[imc-rochester] Fw: OUR DECISIVE ACTIONS OF FEBRUARY 28th
heagle at rochester.rr.com
Tue Mar 8 19:42:12 PST 2005
From: Howard Eagle
To: porterrcsb at aol.com ; Rivera, Manuel
Cc: sthomps1 at rochester.rr.com ; wpowell at rochester.rr.com ; drbowers at frontiernet.net ; rbrown at boylanbrown.com ; mightyMalik at aol.com ; dgarcia1110 at msn.com ; Adam Urbanski
March 8, 2005
Mr. Darryl Porter
Mr. Manuel Rivera
131 West Broad Street
Rochester, New York 14614
On Tuesday, March 8, 2005, I received your confused, ludicrous, desperate, threatening letter dated March 7, 2005, which I plan to share with the entire Community. Your letter confirms and reinforces every, single point contained in my correspondence sent to "Parents, Authentic Community, Education Leaders And Activists" (see copy below), which preceded your above referenced ludicrous letter of March 7th.
I would like to reiterate that some years ago, a group of thuggish RCSD officials conspired to violate my Civil and Human Rights, and got away with it. Never, Never, Never Again!!!
I will provide you with a specific and thorough response to your malicious, ludicrous letter as soon as time permits.
Howard J. Eagle
FEARLESS BLACK MAN
xc: The Community
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
Frederick Douglass, 1857
Dear Parents, Authentic Community, Education Leaders And Activists:
Our Action at the February 28th so-called "special" Board of Education meeting was a decisive victory in the sense that we sent a clear message to those in Rochester who are supposedly responsible for ensuring that all of our children have equal access to a sound, basic education, i.e. Rochester's seven, so-called Education Commissioners and the highly-paid Superintendent of Schools. Perhaps we sent more than one clear message, but one that was crystal clear is that we are serious, and not fearful or "slavish" in our demand to participate as equal partners in educational decisions that impact our children's lives. Because of our strong commitment and decisive, just, civil disobedience --- we caused a situation that no governmental official ever wants to face, i.e. they lost control of their own meeting (a so-called "special" one at that). We absolutely destroyed their arrogant plan to conduct business as usual. Not only did we force them to deviate from their normal operating procedures, but also influenced dialogue regarding information that they probably would not have mentioned under normal (business as usual) circumstances. In at least two cases, we even caused them to reveal confusion and disorientation relative to their official roles and responsibilities --- not to mention that at least five (5) cops who should have been on the dangerous, violent streets of Rochester fighting real crime --- were instead dispatched to 131 W. Broad Street in an effort to suppress our just demands. See elaboration below.
Deviation from normal operating procedures:
It is thoroughly disrespectful, and in fact unbelievable that the Board embraces a philosophy relative to its operating procedures that allows members to routinely vote on decisions without informing the public of matters that are being voted on. In my view, as citizens and taxpayers, we would be abdicating an important part of our duties and responsibilities if we continue to allow such practices to go unchallenged. On the 28th, we set a concrete example of what needs to occur every time that disrespectful gang-of-seven attempts to shove something down our collective throats.That is, we made them read the entire resolution regarding the closing of school 37.
Unexpected dialogue concerning issues that were not on the Board's Agenda, or had absolutely nothing to do with their Agenda:
Out of the clear, blue sky, one Board member started rambling about the fact that in the past, there was a citywide, District-parent organization, and that there have been discussions about reestablishing such an entity. This is a very important issue, but why was it suddenly raised on the 28th? It certainly was not part of the bogus, three-item agenda. You can be absolutely certain about the fact that it was raised, but thoroughly failed, in a desperate attempt to help quell our just demands. The fact that Dr. Manuel Rivera has been Superintendent (the second time around) for two or three years, and has not addressed this critical issue, makes it abundantly clear that apparently, he does not see it as a priority, and nor do the gang-of-seven.
In an attempt to drive a wedge between those of us who demonstrated extraordinary unity on the 28th --- another Board member, whom I have heard many people refer to as being racist, attempted the absolute, oldest, most ancient trick in the book. Namely, he tried the old, weak, tired divide and conquer tactic by making a "grand" announcement that he had had private discussions with one of the people who helped lead our February 28th actions, and that he had decided to endorse the individual as a 2005 School Board candidate. So what!!! This "grand" announcement stuck out in the discussion like ten(10) sore thumbs.
