dashboard signs in the undercover cars. Probably don't want to get ticketed by the NYPD. Teddy has also seen the unmarked white van with its tell tale antennas. Listening devices. 
(The demonstration was by Justice Will Be Served and the National Movement Against Sweatshops of which our neighborhood group is a part. The focus was on ending Employer Sanctions laws which strip undocumented workers of all rights and pit worker against worker.  Teddy spoke to express solidarity from OWS and as a union steam fitter. And I closed out the demonstration.)

Teddy and Bob

When I get back from downtown, RL and David are hard at work drawing up designs for a solution to our sidewalk grate situation. They seem to have come up with a workable plan. David will be going to check out materials.
Jerry who used to play oboe with Jens Nygard and the Jupiter Symphony, back in the day, was here most recently with David Grunman and the Spectrum Orchestra. Jerry’s interested in doing his own concert later on.
As we’re talking with Jerry, two representatives of a Jewish congregation have come to check out the  building. They’ve got a growing group of younger people, in their twenties and thirties, and have outgrown their current space. I continue to marvel at the rapid growth of Jewish congregations in the neighborhood. 
We talk until it's time for me to head to the train to go and teach my seminary class.

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