I'm in the process of adding new content to this site, which I'm very excited about.
If you notice to the upper right of this site, that there's a photo of a big loud-mouth toothless walrus man with a cross going through his face. That's the resident hate-monger and all around racist, Tom Bennett. Since this laughable symbol of ignorance is in an obvious state of denial with his laughable threats against this site (and me personally), I'm going to do ALL OF DANBURY a great big (and long overdue) favor. USING OVER TWO AND A HALF YEARS OF ARCHIVE FOOTAGE from the HatCityBLOG video vault, I'm going to carefully detail how Bennett, otherwise known to many as BigT(urd), is the most irresponsible, racist, homophobic, profane, indecent, violent, out-of-control local cable talk show host in the history of Comcast Cable (who allows his co-host to incite his rabid audience with rumors of people plotting to FIREBOMBING THE HISPANIC CENTER as well as demanding that POLICE SNIPERS TAKE POSITION ON TOP OF HOMES AND TAKE ACTION DURING THE NEXT IMMIGRANT SPONTANEOUS PARADE).
Hopefully after seeing my evidence, you'll agree with my viewpoint that this person has abused the rules and regulations of his contract with Comcast cable to such a degree that the only remedy is to remove his indecent and profane show from local access once and for all.
Also, by popular demand, I'm adding a special section that will follow the events surrounding the parade ordinance and I'll include NEVER BEFORE SEEN video footage from the ad-hoc committee.
I've finally found a great new video server, which will allow you to watch all future videos in normal or full screen mode in TV quality format. You'll also have the ability to download all future videos and play them in the HatCityBLOG video player without the need of a web browser. IF you want a sneak peak at the new video feature, click on the parade ordinance highlights video in today's earlier post and you'll notice the difference.
Finally, thanks to all the new reader of this site who found their way here from the many fliers around the city. Traffic on this site has gone up to aprox. 3500-5000 per month with aprox. 1,000-1,500 people viewing this site this week alone. All I can say is thank you...this site would not be possible without your support and I'm completely grateful for your viewership.
Hopefully, with the addition of more writers, more video content, and more coverage of events that you don't find anywhere else, HatCityBLOG will take local blogging and People-Powered Media (PPM) to the next level and stand out as one of the best local sites in the country.
When M. Jodi Rell became governor of Connecticut on July 1, 2004, she promised to be a different kind of governor -- a governor who would end business as usual in state government.
That promise, as Rell replaced the disgraced John Rowland, endeared Rell to Connecticut voters -- so much so that they elected her governor last November in a landslide.
But promising to end business as usual has been easier than actually doing it, especially when it comes to Rell's chief of staff and longtime aide, Lisa Moody.
Moody keeps stumbling into ethics controversies by using her state office and her clout as Rell's chief of staff for political purposes. And Rell keeps making excuses for Moody.
Last year, the Moody controversy involved the pressure she put on the heads of state agencies to solicit contributions for the Rell campaign, which is prohibited by state law.
This year, the Moody controversy involves Moody's use of a state databank of names and addresses of the directors of arts and tourism groups to solicit campaign contributions for the Rell campaign.
For months, Rell stonewalled requests by legislators for explanations of what was done and who did it. The governor's spokesman actually claimed no one could remember the details of this political activity run on state time and taxpayer money.
This is unacceptable. Rell promised a change from business as usual, and that's what the people of Connecticut expect.
Rell needs to clean up her own office, starting with the replacement of Lisa Moody.
You've read all about it, now watch the controversy for yourself.
Due to the high demand, I present the video footage of parade ordinance from Tuesday night.
When you watch this, keep some things in mind.
* Members of Elise Marciano's anti-immigration group obviously didn't take the 15 seconds needed to read the first paragraph of the ordinance as it states pretty clear that the proposal WILL IN NO WAY STOP SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATIONS SUCH AS THE ONES THAT HAPPENED DURING THE WORLD CUP GAMES. Never letting me down for a good laugh, Marciano and her whack pack proved YET AGAIN that they have absolutely NO idea what the hell they're talking about due in part to their rabid hatred for immigrants. Pitiful indeed.
