Thursday, September 7, 2017

City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford shuts down the Parkway

Now many of us have been following politics and some have been following entertainment. Well, we had to follow both this past Monday, because one local candidate stuck out and showed out.  So many of you so the politicians walking in the front of the parade looking like a funeral procession; ex: De'Blasio, Cuomo, Bo Dietl, Jumaane Williams, etc.  Yes, we know, it was a damper on our cultural celebration and did not have any sincerity to it.  Everything was staged and scripted.  After feeling that we needed to be resuscitated, we were given hope.  This beacon of hope was wearing white pants, a white shirt, black and grey sneakers with a backpack on his bag. His banner was 5'x7' and his supporters were genuine.  He had children from what looked like, 6 months old to 10 years old and adults ranging from 18 to probably their 50s lined up behind his banner as he took his position in front of his banner and looked around at all the people on Eastern Parkway and smiled a knowing smile.  This beacon of hope seems to be exiled by the mainstream media since he is going against a popular incumbent.  Well it's a good thing the independent media networks have been spotting him because he seems to never do things for the spotlight or for fame and glory, he has this sense of being humble. His name is ANTHONY BECKFORD and he is running for City Council for District 45, which comprises of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Flatlands and parts of Canarsie.  The last we reported about Anthony Beckford, was when he spoke out against police corruption and brutality.  This serious advocate and activist who is Jamaican, Cuban and TaĆ­no Indian, showed us that he has a fun side to him.  A true representation of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as an all around good guy.  We caught up with him and he had this to say "The media uses the downfalls in our community to demonize and criminalize us.  That's not right at all.  Crime happens everyday, we will put a stop to it, but don't tie it to our celebration of our cultures. Tie it to societal racial disparities, lack of funds, poverty, slave conditionings and so forth.  The media needs to stop hiding the massive amounts of sexual assaults and traumas that happen during the St. Patrick's Day Parade and so forth. The racist agendas of the coverage needs to stop. Today we are here to celebrate our cultures and have a good time. This is a time of release."

It was also, good to see that he included other candidates in his parade supporters. He had Persephone Smith, who is the first and only Trans Woman running for City Council in District 37 and had the first ever LGBTQIA District Attorney Candidate Marc Fliedner, along with him. Both of these candidates, Anthony Beckford supports and endorses fully for their seats that they are running for. And, the attendees of the West Indian Day parade were enjoying their energy.   Now, I don't know about y'all, but this seems like one of the realest people in this upcoming election who is actually about the people and the communities.   If you don't believe us, check out the photos and videos below and see why the Parkway went from being a showcase of political dog and pony showings to being about culture, unity and fun.

(photo credit: Peter Eliscu)



photo credit: Paulette Woodard

(photo credit: Peter Eliscu)

photo credit: Joshua Lopez

Monday, August 21, 2017

Protestors in Brooklyn Demand Police Accountability


On Saturday August 19th, there was activity on the streets of East Flatbush. Cars were stopping to see what was going on. People were coming out of their homes out if curiosity. Those who couldn't make it downstairs fast enough were leaning out of their windows. Both shop owners and customers stood together to observe and some even joined in. Fists Raised, Head Nods of Approval, Excitement of Participation and Hope.

Brooklyn Showed Unity!!

It all began in front of 1370 New York Avenue, in Flatbush Gardens which to many is still Vanderveer Housing.  A diverse crowd gathered and in the air, you could see the RBG flag flapping as if the wind was ready to march and chant itself.  The temperature was right but the mood was somber.  This was not a parade gathering.  This was the preparation for a rally and march against the NYPD murdering Black and Brown Mentally Ill people.  This was about the abuses that our communities suffer due to the Brutality by the NYPD and lack of Accountability.

This march was sponsored by Black Lives Matter Greater New York president and Activist Hawk Newsome. Alongside Newsome was the lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, who is representing the family.  In the crowd that gathered in front of 1370 New York Avenue, were the family members of Dwayne Juene, who was a 32 year old Black Man who was gunned down by Officer Gonzalez of the 67th precinct. The same precinct responsible for the murders of Shantel Davis, Kimani Gray and many other Black and Brown Men, Women and Children. The family of James Owens and others whose family members were mentally ill and killed by the police were there to demand justice and provide support as well.  One of the speakers at the rally, was Community Advocate and City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford, who is also the leader of the Brooklyn Sector of CopWatch Patrol Unit. (He is featured in a documentary about them in London via BBC called "NYPD: The Biggest Gang in New York but also on Netflix by the name of "Copwatchers").  Mr. Beckford is also a member of that immediate community.  He had some strong opinions regarding the NYPD which rang true to the crowd. "I refuse to Stand Here and Do Nothing. I refuse to allow them to continue to murder us with there being no accountability. This is a time when we show them just how powerful we are as a people when we are truly united. Egos must be set aside and Unity must be had against the tyranny called the NYPD", as stated by City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford.

They're here to protect us and to have someone reach out to you because their son is having an issue or their mentally ill child isn't taking their medication,You're not expecting them to come in and gun your child down " says Jeune's cousin, Carolyn Thomas. 

Hawk Newsome who is the President of Black Lives Matter Greater New York stated "They need to stop killing our mentally ill. They need to stop getting away with it.  The NYPD needs to stop killing our mentally ill".

As they marched down Nostrand Avenue, the community applauded them and many joined in on the chants and the march.  You could sense the feeling of hope rise and the call for Liberation and Justice Ring Out.  The march reached the 67th precinct on Snyder Avenue and another rally was held. One of the speakers was Marc Fliedner who is a Brooklyn District Attorney Candidate. He spoke out against the injustices the community and warned the families to be aware of those who give empty promises in the DAs office. Marc Fliedner helped prosecute Peter Liang, the NYPD Officer who murdered Akai Gurley in the staircase of the Pink Houses for no reason at all.  Mr. Fliedner has been an ally to the movement and is supported by many people in the community for his run for Brooklyn District Attorney, that we he can continue to hold police officers accountable for their injustices against the Black and Brown communities.

City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford holding a sign with the photo of Deborah Dinner, who was killed by the NYPD in the Bronx.
(photo credit: Benjamin Shepard)

 Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter Greater New and City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford of CopWatch Patrol Unit.

(photo credit: Benjamin Shepard)

Brooklyn District Attorney Candidate Marc Fliedner and City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford at the 67th precinct.
(photo credit: Dylan Hansen)

- Devine Magazine