By Amadi Ajamu —
NYC Councilman Charles Barron officially announced his candidacy for Congress representing the 10th Congressional District on Sunday. Surrounded by a host of supporters and media in front of Sonny Carson Park in the heart of East New York, Barron vowed to be “the voice of the 99%”.
Well wishers included his family, community activists, parents, tenant association leaders, youth leaders, Freedom Party members, and labor organizers. Speakers told of Barron’s history as a tireless fighter for the rights of the people and the resources he has brought to his Council District (East NY and Brownsville) including affordable housing, health care, senior care, quality education and jobs, refurbishing and renovating parks, and planting trees throughout the communities.
When Councilman Barron stepped to the podium, the crowd started singing the campaign song ‘Charles Barron for Congress!’ He began chanting, “Whose voice?” They responded ‘Our voice!’ “Our voice is going to Washington! When they extend the tax breaks for the rich, we say no! Everyone shouted “no!” in unison. When they say they’re going to cut Medicare, we say no! When they try to cut social security, we say no! When they say they’re going to continue the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, spending trillions of dollars on war and no money for our elderly, no money for our youth, we say no!”
“Our voices are going to be the voice of the 99%. Guess what? We are 99% of the 99%. They are occupying places all over the country. We support that movement. But we know we catch the most hell. They say, well Charles how are you going to impact Washington all by yourself? I say, I’m not. I’m bringing you to Washington. We are going to be the voice of our people,” he continued.
“I am sick and tried of the Democrats and Republicans, they should just have one party the Republicrats. They are both the same. It don’t matter who gets into office, we still have a corporate elite running the two party system. I’m going to put some fire under the Congressional Black Caucus and say come on brothers and sisters, our time has come for us to stand and be the voice of the people. Even if you don’t get the vote, say it! Don’t just sit there like some political punks.” The crowd cheered him on and applauded.
“I’m not going to be afraid to speak out against Israel and what they are doing to the Palestinian people,” he said. “We are going to tell it like it is. We are not going to go up there and be cowards. We are going to say, you should have never bombed Libya and murdered Colonel Gaddafi. He is an African hero. We are also going to stand up for Robert Mugabe, an African hero. He is taking land back from white people, who stole it from us in the first place.”
Congressional Candidate Barron concluded with, “They say, Charles you have to be for everybody. Well I am! But I’m Black and proud and strong. I will represent everyone in the district. But I will take care of Blacks and Latinos because we catch the most hell!”
Mr. Barron will be running against incumbent Congressman Edolphus Towns who has held on to his seat for fifteen terms. The 10th Congressional District includes the neighborhoods of East New York, Canarsie, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cypress Hills, Clinton Hill, Mill Basin, Midwood, downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, as well as parts of Fort Greene and Williamsburg.