* EVERY person who spoke in support of the ordinance, did so only under the understanding that the proposal would stop the spontaneous celebrations among immigrants like the ones we witness during the World Cup games. This was the case DESPITE the fact that corporation council stated several times (going back to the FIRST ad-hoc committee) that the ordinance IN NO way would stop people from spontaneously celebrating in the streets (e.g., World Cup games). We'll come back to this critical (and most disturbing) point at a later date.
* No one during the public speaking portion of the meeting spoke in support of the ordinance besides those who are doing so as a response to the so-called immigrant disturbance.
* Certain elected officials, such as Majority Leader Pauline Basso, are active supporters of Elise Marciano's anti-immigrant organization going as far as to participate in various meetings and functions. Given that there is a open line of communication between members of Marciano's group and the Majority Leader of the Council, these points come to mind: If the majority leader knows Marciano personally, then it's logical to assume that 1.) Basso did not tell Marciano that the ordinance wouldn't stop immigrants from celebrating during World Cup games and/or 2.) Basso didn't read the ordinance herself.
* Those individuals who actually took the time to actually read the ordinance spoke out loudly against the proposal. It's painfully obvious which members of the public read the report and didn't read it (which just about sums up almost everything that's wrong with Danbury and it's low-information voter problem).
* The strongest supporter of the ordinance, Mary Saracino, eventually agreed with those who wanted to send the ordinance back to committee for review. The decision to send the ordinance back to committee was also incorrectly block by the mayor thus, overruling the bi-partisan majority on TWO separate occasions. In short, democracy and the majority rule was thrown out the window by an individual who thinks he knows better than the bi-partisan MAJORITY of the council.
* Every point I made in why this ordinance is wrong for Danbury is echoed by every person who is against the proposal during the debate
* Common Council President Joe Cavo stooped to an all-time low with his disgusting comments and his arrogance in not even offering an apology to the MAJORITY of people on the council who he outright offended. Mayor Boughton should be cited for not keeping his attack dog on a leash.
Now, keep those small points in mind when you watch the footage. I could go on and on but reserve my views on everything that happened last night for a later time.
Part 1: Public speaking portion of the meeting:
Part 2: Parade ordinance debate (1 of 2):
Part 3: Parade ordinance debate (2 of 2):
NOTE: Due to a bad videotape, portions of the meeting is slightly distorted. Also, I had to change tapes after Mayor Boughton incorrectly casted his first vote which block the Democratic amendment (I lost about aprox. 3 minutes of footage).
Posted by: boredwithbs Wed, May 02 2007 Congratulations! One more nail in Boughton's human rights coffin! Who were the two Common Council votes that weren't there? Mr. Cutsumptas resigned, and which coward from which party missed this meeting? And if a "parade" breaks out, will all the participants be dragged off ICE style and never heard form again? Sieg heil.
Posted by: marple Wed, May 02 2007 I do hope there will be a follow-up article with a fuller account that corrects some errors.
Mayor Boughton did not cast the deciding vote for the ordinance. He did however vote against a BIPARTISAN MAJORITY which sought to raise the number of participants for which a permit would be required from 25 to 100 and also to drop the public assembly part of the ordinance. With his vote it was a tie and the amendment was defeated.
Also there is, in fact, a $100 permit fee except where the purpose of a parade or assembly is the exercise of free speech. So CROP walk, ABD walk, family reunions in the park, religious processions etc. will have to cough up $100 before they can walk or picnic.
It will be VERY interesting to see how uniformly this ordinance is applied.
One more thing: this ordinance in no way regulates spontaneous, impromptu celebrations, the purpose for which it was introduced. So if the city wants to fine the people who spill out onto the streets and sidewalks when Boston wins the World Series they will have to prove that it was planned ahead of time and all the participants knew that a permit was needed and celebrated anyway.
This one should have been allowed to go the way of the volleyball ordinance: quietly fade away from sheer embarassment.
