Boro protesters defend values on March to Trump Tower

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

More than a thousand protesters gathered in Long Island City Saturday to rally behind City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) as he led a march to Trump Tower via the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian walk to protest the president-elect’s expected policies on immigration and civil liberties.

Van Bramer continued with the march despite receiving a homophobic death threat two days beforehand.

Donald Trump, whose election stunned many Queens residents, campaigned on a platform of deporting illegal immigrants, building a wall to keep out Mexicans and creating a Muslim registry. Whether he follows through on these threats is not clear, but his choice of Mike Pence for vice president and early appointments of advisers have raised widespread concerns because of their conservative views on race, women’s rights, the gay community and diversity.

Fellow elected officials at the event included City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), Comptroller Scott Stringer and Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-East Flatbush).

“I want constituents to never stop fighting and never believe that they are powerless,” Van Bramer said. “We need to fight the worst elements of this administra­tion.” He called his march #QueensResponds to send the message that Trump may be from Queens but his divisive rhetoric doesn’t represent the borough’s values anymore.

Christopher Costa, 30, a member of the LGBTQ community agreed.

“It’s very upsetting to know that he will be our president,” said Costa. “Instead of hating, I think we should take that anger...that despair and use it to take action.”

During the rally on Dutch Kills Green in Queensboro Plaza, Van Bramer addressed the crowd, which included many children.

“What are Queens values?” he asked his husband Dan Hendrick by his side. “We believe in a woman’s right to choose and reject hatred against immigrants and the undocumented...we love and support our LGBT family, and support the right to marry the person you love.”

Mark-Viverito wasn’t quiet about her concerns.

Trump’s “campaign, platform, administration is hostile to the diversity that exists and we value that in this city,” she said.

“A constituent asked, ‘Madame Speaker, are they going to segregate us?” said Mark-Viverito. “I found out he was talking about the Muslim registry.”

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the closing of the last Japanese internment camp , which was formed by using a registry to gather up Japanese Americans from across the United States and forcibly incarcerating them during World War II.

“Let’s give a round of applause to someone that’s personally been threatened and reject scapegoating of our Muslim brothers, reject anti-Semitism,” Stringer said.

Donna Hepburn flew in from California to protest with her daughter, Jessica Feinman, 31, from Astoria, who held up a sign that said “Jews standing up for Muslims.”

“We are both protesters and we are both activists that don’t accept this racist cabinet...or the destruction of DACA,” said Feinman, referring to the program authorized by President Obama which allows young undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents to work and attend college.

As demonstrators recited “racist, sexist, anti-gay, Donald Trump, go away” while marching to Trump Tower, motorcyclists revved their engines, bicyclists fist-pumped the air and drivers honked in support of their protest.

Kara Griffith, 42, an African-American woman from Woodside, could not believe that Trump won the presidency.

“I’m disappointed that he’s been elected,” said Griffith. “I expected more from the American public. As a human being, I care about other human beings, but I don’t feel like the way to get ahead is by trampling on other people’s rights.”

Calvin Hunt, 55, a Trump supporter who is also African-American, spoke up in defense of the president-elect.

“We should give him a chance,” Hunt said.

When asked about what he expected from a Trump presidency, Hunt repeated “jobs, jobs, jobs!”

“Blacks are tired of selling loose cigarettes...and killing each other for loose change,” Hunt said. “He might open up jobs in four years.”

To Laura Jacobson from Jamaica, this helped her come to a realization about a post-racial America.

“It’s a wake-up call that things that we believed to be true aren’t true,” said Jacobson. “Obama’s victories made us not exactly complacent, but believe certain things about the direction the country was moving in that turned out not to be true.”

Melissa Brotie, 27, came to the march from Astoria to stand up for those who could be affected the most by a Trump presidency.

“I feel scared as a young woman, as a Jewish woman,” Brotie said. “I also understand that I have privilege and that I am relatively safe to walk down the street and I think that our goal is to protect those that aren’t. I see a lot of hate rhetoric...and if we look to history, this does not go anywhere good.”

