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Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) is urging the United States Department of Homeland Security to end the practice of placing immigrant detainees in solitary confinement — an act he says does not coincide with the charges these people face in most cases.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration detention is supposed to be a civil, nonpunitive measure to ensure a detainee attends immigration court hearings and complies with court orders.
Costumed children and adults can get a head start on Halloween with events throughout Queens that begin this weekend and run through the actual holiday on Thursday, Oct. 31.
The Howard Beach Kiwanis Club will kick things off with its 27th annual Halloween Parade on Saturday.
A small bit of Forest Hills history is in the making as the neighborhood’s first gay bar in decades plans to open its doors next weekend.
Pride Restaurant Lounge and Bar, located at 70-15 Austin St. in Forest Hills, is primed to welcome patrons for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 26, thus making it Forest Hills’ first chic restaurant and nightspot geared toward the LGBT community.
Around lunchtime last Monday a 69-year-old man was stabbed to death on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, police said. The suspect told police he stabbed the victim because he thought the man was gay.
Ever Orozco was allegedly putting money in a parking meter on 90th Street when he was approached by Steven Torres of the Bronx.
De Blasio, Lhota at top in latest mayoral primary poll results
With primary elections now less than a week away, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has widened his lead over the other Democrats running for mayor while former Deputy Mayor and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota remains the favorite of Republicans, according to the latest survey.
Jackson Heights and Astoria have just named streets after inspiring members of their communities.
The corner of 73rd Street and 34th Avenue will now be known as Mary Sarro Way after the LGBT rights supporter, district manager of Community Board 3, where she served from 1977 until 1996, and founder or supporter of many organizations such as the 82nd Street Business Improvement District and the neighborhood’s designated precinct, the 115th.
On Monday a federal U.S. District Court judge ruled that stop and frisk, the controversial practice that allows police officers to stop and search any individual they deem suspicious, unconstitutional as it stands.
“… the City is liable for the violation of plaintiffs’ Fourth and 14th Amendment rights,” Judge Shira Scheindlin, who presided over the cases challenging the practice, wrote. “The idea of universal suspicion without individual evidence is what Americans find abhorrent and what black men in America must constantly fight. It is pervasive in policing policies — like stop and frisk, and … neighborhood watch — regardless of the collateral damage done to the majority of innocents. It’s like burning a house down to rid it of mice.”
Failed terrorist living in Jamaica gets 30 years for bomb plot
I was surprised and disappointed by your editorial denouncing the Queens Pride House for its sponsorship of a public forum that was critical of the Israeli government’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories, especially since your article reporting on the event was a perfectly straightforward and honest account of what happened (“An attack on Israel, here in Queens,” June 6).
Your labeling and name-calling does not help foster an atmosphere of debate and open discussion. For instance, calling Sarah Schulman “anti-Israel” because she put forth an articulate criticism of Israeli government policies makes me wonder if you would call me un-American since I am critical of several policies our own government pursues every day.
You also make it sound as if pink-washing does not exist. It is true that our LGBT Jewish sisters and brothers in Israel have secured some important civil rights, and it is also true that other nations in that region have terrible records in relation to LGBT people. But none of that negates another very important fact: Every day the rights of all Palestinians, queer and straight, are assaulted by the brutality of the Israeli occupation.
Additionally, one cannot dispute the fact that the Israeli government has been on a public relations campaign to clean up its image internationally, and one component part of that is to promote Israel as a haven for gay people. Their image has been sullied because of their horrendous treatment of the Palestinian people for decades. This is the context in which many of us have been speaking out against pink-washing by the Israeli government.
I also disagree with your assessment that Israel is a functioning democracy. Yes, there are important democratic rights granted to those who are Jewish. But if you are not Jewish, most of those rights disappear ... even if your family has lived there over several centuries. You cannot claim to be a democracy when significant portions of your own population are denied access to all of the rights accorded others, all based on religious identity. That’s not my idea of democracy, whatever nation it takes place in.
As a lesbian, as a person committed to ending military occupations everywhere, and as a citizen of the world who supports the struggles for full social, political and economic rights here in the U.S., in the Middle East, and wherever they are being carried out, I say thank you to the Queens Pride House for hosting this event. I hope they will invite us to other forums like this in the future and not shy away from what might seem to be controversial issues.
I was disappointed to read your editorial attacking Queens Pride House for holding a forum that was critical of Israeli occupation and apartheid. There is a wave of Islamophobia sweeping across the United States and anyone who doesn’t share that ugly prejudice risks being labeled ‘un-American’; in my view, that goes against the very values that makes this country so great, including freedom of speech.
It’s true that gay Muslims may face persecution in some countries because of their orientation; but those who flee to the US often face discrimination and harassment because of their religious beliefs. What Pauline Park did in organizing the June 4 forum was to provide an opportunity to examine the situation in Israel/Palestine at an event that was not dominated by those with a bias against Muslims and Arabs, and that was a real service to the borough and especially its LGBT community.
In your June 6 editorial (“An attack on Israel, here in Queens”), you wrote, “We were disappointed to see our friends at the Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights helping to promote the insidious movement to boycott, divest from and impose sanctions upon Israel.”
