by Amadi Ajamu
The fight against Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor-designee Cathie Black will be waged in the streets and in the courts. Freedom Party leaders laid out their “plan of action” at Sistas’ Place Coffee House in Brooklyn on Monday evening. The standing-room only crowd of concerned parents, grandparents, educators, clergy, activists, lawyers and others listened intently to Viola Plummer as she opened the meeting. “At approximately 5:00 PM today, Bloomberg arrogantly steamrolled the laws guiding the selection of Education Chancellor and installed the inept, unqualified, former publishing corporate exec Cathie Black to educate over one million of our children. It is clear that the Bloomberg media conglomerate has identified a lucrative market. It is called the Department of Education,” she said.
“The fight to remove Cathie Black will move forward! We are in this for the duration. We need people who will keep fighting for our children after the TV cameras leave, and it is no longer on the front page. We have got to stay the course no matter what. And we need each of you to inspire people like yourselves to join us, and fight until we remove Black,” said Plummer.
“Black must go! Black must go!” the crowd roared.
Veteran educator Jitu Weusi then gave an extensive history of the long battles for a quality education for our children in the public schools. “We are going to have Black removed. It is our responsibility to fight for our children,” he stated. Radio personality Bob Law, Attorney Roger Wareham and Councilman Charles Barron were also in attendance.
Councilman Barron laid out the particulars of the “plan of action”. “There are several things we must do immediately. First, we will request a TRO (temporary restraining order) and file an Article 78 in court this week against Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Steiner. Cathie Black must be removed, our children deserve better. This is what happens when you have mayoral control of the schools. Bloomberg has no respect for educators, parents or students. Second, we will hold regular mass protests in front of the Tweed Building at 52 Chambers Street, Downtown NYC. The first demonstration will be on Thursday (Dec. 2) at 4 PM,” he began.
“Third, mass protests in front of the homes of Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Steiner and Cathie Black will be held. Fourth, we must demand an end to mayoral control of schools and stop Bloomberg’s atrocious abuse of power. We are also exploring the possibility of a boycott of the schools. Black must go!” Barron concluded.