On Sunday, February 19th, 2012, I was part of a group of valiant citizens, Boricuas, Latinos, and a whole lot of others who came out in protest against the "Via Verde" gas pipeline also known as the "Gasoducto" project in Puerto Rico. The protest was called for 11:30 AM in front of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers & the E.P.A. offices, at 26 Federal Plaza building in lower Manhattan. Sunday's weather was unforgiving, it was frigid, a constant freezing wind from the nearby Hudson River circulating in the open space plaza. The individuals that came out to demonstrate that day should be congratulated for their commitment and interest to conserve the environment and preserve a beautiful island.
Just like I dragged myself to be there in the cold, I would liked to have seen many more Boricuas there as well. We don't have to be a "Green Peace Activist," leftist, or independentista to support this cause. This is not an issue that only affects those on the island it affects all of us. If you consider yourself Puerto Rican, you should have been there on Sunday. One refreshing note was the number of young demonstrators. Their poetry, their rap and presence were to me the highlight of the demonstration.
Though I have lived here for the majority of my time (over fifty years) and all my children and grandchildren were born here, Puerto Rico is mine. It also belongs to my children who were all born here and to my grandchildren as well. I'm constantly reminded of this when I see my two oldest grandchildren, 16 and 17 years of age. I like to tease them and say: "What are you? They both would say I'm Puerto Rican. I would say "no your not, you were not born there." They would immediately answer back, "So, I'm still Puerto Rican." Being a Taurus, I don't give up and say, "How can you be Puerto Rican you can't even speak Spanish?" They now start letting out a little of that Caribbean blood and answer with an attitude: "I don't care what you say, I'm Puerto Rican."
This is not just with my children and grandchildren that feeling is prevalent in many Puerto Rican homes throughout the mainland. That is the reason why many more Boricuas should have been there on Sunday because if you feel Puerto Rican that was one place we should have all been at to wave our flag and say "No To The Gasoducto." Thank you David Galarza and the "NY Against the Gasoducto" and supporters for getting us out to support this very important cause.
Towards the end of the rally, I was asked by the organizers to say something about another demonstration that has been taking place in New York City against ABC-TV. For seven weeks in a row over 100 to 200 protestors have been protesting in front of the WABC-TV studios on 66th Street and Columbus Avenue. That protest is about another pipe, this one is the one we got hit with when ABC-TV premiered the sitcom "Work It" and we heard one of the Characters, Amaury Nolasco playing himself, a Puerto Rican say's: "I'm Puerto Rican, I would be great at selling drugs." BANG! Wow that hurt.
There is hardly a Puerto Rican family that I know of here in the states that has not been affected in someway by the devastation of illegal drugs in our community. Those of us that follow news from Puerto Rico know too well of the incredibly high drug related homicide rate that is plaguing the island. Therefore, this joke was not just insulting because being Puerto Rican does not make us good drug dealers, it was also vicious because we know the negative effects that drugs has played on our community. This is something that ABC-TV does not understand and it goes to the heart of the matter. ABC has no inkling to understanding our community, but yet they want to attract us as viewers. What a contradiction?
We have all heard of the "Arab Spring" a period where so many Arab countries rose up against dictators and injustice. Between the constant protests taking place in New York against ABC-TV and the demonstration this past Sunday against this ridiculous pipeline in Puerto Rico I believe this winter will be remembered as the "Boricua Winter."
To get more updates on the ABC-TV issue please visit: nyclatinopolitics.com