Posted by: my2cents Wed, May 02 2007 Kudo’s to you Mayor Markie. Take that Thom Jefferson. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Fortunately for Mayor Mrkie the only group with a higher level of incompetence would be the town Democrats.
Posted by: oldhatter Wed, May 02 2007 I would like to see the exact wording of this ordinance.
Does it exempt organized sporting events? Will Little League and the Industrial Softball League need to get permits?
Will the Richter Park Association need one for their outdoor musicals?
This is a ridiculous waste of time.
Posted by: marple Wed, May 02 2007 I think it will be hard to get it overturned since the mayor is obviously in love with this ordinance. What I see as realistic is to get it amended so it is not so horrible. The amendments offered last night would have gone a long way toward making it reasonable. If, for example, there had to be 100 people rather than 25 to require a permit then small groups wouldn't be burdened with the $100 fee. A majority of the council voted for that. One more vote would bring it past the point that the mayor could kill the measure with his tying vote. A majority also wanted to scrap the public assembly part of the ordinance.
So let your council members and the at-large members know that you would like to see the ordinance overturned, or at least, amended. That's a start.
There could also be a flood of permit requests...
Posted by: pparker15 Wed, May 02 2007 This is just one example of Ordinances that were passed last night.
Another Ordinance is focused on Littering, and gives City Employees (that are not Police) the power to fine you up to $1,000 for any type of littering (i.e. throwing a bottle cap in the street).
Other parts of this also state that a Litter Control Officer can tell any person in Danbury how many garbage cans they must have, and what type of garbage can you must have. Violators of this are again subject to a $1,000 fine!
This Litter Control Officer can also fine you up to $1,000 if you do not keep your property what he considers reasonably clean. Oh, and each day you don't do what they say is an additional charge of $1,000.
More examples of Boughton's tirade of power. The Danbury 11 were lucky they got out while they could!
Posted by: StopHatinOthers Wed, May 02 2007 Lets try this situation:
I'm a teacher at WCSU, with a class of 30 students, and I want to take my class on a walking trip down Main Street. To look at some architectural design details, etc. What are my options?
A. Pay the $100 fee and get the permit ahead of time so we can all group together for the lecture.
B. Break the class up into three groups of ten and hope we don't bunch up too much while trying to listen to the lecture. Of course, we have to make it all look spontaneous.
C. Just ignore the stupid ordinance and risk the riot squad.
Just 3 options, I'm sure there are more. In the end I say 'C' makes the most sense. We can all just claim that we're simply residents/citizens going for a walk. We just all happened to be listening to the interesting stuff that guy was saying about some buildings.
anyway... And now HatCityBLOG learns of a NEW bombshell that's going to place the mayor's office in full damage control mode and has the BI-PARTISAN MAJORITY of the council who voted to move the ordinance back to committee up in arms.
This story is happening as we speak and has thrown my entire schedule upside down. In order for this to make sense, I'll have to work double hard and get post the video of everything that happened online while I report on the new bombshell.
Come back to HatCityBLOG throughout the night for updates...the parade ordinance story is not over yet.
Here's an example of one of the reasons I decided to start this blog in the first place.
Here's a picture of today's News-Times. Look at what they considered real news.
Now, as I noted TIME AND TIME AGAIN (most recently with the use of a simple photograph), immigration is NOT the most critical issue on the minds of the people in Danbury. Unfortunately, time and time again, we've seen this issue used in the area exclusively for political purposes and the parade ordinance is another example of people using a knee-jerk reaction for their advantage.
Now, a issue that many have stated for months could have SERIOUS constitutional implications, which could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, gets a blip in the newspaper while an issue (THAT WILL NEVER BE RESOLVED ON THE LOCAL LEVEL) gets top billing simply because it could sell copies.
This is exactly what's wrong with the News-Times...they simply fail to report on the important issues that have a direct impact on the public. Opting instead to report on knee-jerk no-news stories, bringing "balance" to stories instead of reporting on WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, or giving us fluff pieces that should reserved for the Sunday magazine, the newspaper shows that they're out of touch with the majority of people in Danbury and should be ashamed of themselves.
