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More than 500 turn out for Van Bramer’s ‘community speak out’, attendees denounce Trump policies



Nov. 17, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

More than 500 people gathered at the Sunnyside Community Services Center last night to denounce President-elect Donald Trump and his ideology and to brainstorm future political action.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted a community speak out and brought together local organizations and community members to share their feelings about the election results and figure out ways to combat Trump’s controversial pledges.

He also used the event to promote his march across the Queensboro Bridge to Trump Tower this weekend, urging everyone to come out and take action, and live-streamed part of the event on Facebook to reach those not in the room.

“I wanted to bring us all together because I saw messages where people felt hopeless and powerless, and I want everyone to look around. This is power, we are powerful, this is a powerful statement on behalf of this community and this city,” Van Bramer said.

“Donald Trump may have won the election, at least the Electoral College, he may occupy the White House, but he cannot occupy us, he will never occupy us,” Van Bramer added.

He also led the group in several chants, denouncing racism, misogyny, anti-Muslim sentiment, anti-LGBTQ sentiment, and anti-Semitism.

To rally against Trump’s ideology, more than a dozen social organizations positioned themselves throughout the room, offering information on ways to get involved.

speak“We just want to make sure that Trump and his supporters know we are here to stay regardless of the anti immigrant platforms that he used throughout his campaign,” said Yaritza Mendez, an advocate with Make the Road New York, an organization that advocates for Latino and working class communities throughout the city.

Mendez added that MTRNY led a rally against Trump last weekend, garnering 15,000 supporters, and that the organization is working on extra programming to protect the rights of immigrants in the city.

Planned Parenthood representative Elizabeth Adams said that one of the most pressing issues to the organization is the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice and protecting the Roe v. Wade decision, which Trump has said he would like to see overturned claiming that individual states should determine abortion laws.

She added that protecting the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood funding were also high on the list of priorities, and encouraged people to get involved through donations and activism, both online and in person.

“I am not going to sit and wait until they come for us, we are going to fight back,” Van Bramer said.

Public comments during the event covered a wide range of topics, from fears and racist incidents to hopeful messages for the future.

One 87-year-old resident urged people to wear a safety pin to mark themselves as safe allies to those experiencing harassment and abuse following the election.

“Let us look beyond our thoughts on the election and its results from our personal disappointments and angulation. Let us see past our own egos pride and agendas, but let us instead get laser focused on what this election has done to the children,” community member Ty Sullivan said in a statement read by local pastor Jon Storck.

He went on to explain that in the last week, he had heard of several local children suffering from racial attacks in schools, including a child who was told his “n-word president can’t save him now,” and an 8-year-old Latina girl who was told not to bother unpacking because she is leaving.

Van Bramer encouraged participants to brainstorm solutions and put them on post-it notes on a “Wall of Ideas” in the back of the room, and said he plans to compile them and send them out to the community as a path of action.ideawall

He closed the event with a group sing-along of the “This Land is Your Land,” a famous populist folk song that has been used by leftist activists for decades.

“Donald Trump may have been born and raised here, but we have a responsibility to let him know that this borough passed him and his values a long time ago,” Van Bramer said. “I’m not willing to wait and see what they decide to do to us. I want to prepare now for the worst that could be.”

Assembly Member Cathy Nolan stopped by at the tail end of the event, urging people to keep perspective but take action.

“We have to keep perspective and be part of the march of history,” she said. “And we know that the march of history in Western Queens is going to be for justice, it’s going to be for equality, it’s going to be for fairness, and it’s going to be for all the values that we hold dear.”

A video posted by QueensPost (@queenspost) on Nov 17, 2016 at 10:27am PST


Organizations included at the event were:

-Planned Parenthood of New York City

-Girl Scouts of Greater New York

-Make the Road New York

-Woodside On the Move

-Jacob Riis Center

-Sunnyside Community Services

-Emerald Isle Immigration Center

-Big Reuse

-Catholic Migration Center

-Fortune Society

-Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City

-Muslim Student Association of Aviation High School

-Theater of the Oppressed New York

-Aids Center of Queens County

-The Arab American Family Support Center


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james quinn

hey van brainer.Read your constitution you moron.Potus takes an oath to protect and serve the citizens of the U.S.. You liberal lowlifes want to make up rules as you go along just to whine when your bitch did not win.You ever think of doing something productive like explaining to your groupies that if you do something illegal you will be held accountable. americans are fed up of paying for every lowlife that sneaks in here illegally and wants everything free not to mention the refugee terrorists who hate american values and want to blow us up. I hope that day never comes.But i know where you will be.Hiding like the rest of the rats[shumer coumo deblasio veverito] just to name a few.

Owen May

As a long-ago Woodside resident now living in Wisconsin, may I suggest that folks concerned over Trump’s election give him six months. Six months of “hold-your-fire” time. And try to screen out news media that lift words from this or that candidate, but then distort what the candidate (or in this case, President-elect) actually said. Too often, it is media EXTRAPOLATING from what the candidate said, and over time extrapolating over the extrapolations.

Case in point, Trump never said he said he would ban all Muslims. He did call for a temporary ban on Muslims “until we find out what the hell is going on.” (The latter phrase conveniently deleted from the telling of the story more often than not.)

It’s like saying if malaria were to break out in Woodside, it would be prudent to ban folks from areas where malaria happened to be — until we found out “what the hell was going on.” Apt comparison, imo — and one that would impact folks like YOU, if you’d care to honestly admit it.