Updated 4:07 pm, August 30, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Lou from Bayside says:
For these freaks it boils down to unlimited abortions and the ability to have s x with hermaphrodite transvestites in the public bathroom of their choice !freaks!!
Nov. 20, 2016, 7:50 am
diamond from Whitestone says:
Yet another faked-out accusation from a piddling trifle news site. Fact is there was no 'homophobic threat' and is a lie generated by a failing and unpopular politician. Truth be told is that numerous retaliatory measures were levied against gays, non-whites , and women since these groups supported Trump unanimously. The author of this article is a self-serving attention-seeking liar and a fake.
Nov. 21, 2016, 7:02 am
yshaggy from jamaica says:
#OSOT received 12 homophobic threats from #DEP
“I don’t share their [DEP] values,”
the "I Only want to Shower On Thursdays" protest will be held this weekend at water tank #5
Nov. 21, 2016, 8:21 am
Losers on parade from Queens says:
Funny when losers go and parade their stupidity in public.
Nov. 21, 2016, 9:57 am
Deport from Queens says:
Deport all of them and take mayor dumblasio with you!
Nov. 21, 2016, 5:34 pm
GY Flushing says:
First amendment rights more important than ever - Trump's and Pence's pronouncements during the campaign go against respect for all and the equality that was hard fought, don't give an inch and stand for inclusion and tolerance. Don't let the bullies intimidate those who stand for respect and equality.
Nov. 21, 2016, 8:06 pm
Murphy from Queens says:
These protesters are standing up and marching for the most essential of American values and civil (human) rights. The commenters calling them freaks and losers, who want to deport them all, want to turn back the clocks to a time when there were no laws against depriving good, hardworking people of an equal opportunity. But America is no longer a white-supremacist society, and the demand for equality will never fade, no matter how long it may take to achieve. How hard is it to imagine yourself in someone else's shoes? Like it or not, the reality is we're in this together and wishing our problems (or people) away is not effective. To Make America Great (whether "Again" or for the first time) will only happen when our fear, bigotry, and greed is let go in favor of courage - to truly acknowledge the problems we all face; and compassion - for our neighbors, red, white, black, and blue.
Nov. 22, 2016, 1:30 am
Lou from Bayside says:
How tolerant and inclusive of you murphy ! However , these people are losers !
Nov. 22, 2016, 5:36 am
Murphy from Queens says:
Ok, so you're not open to seeing things in any other way. However, the world is more complicated than dismissing everyone you don't agree with as losers. It is also endlessly amazing, and nowhere else in the country (or planet?) benefits from the level of cultural diversity we have right here in Queens, New York. This is something to value and be proud of. These 'losers' simply want the world to work better for everyone, you included - no one has a greater claim to it than anyone else, and to believe so is to succumb to a toxic cocktail of fear, bigotry, and greed.
Nov. 22, 2016, 8:44 am
Tom from Queens says:
All these dim witted trump supporters complaining about Hilary being corrupt, meanwhile trump is trying his hardest to install his family into the White House. Jesus you people are dumb.
Nov. 22, 2016, 9:52 am
John from Northern queens says:
Deport illigals. More room on the 7 train.
Nov. 22, 2016, 9:58 am
Maria Becce from Broadway-Flushing says:
Thank you to Councilmember Van Bramer for organizing such a well-run protest march from Long Island City to Fifth Avenue. Thank you to ALL the elected officials who joined him and spoke prior to the march. Thank you to all the police for making it safe for everyone to cross the bridge and walk along 57 Street to Fifth Avenue.

When I read about the march, I put aside my very limited spare time on a Saturday afternoon to proudly march across the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge with more than 2,000 of my fellow residents from Queens. I marched because I would be a hypocrite as a parent to teach my son about standing up to bullies and teaching tolerance and kindness towards others, if I did not express my opposition to what Mr. Trump has been preaching since throwing his hat into the election ring. Mr. Trump has said everything possible to divide this country. Now he says he wants to unite everyone. Let him begin this unification by immediately apologizing to the American people for his demeaning and insulting words and actions during the Presidential campaign. Does Mr. Trump have the temperament to do so?

The President of the United States doesn't have to be the smartest person in the country, but she/he must be an honorable person who surrounds herself/himself with a diverse group of advisers. Mr. Trump has yet to convince 50% of the people of this country that he is indeed such a person. During the campaign, he basically said anything necessary to win the election. Since becoming President-elect, we read every day about another ridiculous and empty Trump promise that goes unfulfilled. Now it seems America is going to have a part-time First Lady. I've been disappointed with previous Presidential election results, but I never thought I would ever wake up the morning after an election and be worried and afraid for our country and planet.

Mr. Trump makes me feel we are on the verge of taking giant steps backward in almost every hard-fought direction. I admit to a sense of sadness and disappointment since the election, but it certainly lifted my spirits to walk alongside fellow residents of Queens with signs that read: "I am a citizen of the World...I live in Queens!" and "There are 154 languages spoken in Queens and we want to hear more, but NOT your language of hate!" Mr. Trump - this country needs you to be President to all Americans, and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world.