Desperation, confusion and disorientation regarding official roles and responsibilities:
At one point, apparently the superintendent became confused about the nature of the so-called "special" Board meeting. Apparently, he thought that it was the type of function in which he had authority over RCSD employees as it relates to Civil and Human Rights. He attempted (unsuccessfully) to order me, and I assume other RCSD employees and protesters --- to "return to [our] seats." I had to remind him that we were not at the Board meeting in the capacity of "damn RCSD employees," but rather as parents and taxpaying citizens (just like him). And yes, I did dare him to attempt to discipline me --- so that I can sue him and the District --- as I should have done years ago when a group of thuggish RCSD officials conspired to violate my Civil and Human rights, and got away with it. Never again! By the way, I have heard that Dr. Rivera has children, and that they don't live in the Rochester Community --- much less attend Rochester schools. If this is true --- what's up with that? It was also during this portion of the meeting when another Board member attempted admonishment by declaring" "discipline yourself." That particular Board member does not have the ethical or moral or any other kind of authority to legitimately admonish anybody! In fact, I have heard many, especially within the African American Community, refer to him as a "sellout."
Another Board member (who is in my opinion among the most vicious, arrogant, and ignorant regarding the art and science of teaching and learning) became visibly confused about his role as one of the gang-of-seven. After the gang ran out of the room and called the police, when they returned, the gang's president was attempting to have a discussion with angry protesters. It was at this point that the vicious, arrogant, ignorant gang-member referenced above grabbed the president's gavel; started banging it, and declared that "in the absence of the president, I am reconvening this meeting" (even though the president was standing two or three feet away from the gavel-banging, confused, arrogant ignorant gang-member). After this disgraceful display of unprofessional, ignorance, the president returned to his seat and officially reconvened the meeting.
Other interesting and telling points:
Prior to casting her vote against the so-called Managed-Choice, student placement policy, one Board member made a public statement that there were those who suggested that in the process of making their decision about the policy --- the Board should "only listen to those who vote." This is a very serious and bold statement, especially where significantly large portions of the African American and Latino Communities (who do not vote) are concerned. It's also scandalous in the sense that Board members are charged with the duty and responsibility of working in the best interests of all children (whether their parents vote or not). In my view, it is important for us to attempt to find out for certain who made this suggestion. If it is a matter of public record --- we ought to find it and report it to the Community. Some have said that they suspect that the statement was made/supported by the gavel-banger referenced above and perhaps others.
It was very telling, and quite frankly, warmed my heart when another Board member was shut down completely as she attempted to provide a rationale regarding her "yes" vote to close School 37. People simply refused to listen and drowned her out with shouting to the point that she had to close her mouth. The reason that this was so heart-warming is because (for years) this particular Board member has been spewing long, rambling, nonsensical theories and so-called explanations regarding critical educational issues. It is becoming clear that parents, authentic leaders and activist are no longer willing to listen to such nonsense. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who had noticed that most of the time the rambling Board member speaks as if she is living in a totally different reality than that of the vast majority of our students and parents. Now I know for sure that I am not alone in my observations relative to the rambler.
What to expect:
Some of you will receive (if you haven't already) calls to meet with District officials privately or in little, exclusive groups. Again, I can only advise you that this is the oldest, most tired, ancient strategy in the book. It is known simply as divide and conquer. I hope that none of you will fall victim. Instead, I hope that we will maintain our resolve to stay united in our demand that all of us be respected as equal partners relative to input into the decisions (not only as it relates to school closings, but in all matters) that impact our children's education and lives.
Lastly, as for those of you who claimed you were with us in our decision to take action on the 28th, but weren't really with us, in my view, we are living in a very critical historical period relative to taking decisive actions to ensure that our children won't have to ask in 2045 (as we are or should be asking in 2005): Why are we reliving issues of 1965? I believe (as did Malcolm X and many other authentic leaders ) that it is time to step forward, or get back in a corner and be quiet. Talk is cheaper than ever before.
Howard J. Eagle
Click on the link below to view a video clip of our actions on February 28th:
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