Whether it's the lack of follow-up reporting on the details behind the BRT tax abatement, the failure to follow-up on Mayor Boughton's promise to get local meetings on public access, follow-up on the loopholes in the sex offender ordinance, or report on transportation issues that are effecting everyone (most importantly, seniors who are getting the short end of the stick), the News-Times simply doesn't get the message that their not reporting what's in the best interest of the public as a whole.
Today's front-page article confirms the obvious, there needs to be a shake-up at that newspaper OR another newspaper needs to be established in the area that will focus exclusively on local issues. Once you see my posts on what REALLY happened at the Common Council meeting last night AND the details surrounding the parade ordinance, you'll have a better understanding on how the News-Times dropped the ball.
* For the second time in one week, anti-immigrant radical Elise Marciano and her merry band of screeching minions who make up the laughable group, United States Citizens for Law Enforcement, proved to everyone once again that she and her member HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THEIR TALKING ABOUT and view everything through their hatred for immigrants (why, oh why, do anyone take these ill-informed xenophobic people seriously).
* A very ill Republican Common Council member (who's been sick for months, hasn't attended ONE parade ordinance ad-hoc committee, and probably didn't read the ordinance because she understandably had more urgent things in her life to deal with) appeared at the meeting for the sole purpose of voting in favor of the ordinance (and promptly leaving the second the ordinance is "approved").
* Playing the role of the attack dog, Mayor Boughton's lapdog Common Council President Joe Cavo launches one of the most outrageous smears in recent memory.
* In a move of extreme arrogance, Mayor Boughton plays the role of dictator and overrules the will of the bi-partisan majority who voted to re-examine the ordinance ON TWO OCCASIONS and blatantly ignores several common council members (who had their hands up for a significant period of time) and picks on his favorite ace-in-the-hole (who popped her hand up at the last minute) who he knew would stop the debate and force a vote while many on the council (INCLUDING THE REPUBLICAN WHO WAS THE STRONGEST SUPPORTER OF THE ORDINANCE) had grave concerns and questions about many items in the ordinance.
Oh, I could go ON and ON and ON but unfortunately, due to the lack of coverage over this ordinance from the News-Times, HatCityBLOG will have to pick up the slack.
With the power of video and documents, I'll fully inform the public on everything surrounding this ordinance as well as show how your local government actually works (and it's not in your best interest). After you view everything (including the arrogance of several members on the Common Council), you'll have a better understanding why it's so critical that ALL local government meetings need to be broadcast.
Using immigration for political purposes is at center stage again as the Common Council is preparing to pass what might possibly be the worst piece of legislation in the history of Danbruy, the parade ordinance.
Today, HatCityBLOG will provide all-day coverage on this ordinance from it's origins, to the many revisions in the ad-hoc committee. I'll have several interviews with critics of the ordinance and well as flashback video moments from supporters of the ordinance as a knee-jerk response to the activity among the immigrant community (hmm, why does the volleyball ordinance come to mind) and why this will HAVE NO IMPACT ON SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATIONS such as the World Cup victory celebrations. Ultimately, I'll present why this ordinance and others like it are unnecessary, bad for the city, and will ultimately cost paypayers money in court costs.
NOTE: This will be an ongoing post and will be updated throughout the day and during the Common Council meeting tonight. Come back often for updates (NOTE: This thread starts at the bottom the this post and goes upward).
11:00 P.M. I thought I would be able to liveblog from City Hall but that was not the case. Luckily I videotape the entire public ordinance debate and thankfully I'll able to provide video footage of everything that happened. Personally, I'm at a loss for words and can only say that tonight was on of the worse examples of democracy I've seen in my five years of attending events at City Hall and only reinforces the belief that ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT MEETINGS SHOULD BE BROADCAST FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.
In short, tonight was a sad day for Danbury. I still can't believe what I saw with my own eyes...