Thank you, Councilmember Van Bramer, for giving the residents of Queens an opportunity to show what democracy looks like!
Nov. 22, 2016, 3:54 pm
too much from Queens says:
The previous poster contributed to your fake news story. Disgusting.
Nov. 22, 2016, 4:32 pm
Maria Becce from Broadway-Flushing says:
November 22, 2016 »

Breaking News Alert

In a Times interview, Donald Trump retreated from criticism of Hillary Clinton and climate deals.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 5:03 PM EST

President-elect Donald J. Trump retreated on Tuesday from some of his most extreme campaign promises, dropping his vow to jail Hillary Clinton, expressing doubt about the value of torturing terrorism suspects and pledging to have an open mind about climate change.
Nov. 22, 2016, 5:36 pm
Scribbler from Rosedale says:
Seems to me gays are safer under Trump because he will make damn sure the Muslims entering the US are not here to throw them off a building. Blacks are safe, no one ever asked them how they are nor made an attempt to reach out to them from the right. Hillary took them for granted. Only persons that should be worried are criminal illegals
Nov. 22, 2016, 10:47 pm
Frank from Queens says:
Those overweight and pretentious ho-hum protesters would be the very first to whine and pewl if any of those ILLEGAL INVADERS dropped into their own homes or backyards. As long as they keep their distance suddenly they're called 'immigrants'. Damn right build that wall to protect our nation. Anyone don't like it get the fyk out. That said those methed-up protesters should lay down the drugs and weight loss stimulants by paying attention to the fact that the majority of non-whites, women, transgenders, and gays voted for Trump.
Nov. 26, 2016, 7:29 am
Maria Becce from Broadway-Flushing says:
Documentary Film:
Nov. 26, 2016, 4:26 pm
Maria Becce from Broadway-Flushing says:
No Trump - we can't just get along:

‘Women’s March on Washington’ planning for big crowds on inauguration weekend - January 21, 2016

Senator Elizabeth Warren:
Nov. 26, 2016, 4:39 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Tom from Queens said " Jesus you people are dumb.". YES they are Tom, they have been completely fooled by this con artists who is one of the elite 1% and could care less about the working class people, including his supporters who put him in office like the completely ignorant, misinformed and brain dead Lou from Bayside. Just wait till the many Trump supporters start to lose their health insurance and look out if Paul Ryan privatizes Medicare, one of the most successful government programs that guaranteed income to senior citizens and it will no longer be guaranteed but a screwed up voucher program like many programs that have been privatized. Wait till Trumps tax cuts for the rich make them richer and the tax increases with the middle class and lower make them poorer. And why hasn't Trump showed his tax returns, because we would see the real story about him. Wait till none of the manufacturing jobs come back that Trump promised. Wait to our environment becomes even more polluted due to the lifting of regulations that protect people and the environment. Wait till the regulations on financial institutions and banks get lifted and working people haven no protection.

These dumb a-holes were sold a bad bill of goods due to many of their racist attitudes (not all, but a good bit). I mean look already at the idiots that Trump has put in his cabinet. And if elitist New York Rudy is Secretary of State, watch out. Romney would be better but the better of two evils.

But you cannot talk sense to dump people or people who get their news from Facebook or worse Fox News.

Now speaking of idiot Democrat Dromm and the other do nothing, crooked NYC Democrats:

NYC & Queens will survive a Trump presidency, not matter how gloom and doom that thought is and we will. What we can no longer continue are local elected a-hole politicians like Daniel Dromm and many others with their anit-Trump rallies and cries pulling at the heartstrings and emotions of misinformed people and misdirected information or lack of information (caused by Democrats, Republicans and the irresponsible media like Times Ledger), while politicians like Dromm, NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Senator Leroy Comrie, Councilman, I. Daneek Miller, Councilman Ruben Wills, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Assembly Member Vivian Cook, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Public Advocate Letitia James , Joe “BS” Crowley and our illustrious not really progressive Mayor focus on this as opposed to focusing on things at home here in New York City and especially Queens (The Third World Borough), which has gone down hill year after year due to incompetent, corrupt and do nothing elected officials who love to play the game of “LOOK OVER HERE”, while picking your pockets of hard owned tax dollars and not doing a damn thing about the chronic horrible quality of life issues that go unaddressed from illegal conversions and illegal garbage dumping to illegal truck driving on residential streets to over developed & underserved neighborhoods like Jamaica. Since I have been in Jamaica for 6 years the same old issues go unaddressed and not a damn thing is being done about them (all documented on this blog, certainly not by the Times Ledger). Regardless of Trump, Obama, Clinton or whoever is president, local issues NEED to be addressed by local leaders and the President of the United States has for the most part, nothing to do with that. Obama or Trump have nothing to do with Jamaica’s garbage problem or the trucks driving illegally on residential streets or the illegal conversion of so many homes/apartments and any number of quality of life issues that have not been addressed. BUT it all has to do with our local elected officials who have played a major con game that would make Trump proud.
Nov. 26, 2016, 8:02 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.


Do you know an immigrant in Queens who has made an impact on the community? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the 2018 Queens Ambassador Awards.
Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!