Another Death In The Forgotten Borough by Thomas Altfather Good

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — July 19, 2014. Photo: Reverend Al Sharpton (of the National Action Network) with Esaw Garner, widow of Eric Garner, at a protest held on Saturday, in the Staten Island neighborhood where Mr. Garner died while in police custody.

Eric Garner died on Thursday, July 17, while being pinned to the ground by police during an arrest – a video shot by a friend of Garner’s shows the man being choked and crying out, “I can’t breathe” several times before he stopped moving or speaking. The Saturday rally and march was attended by hundreds of Staten Islanders. Police blocked traffic on Victory Boulevard and Bay Street, in the busy Tompkinsville section of the Island, to allow the large procession to march from the Mt. Sinai church rally site to the 120 Precinct.

Two of the officers who arrested Mr. Garner are being investigated by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau – for using a chokehold on the victim.

Below: New York City Public Advocate Letitia James at the Garner protest.

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“Save Mount Manresa” March by Thomas Altfather Good

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — May 3, 2014. Mount Manresa was a Jesuit retreat on Staten Island. Recently the property was sold to Savo Brothers, a construction firm that intends to build 250 townhouses on the site. To do this Savo hired what the Staten Island Advance called “tree trimmers” to come in and knock down one of the few remaining old growth forests in New York City, displacing wildlife in the process. In response a group of Islanders formed a community-based organization to educate the public and to appeal to elected officials to intervene — the stated goal being to convert the property into a park, a public space and wildlife sanctuary. On Saturday, May 3, 2014, the organzation held a “Take Back Staten Island” march to bring attention to the ongoing “development” and to curb what organizers see as overdevelopment on New York City’s once-green borough.

Before the march started, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James met with the marchers.

See for more information about the effort to save Mount Manresa, including details on how to get involved, upcoming events, and where to sign online petitions.

Letitia James (r) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)

Letitia James (r) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)

Letitia James (l) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)

Letitia James (r) with members of the Save Mount Manresa organization.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)

Members and supporters of the Save Mount Manresa organization marching in Staten Island.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / TAG Photography)

Pete Seeger, Presente! — by Thomas Altfather Good

Pete Seeger at the South Street Seaport, 1984
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

From Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, circa Spring, 1984. Shot on ektachrome (400) using a Pentax ME Super, 50mm f/2 SMC. Scanned on an Epson Perfection V300 in February, 2011.


Unholy Wedlock: Unrestricted Drone Warfare And Wedding Party “Militants” — by Thomas Altfather Good

A protester and a predator square off
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)


NEW YORK — December 18, 2013. The killing of Yemeni wedding goers by U.S. military personnel is a tragic example of unrestricted drone warfare’s fatal dialectic: “collateral damage” as an inevitable byproduct of “near certainty” in targeting alleged terrorists — for remote control assassination.

Drone assassinations violate international law
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

On Wednesday, December 18, activists held a vigil in front of Manhattan’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, mourning 15 Yemeni wedding-goers killed on December 12, 2013 by a US drone strike. The vigil offered passersby a chance to acquire that most dangerous item: uncensored and unmanipulated knowledge.

The timing of the event was in part a response to the recent tragedy in Yemen, and in part a reminder of what Christians celebrate during the busiest shopping period in the corporate liturgical calendar.

The demand: stop the killings
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

“St. Patrick’s is chosen for the vigil,” said Nick Mottern, coordinator of, “as a reminder one week before the birth of Jesus Christ of his witness on behalf of poor and outcast people, his message of reconciliation and peace and his challenge to the religious and political establishments of his time. In this spirit, we urge Pope Francis and other religious leaders to condemn drone warfare everywhere in the world.”

(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

The vigil included a large-scale model of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, the workhorse of US drone assassinations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Mottern estimates that over 5,000 people have been killed in US drone strikes since they began in 2001.

Remembering the dead: sons, daughters, mothers, fathers…
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

Organizations participating in the outreach effort included: the Granny Peace Brigade; Veterans for Peace; the War Resisters League, and; the World Can’t Wait.


View Photos From The Event…


In this general necessity, guilt has no place. One man can give the signal that liquidates hundreds and thousands of people, then declare himself free from all pangs of conscience, and live happily ever after.

Herbert Marcuse


Walmart, Always Low Wages? — by Thomas Altfather Good

(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

SECAUCUS, N.J. — On Black Friday labor activists visited Walmart stores across the country — not to shop but to protest Walmart’s always low wages and poor treatment of workers.

Protesting the elimination of small businesses
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

In Secaucus, New Jersey, 13 protesters were arrested for taking part in a civil disobedience held to draw attention to the issues. In several states Walmart workers participated in the protests.

Members of Staten Island’s Middle Class Action Project
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

John Kubinski, a UCFW member and organizer with the Staten Island based Middle Class Action Project, was at the Secaucus protest, standing with the Walmart workers. Kubinski was joined by a number of young MCAP members.

Labor organizer John Kubinski (left) at the Black Friday protest
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

“Walmart has made the choice to wage a war on workers, by cutting hours, altering schedules and failing to properly compensate their employees ….that’s their choice. We choose to stand up against their corporate greed and to fight for the working class in this country. That’s our choice,” Kubinski said.

(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)


(Let’s Have A) Frank Discussion — by Tom Keough


Drone Vendors, Making A Killing by Thomas Altfather Good

War Resisters protesting drone killings.
(Photo: Ed Hedemann / WRL)

NEW YORK — November 24, 2013. The War Resisters League (WRL) have a message for the holiday season: drone manufacturers are making a killing.

On Monday 25 members of the NYC War Resisters League, Granny Peace Brigade, and other groups demonstrated outside the world headquarters of L-3 Communications,Third Avenue and 39 Street. The activists were protesting L-3’s manufacture of electronics for the Predator drones, used by President Obama, the CIA, and the Pentagon to track and kill “insurgents” — men, women, and children — in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

The most infamous of the drone strikes was the Wech Baghtu wedding party airstrike which killed 63 people including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 insurgents on November 3, 2008. The group was celebrating a wedding at a housing complex in the village of Wech Baghtu, a Taliban stronghold in the Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. On November 5, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that President Barack Obama stop killing civilians.

The War Resisters are calling on Nobel laureate Obama to stop killing, period.

The L-3 project included LED-illuminated signs provided by the Light Brigade and projected messages by The Illuminator art collective. The WRL is well known for its use of creative visuals — one of their posters features the tagline, “More creativity, not war.”


Related: would-be consumers of alcohol must be 21-years-old to buy beer or liquor in New York. Recently the City Council voted to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes. Yet, 18-year-olds can still enlist in the armed forces — and be deployed to Afghanistan. It would appear that indiscretion can be both youthful — and useful.