7:00: As I prepare to go to City Hall, here's video footage of Democrat Common Council minority leader Tom Saadi addressing the NUMEROUS PROBLEMS with the parade ordinance.
6:45: Since I'm running a bit behind schedule with the live blogging, I'll have to skip some points I was going to raise about the ordinance until later tonight. One thing many people who are blinded with immigrant rage simply don't understand is that this ordinance will not address the original issue: spontaneous celebrations by immigrants.
Evidence of Mayor Boughton's slight-of-hand linking immigrants rare bouts of spontaneous celebrations (REMEMBER, the World Cup games are EVERY 4 years) to this ordinance, look at the comments in today's News-Times article:
Posted by: Nemesys Tue, May 01 2007 I have no love for traffic-disrupting soccer celebration parades, but I also remember the impromtu march down Main Street by hundred of citizens a few days after 9-11. The freedom of assembly is too important to let the actions of a few horn-blowing nuts to take away from all of us. As handy as a parade ordinance would be, it limits more freedoms than it creates, so I'm against it.
osted by: ds11 Tue, May 01 2007 It's sad that some people in town don't care about the consequences of their actions. Impromtu parades do cause traffic jams and affect the noise level in our neighborhoods.
This ordinance was needed to protect the public. However, even the city volley ball courts have not stopped the weekend games at the end of our street. Sometimes there are 50 people illegally parked on the road. Let's see if officials can restore quiet to our neighborhoods.
Posted by: nomoreboredwithbs Tue, May 01 2007 Way to go Mayor...This is a good ordinance and reflects what other communities already have in place.
You can whine all you want, but the fact that illegal immigrants get to march down Main Street for free, while groups like the AOH and St. Peters Church get chased for thousands of dollars in bills for police presence is unfair and silly. This ordinance corrects that issue.
See what I mean. When I think of the run-up to this ordinance, I think of the Bush administration repeating the claim that Iraq had something to due with 9/11 during the run-up to the war so many times that the lie became a fact for some.
Thank goodness that, unlike during the 2005 election, not everyone is drinking the mayor's kool-aid and are taking a harder look at local government.
Posted by: preserveourfreedoms Tue, May 01 2007 Maybe, just maybe, our leaders will come to their senses and vote not to limit our freedoms. As noted, spontaneous parades can't be legislated and since this proposed legislation is clearly in response to the Brazilian "parades", why not wait until the next World Cup, look at the schedule, and then have the Police/Mayors Office plan accordingly for the number of celebrants who will be leaving the local establishments.
This shouldn't be too hard to plan for, and would certainly "preserve" another of our freedoms.
Maybe there is hope for Danbury...maybe this comment is from a HatCityBLOG reader.
5:30: Sorry for the delay but things have been hectic today to say the least.
The origins of this ordinance came from a knee-jerk reaction by politicians to the spontaneous celebrations of immigrants celebrating during the World Cup games of 2006. The creation of the ordinance is almost a carbon copy of the response to the volleyball games of 2005, which resulted in the infamous "volleyball ordinance" The ordinance was later scrapped DUE TO COMMUNITY LEADERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ACTUALLY SITTING DOWN AND COOPERATING but not after the issue received national attention in Time Magazine and the New York Times placing Danbury in a dark light while giving Mayor Boughton national attention.
In 2005, it was volleyball, in 2006 spontaneous expressions of celebrations during the World Cup games was the latest target by local officials (at least that's that was the CLEAR impression given to a low-informed public).
Now I'm running a bit behind schedule so I'll have address the origins of this ordinance later with more articles and videos. For now, take a look and listen to the what people had to say about the ordinance when it was introduced.
From the May 2006 Common Council, here's Margret Mitchell commenting on the ordinance. I'll provide more comments from last year later but the comments from Ms. Mitchell echoed just about EVERYONE (including many on the Common Council who voted in favor of the creation of the ad-hoc committee) that thought the ordinance would take care of the spontaneous celebrations by immigrants on the streets. There is only one problem. Although the Boughton administration certainly gave the impression that the ordinance would address the immigrant's spontaneous celebrations, IN NO WAY WILL THIS ORDINANCE HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE CELEBRATIONS.