Bottom line here: modern media have a vested interest in making the gullible think a certain way. It builds ratings — not to mention careers of the likes of Rachel Maddow.

Give Trump a chance folks. And watch for actual words — in proper context — and not what you are being told Trump or anyone else said or meant.

SNL convinced a lot of people that Palin once said “I can see Russia from my house.” She didn’t. Not even close. And only truly gullible people think she did.

Yours for a United States of America.


What is JVB’s logic Mac?..Open borders? What is it exactly that the LGBT community has to fear under Trump? Has he been elected Ayatollah or President?


According to JVB’s logic just about every business in Sunnyside will be closing down soon. After all the majority of merchants in Sunnyside are immigrants…The owners of Dog and Duck..,Flynns, Skillman Pizza, Globe, Copper Kettle, Claret, I am Thai, Bar43, Turkish Grill, Mangal, Mcguiness,Butcher Block, Romanian Garden and a long list of other establishments( All Immigrants) must be shaken to their core in fear of deportation!!!..Trump and his brown shirts will come marching down Queens blvd and Skillman ave and padlock their business!!!!


Dear trumpland –

You are cordially invited to join reality.

However, this invitation requires you disengage from the misinformation stream you are connected to and abandon the fantasy land you currently inhabit. We have trained counselors at your disposal to aid in the transition, if needed.

It’s your choice.

Sincerely –

Those occupying reality.


Its simple, the people of the old America have spoken. Trump will be president. Everyone is sick of the liberal mentality ruining this country. Americans want their values and way of life back. Yes the working class. Its not racist, but yes, majority is white. Sweeden is a perfect example. They were the most open, progressive minded country in the world, until the refugees started pouring in, threatening their way of life. Now they are closed off. Americans want their lifestyle back, liberals, which consist of mainly immigrants and Millenials populated in the big cities don’t really understand this, or why. Every country has this issue. Brexit is another example. American freedom is just that, for Americans and those who wish to come to this country and enjoy the freedom by following the rules and the American way of life. People cannot come into a country and expect to take over, and do as you please. American democrats try to cater to everyone, this gets taken advantage of and doesnt work. You cannot make everyone happy. Now the liberals and Millenials are protesting and marching because they are unhappy with the president elect, what about the majority that voted for him? This whiny, soft, Im entitled mentality must stop. Bythe way, those worried about deportation, if your not an illegal criminal, youve pretty much got nothing to worry about. Why is that hard to understand.


You conveniently forget that the “Americans” or white majority you reference were refugees/immigrants themselves who took, bought, stole (pick your verb) this land from brown people. So perhaps you are the sore loser now.


Depends how far back in history you want to go. Every nation had “brown people” , which are called Natives.

Joe at the Berkley

-anonymous Life is full of opportunities, in order to be successful you must seize them or otherwise you may end up a loser posting anonymously to a neighborhood blog.

room full of whiny liberals with boxes of kleenex

jimmy what a crock, this event was advertised on SSP as a “non-partisan” event. It sounds like nothing but whiny democrat liberals bashing anyone with a different view. cry your hillary tears, its over and move on.

I am Spartacus

What a bunch of ninnies
Trumps daughter is a convert to Judaism
The usual radicals and malcontents showed up to help push little jimmy van Bramer into the limelight
In the real world a trump supporter was assaulted on the subway by a Clinton supporter and jimmy is silent
They heed safety pins for their diapers


-Rocky, IAS, Pearl and your many other stupid aliases You don’t have one ounce of creativity or an original idea in your “little” pea brain. You’re an imbicile.


What’s happened to our country?
Van Bramer stop your crying and start concentrating on the things that people in Queens elected you to do!!

This whole thing is pathetic & weak!


-Alice It mustn’t be that weak and a true concern to the residents of Van Bramers district if 500 turned out on a week night.


The meeting was called in response to the fear constituents were reporting to the council office. I was one of them.

Bart Stone

It was a very nice event that was handled with class and respect. People who disagree with the president-elect’s policies and rhetoric are allowed to get together and discuss their planned response to his agenda. I’ll be there when the orange charlatan steps over a constitutional redline, as I hope we all will if that time comes.


Step over the redline? You mean like Obama did with an executive order shielding 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation?

Were you there defending the Constitution when Obama showed a blatant disregard for the established rule of law in our country?

Luckily the Appeals Court and SCOTUS were there to affirm Obama was out of bounds.


@ha No more like the way Reagan stepped over the line with the immigration reform and control act of 1986. it legalized illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously with the penalty of a fine, back taxes due, and admission of guilt; candidates were required to prove that they were not guilty of crimes, that they were in the country before January 1, 1982, and that they possessed minimal knowledge about U.S. history, government, and the English language.

School Issues

How about a forum to discuss the debacle of a school proposal on 48th street??

Would like to hear how our representative plans to address the issues nobody seems to have the answers to…


The media lied to you about how Hillary was going to win. They promised you everything but little did you know, how out of touch you are with the Heartland of America. NYC is a bubble and none of really care.


-beahaha Yes 107,000 individual votes between PA,WI and MI states with millions of voters. Some would say Republican passage of voter registrations restrictions did exactly what they were suppose to. Doesn’t sound like anybody was out of touch with anybody. You appear to be mathematically deficient.


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