In fact, Queens Pride House has not taken a position on either BDS or on Israel/Palestine more generally. Your editorial mischaracterizes our June 4 forum as “a one-sided event” attacking Israel. Raising questions about a government’s policy is not “attacking a country”; if it were, Chronicle editorials criticizing Bush administration policy would constitute an attack on the United States.
If you would like to know what happens when voices are silenced and views suppressed, you need only look at the debacle that the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan brought on itself when, in March 2011, it banned the Siege Busters Working Group, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, and all discussion o
f Israel/Palestine, ultimately lifting the ban in February 2013 after an enormous uproar in the city’s LGBT community. Even LGBT supporters of Israel denounced the Center’s ban on Sarah Schulman as an outrageous suppression of free speech.
In contrast, Queens Pride House is committed to providing a safe space for all members of the community as well as public forums for the discussion of issues of importance to our community and our borough — including controversial issues such as this one.
Regarding your editorial: Gay rights in Israel, such as they are, were won by the hard work of activists, not conferred by some mystically enlightened government. Regardless of whatever rights Israel allows LGBT people, it massively, daily and illegally violates the human rights of millions of Palestinians inside Israel and in Palestine, which it occupies.
We are beyond tired of hearing (most often from straight pro-Israel voices) about how wonderful Israel is for queers, and how that means that we as queers should not protest Israel’s racism. Palestinian LGBT groups have called for us to support them with one demand: end Israeli apartheid. The Israeli movement for BDS, “Boycott from Within”, is disproportionately queer, as are many human rights movements around the world. As queers, as people, we call for an end to Israeli apartheid, and to the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim forces in the US who fuel it. When basic human rights are not recognized, demands for queer human rights are impossible.
Please, finally, stop trying to pit queers against Arabs and Muslims. We wouldn’t enjoy a delicious meal in a segregated restaurant, and we’re not interested in gay rights in an apartheid state. What’s more, we wouldn’t dare tell anyone not to criticize a state — the Israel, the US or any other — just because it grants some rights to some of us. You should not dare either.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio minces no words when asked why he is running for mayor and why he feels he is the best choice for the Democratic nomination.
“I am fundamentally dissatisfied with things in the city,” he said last week at a meeting with the editorial board of the Queens Chronicle.
Happily strolling down 37th Avenue, here comes the parade.
In remembrance of those who have been killed just for being different, a moment of silence is observed by state Sen. Brad Hoylman, left, city Comptroller John Liu, Councilwoman Tish James, Councilman Danny Dromm, Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
Among those enjoying the parade were Alex Denk, left, a student visiting from Traunstein, Germany, and the Bazilaire family: Judi, Tyrone and Craig.
The sights and sounds included drumming.
Reviewing stand hosts Candy Samples and Marcus Woolen provided a lively banter as the paraders marched by.
The sights and sounds motorcycling.
We were disappointed to see our friends at the Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights helping to promote the insidious movement to boycott, divest from and impose sanctions upon Israel. But that’s just what happened Tuesday, when the center had Sarah Schulman, an anti-Israel CUNY professor and supporter of the BDS movement, speak before a crowd of about 30 like-minded people.
The Pride House is dedicated to the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, and is the only center of its kind in Queens. We wish it had not hosted a one-sided event attacking the only country in the Middle East where LGBT people enjoy anything approaching equal rights.
The Queens Pride Parade, the borough’s annual celebration of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered residents, strutted through Jackson Heights Sunday. As always, the event was mostly joyful, though officials also observed a moment of silence in recognition of those LGBT people who have been killed due to their identity. It was primarily the horrific 1990 slaying of Julio Rivera, a gay man from Jackson Heights, that prompted the Pride Parade’s establishment 20 years ago. Aside from that solemn moment, Sunday’s spectacular was all about fun, pride and, of course, some wild-looking costumes. “The 2013 Queens LGBT Pride Parade was the most fabulous yet,” said City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), one of the event’s founders. “The flamboyant and carnival-like atmosphere draws thousands of people to the Jackson Heights neighborhood for a very positive reason. Our diversity is our greatest strength, and our parade proves that.” — Peter C. Mastrosimone
The Queens Pride Parade, the borough’s annual celebration of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered residents, strutted through Jackson Heights Sunday.
As always, the event was mostly joyful, though officials also observed a moment of silence in recognition of those LGBT people who have been killed due to their identity. It was primarily the horrific 1990 slaying of Julio Rivera, a gay man from Jackson Heights, that prompted the Pride Parade’s establishment 20 years ago.
Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights hosted its first-ever forum on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday night, attracting an audience of about 30 individuals, most of whom identified themselves as members of one or more Palestinian-sympathizer organizations. The event was free and open to the public.
Many in attendance indicated they were drawn to the gathering by the presence of the evening’s guest speaker, Sarah Schulman, a CUNY professor and supporter of the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.
A major struggle faced by nonprofit organizations, specifically those that work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, is finding adequate funding.
As the budget shrinks on the federal, state and city levels, groups like the Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights often rely on private grant funding but four Queens borough president hopefuls are looking to appeal to the LGBT community and provide alternatives to competitive grant seeking.
Major League Soccer’s proposal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has re-emerged this week, jangling a borough that has spent the better part of three months focused elsewhere.
The league once again contends it’s weeks away from finalizing a deal with the city, as it did last fall. This time, the league may have found an oil-rich owner for the proposed franchise: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a billionaire member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.