"Four years ago today, President Bush stood before a banner declaring 'Mission Accomplished.' Like many of his claims about the justification for going to war in Iraq, that turned out not to be the case. Indeed, his failure to have a plan to win the peace once Saddam Hussein was deposed is why our men and women in uniform are still putting their lives on the line for a failed policy. President Bush seems intent on exacerbating that failure by vetoing a bill that would change course in Iraq and end U.S. military involvement in Iraq's civil war.
The time has come for clarity and a new mission: To end the war in Iraq, to bring our troops home, and to begin restoring America's standing in the world. This is a mission America must accomplish, and the President should take a strong first step by rethinking his decision to veto the bill.
If the President does veto the bill, the Congress should send the Feingold-Reid legislation to his desk immediately."
—Chris Dodd, May 1 2007
"Four years after President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared ‘Mission Accomplished,’ we are still in a war where more than one hundred American service members have died in just the month of April. We grieve for them today and urge the President to avoid making another tragic mistake by signing the bill that will end this war and bring our troops home."
"We are now one signature away from ending this war. The majority of the American people and their Congress now agree that there is no military solution to the conflict in Iraq, and that the best way to pressure the warring factions to reach a political settlement that can end this war is still a phased withdrawal of American forces with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 30th, 2008. It is time to end this war so we can bring our troops home and redeploy our forces to help fight the broader struggle against terrorism and other threats of this new century."
—Barack Obama, May 1 2007
"Today is the fourth anniversary of what I consider to be one of the most shameful episodes in American history.
"Never before in our history has a President said 'mission accomplished' when the mission had barely begun. Never before has a President landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier to proclaim the end of major combat operations to a war that rages on four years later. Never before has a President pulled a political stunt when so many American lives were and remain in harm's way.
"The President took us to a preemptive war of his choosing based on his assessment of faulty evidence and trumped up facts. He ignored the warnings of senior military advisors and he retaliated against those who tried to stop him. And once he got the authority to put inspectors back into Iraq, he ignored their findings. It is something that will stand as one of the darkest blots on leadership we've ever had in our nation's history.
"America is ready for a President who will respect our Armed Forces by properly planning for the missions we ask our troops to undertake. America is ready to end this war and when I am President, that’s exactly what I'll do."
—Hillary Clinton, May 1 2007
"Four years ago, President Bush flew onto the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln under a 'Mission Accomplished' banner to declare victory in Iraq, but all the photo ops in the world can't hide the truth - his disastrous mismanagement of the war has left our troops in harm's way and made Iraq a breeding ground for terrorists.
* Number of Active Duty Service-Members in Iraq: 1,113 * Number of Reserve Forces in Iraq: 855 * Number of Service-Members Killed in Iraq: 24 * Number of Service-Members Wounded in Iraq: 205 * Cost of War to the People of Connecticut: $9.2 billion
(Source: CTS Deployment File, 1/31/07; Department of Defense Personnel Statistics; nationalpriorities.org)
Stories from the Homefront...
A Connecticut soldier killed just hours into his first tour in Iraq. "Tom Epperson doesn't know what to think. He can barely contain himself. He stands up and sits down, then stands up again. He picks things up just to put them down elsewhere -- his son's picture, some military emblems, an article that talks about his boy dying in a faraway city impossible to imagine. His 18-year-old son, Pvt. Matt Zeimer, had just arrived in Iraq, just a couple of hours at his post in Ramadi, before he was killed with another soldier. He and Spec. Alan E. McPeek from Arizona had rushed to the roof of their outpost to repel an insurgent attack." (Hartford Courant, 4/6/07)
Parents struggle to cope with every time the phone rings. "But there's a special poignancy, even a touching bravery, about Leslie and Laurie's friendship now. Leslie's younger son, Mark Caron, and her daughter-in-law, Dulce Ayala, serve with the U.S. Air Force, both as senior airmen. Laurie's son, Liam Dwyer, is a U.S. Marine sergeant. Together, the two mothers have endured seven deployments to Iraq and nearby support bases in the Middle East. Liam is still assigned, and was recently injured, in the most dangerous sector of all, the Anbar province in the Sunni triangle west of Baghdad. The Iraq war -- which rages into its fifth year Tuesday -- remains a very public source of divisiveness, endlessly parsed and argued in the media. But the drama of parents back home with sons and daughters deployed overseas is largely a hidden, anonymous story. The jumpiness every time the phone rings, the late-night sleeplessness, the endless anxiety wrought by daily newscasts announcing still more casualties are a welter of emotions known only to the minority of families who have deployed sons or daughters in America's all-volunteer military services." (Hartford Courant, 3/18/07)
Connecticut reservists are not told of their GI Bill benefits. "Veterans' advocate Jack Mordente says he has won a precedent-setting admission from military officials that thousands of veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, but then left the armed forces, are in fact eligible for GI Bill benefits. For his next step, Mordente, director of veterans' affairs for Southern Connecticut State University, plans to work with state Attorney Gene r a l Richard Blumenthal to force the military to notify all the affected veterans nationwide about this benefit...Blumenthal, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps, also told Mordente, 'The failure to provide these benefits to reservists -- apparently due to a Department of Defense policy of deliberately withholding information and incorrectly failing to certify individuals who are eligible -- is shocking and inexcusable.'" (New Haven Register, 3/15/07)
But there is more to the story than meets the eye.
Although there was no excuse for the laughable attendance from an anti-immigration group that established itself in the area two years ago, there was a reason for the smaller than usual attendance among the immigrant rights supporters. I learned a coupe of weeks ago that many of the members of the immigrant community who would normally protest forums such as the one yesterday were volunteering their time towards the annual Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) walk-a-thon.
Dollars donated in Danbury this weekend may soon end up helping needy people on the other side of the world.
Encouraged by the support they received last year, organizers of a city walk to generate public awareness and money for hunger and poverty relief are holding another fundraising walk Sunday.
"We raised a modest amount of money last year, but we deliberately kept the walk small because it was our first year," the Rev. Laura Westby pastor of First Congregational Church of Danbury said Monday. "This year we are setting a goal of $10,000."
Last year's walk, organized by Westby and the first of its kind in Danbury for years, generated $3,459 and drew 63 people of all ages and religions in 12 different groups.
The walk covers just under 4 miles of downtown city streets and is known as a CROP Walk, named for the faith-based group Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.
Westby said although 75 percent of the money raised by this year's CROP Walk in Danbury will go to the work of the Church World Service, the remaining 25 percent will be given to the Danbury-based Association of Religious Communities (ARC), the walk's sponsor.
Westby said ARC plans to use the money for its emergency relief and advocacy programs.
The First Congregational Church of Danbury and Danbury-based Association of Religious Communities are very active organizations in the immigrant community. In turn, many immigrants in the area offered their time and energy to make this year's CROP walk a success.
"While ARC and CROP are faith-based groups, they provide help to all people and partner with civic organizations," Westby said. "The city of Danbury works with ARC to provide services to the homeless. One of the most exciting things about last year's walk was the involvement of the Hispanic community."
Kathy Burton, assistant director for the tri-state region of CWS, welcomed the revival of the CROP walk in Danbury.
"Danbury is a nice community in which to walk," Burton said. "As well as generating financial support, the walk itself is also a good opportunity to make local people aware of hunger and poverty."
What does this have to do with yesterday's protest you ask? Well, the walk started at the exact same time as the protest outside the University.
Sunday's CROP Walk steps off at 2 p.m. near the War Memorial at Rogers Park.
Now that we straightened out the whole deal with the small number of immigrant right supporters, lets get to the video.
Although the attendance at yesterday's protest was smaller than usual, the high level of support among the people who drove up and down on White Street was quite apparent to all who were there.
One of the things I found most unusual was the silence from the University regarding their hosting of the event. Most students were unaware that the forum was even taking place on campus and there was no advertising of the event by the University on campus (which is equally unusual for a University event seeing that they have an entire graphic department which handles advertising). I'll dig depeer into the questions surrounding the University sponsoring of this event in later posts this week.
From Sunday's protest, here's my first video with protesters who were highly critical of the University decision in sponsoring the event with an anti-immigrant group.
In a city of OVER 75,000, the fact that an anti-immigration organization, which was founded in Danbury over two years ago, could attract ONLY 50 supporters to their "forum" speaks volumes about how important this issue is to the MAJORITY of people in the city.
illegal immigration forum (a.k.a. fear mongering) round-up
Sunday, April 29, 2007 Time: 8:03 PM
Oh man...I have so many reports from today's illegal anti-immigration forum that I don't know where to begin.
If today's event was any indication of the interest in the so-called hot-button issue, I think it's safe to say that the anti-immigration wackos of the Unites States for Immigration Law Enforcement (USCFILE) just became irrelevant.
From the laughable and misleading statements made by the speakers, to the incoherent babbling THAT MADE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE from USCFILE vice president and co-host of BigT's hate-feast cable show John "the wizard" McGowan, there is simply too much informaiton to pack into one post.
So here's what I'm going to do for you.
Instead of doing a single post, I want to give this bizzare event the attention it rightfully deserves...hell, every person involved in the creation of this so-called forum deserves their own post.
Posted by: Reggi_Nytrid Sat, Apr 28 2007 I have to admit that I'm surprised by the levels of hatred and racism displayed on these boards. I thought people in CT were a little bit more enlightened than that. Also, who is this boredwithbs character? Is he nuts or what? And what kind of a name is aidsfromatoiletseat? I find that very offensive. Danbury must be full of racists and jerks if for this forum to be so vile. I'm almost sorry I logged on.
Posted by: StopHatinOthers Sat, Apr 28 2007 Reggi - You're absolutely right. This site has become a hangout for some seriously disturbed individuals. Danbury wasn't always the shining example of intolerance and hatred that it has become. I encourage you to vote for a change in our civic discourse by replacing the current leadership in city hall.
For those who are in agreement with me, don't email me but instead, direct your criticism to the News-Times and tell them to use moderation tools in the comment section to get rid of the feature all toghter and go back to the old forums format. The nonsense posted on the comments by the likes of such morons as voiceofreason, AMERICA_FIRST, and aidsfromatoiletseat are typical of the mindset of the anti-immigrant movement in the area. Behind the cloak of "we're not against immigrants, just illegal immigration," these individuals express nothing but vile nd disgusting rhetoric from the comfort of anonymity and a keyboard.
After the outrage from immigrant community over the newspaper's slow response to remove several disturbing comments that were published unfiltered over-the-top comments in the comments section of the News-Times article on the death of Vanderli Augusto Rodrigues, and cherry-picking DUI stories on their website, it's becoming clear that the newspaper should take a serious look at the way they handle their online content. Make sure they get the message.
News-Times contact info:
John Dunster Publisher 203 731-3401 firstname.lastname@example.org Dan Wheeler Internet Director (203) 731-3408 email@example.com Elizabeth Putnam: Online Editor (203) 731-3348 firstname.lastname@example.org Art Cummings Editor (203) 731-3351 email@example.com Mary Connolly Editorial Page Editor (203) 731-3362 firstname.lastname@example.org Walt VanDusen Managing Editor/Prod. (203) 731-3363 email@example.com Valerie Roth: Metro editor (203) 731-3370 firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Holy sh*t, how did I miss that crazy username!?! What a bad example to use for people who are criticizing the newspaper...maybe I should use a mirror when reading usernames from the News-Times. In any regards, I was notified by the online editor, Elizabeth Putman, that offending users are being banned (note: these comments were grabbed from the NT site on 4/28).
If readers are still noticing offending comments, please continue to email me and we'll send out the alert on this site. Remember, this can be avoided by doing one of two things: 1.) turn on the moderation feature or 2.) scrap the entire comments section as part of the article altogether.
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.