Day 127 – The strike has been going for over four months and still the nursing home has not budged from it’s position of non-negotiation. The striking members are still standing strong and to date there has not been one union member to defect and cross back over the picket line. That is a real showing of solidarity to say that all 220 members that went on strike are still on strike!
There was not much else happening on the strike line, but not too far away our very own Vice-President Karen Argenti along with a News12 reporter were facing the wrath of some over enthusiastic Department of Environmental Protection Police.
Here is the report that I received from Karen:
I had a 3:30 pm appointment on Wednesday 6-25 to meet Dave Roush of News12 the Bronx at 205th Street and Goulden Avenue to talk about the DEP proposal to start blasting at the Jerome Park Reservoir, which is a violation of their very own Environment Impact Statement (EIS).
Since Dave got there a little before me, he started to shoot video tape of the Jerome Park Reservoir. The DEP Police Officer ILOKA (#200) stopped him and made him come up on the DEP driveway and was detaining him.
I arrived around 3:30 and saw Dave and his tripod up on the hill in front of the DEP Police Station. Since I had another appointment, I did not want to stand around, so I approached the two men.
DEP Police Officer Iloka would not let him go. He told me he had to wait for a supervisor. I took down his name and badge number at 3:35 pm, called Martha Holstein and left a message and called Gary.
Shortly a DEP car arrived with two other Police Officers, Beltram #258 and Zarentis #226, Beltram questioned Dave and even looked at the footage in the video camera. He talked to him for a while (as I took the photo from the sidewalk). I heard him tell Dave that he was on city property. I was going to correct him as it was actually Harris Park Annex that we were all standing on.
The DEP Police did not take any footage or confiscate the camera. They told him he could not shoot video or pictures at or of the reservoir. This is definitely harassment. I told the DEP Police it was ridiculous to say we can not take photo’s of the reservoir, that I myself have hundreds of them. How could they even enforce such a rule? There are buildings all around the reservoir that anyone of the tenants could shoot video or pictures from.
After reviewing the tape the DEP Police told us to leave and they themselves left as well. There were no arrests made but it is still ridiculous to think that the DEP thinks they can enforce such a rule.
(Dave Roush of News 12 the Bronx, being questioned by NYC DEP police
Beltram #258 and Zarentis #226 after being detained on site by PO ILOKA #200 at 3:35 pm
on 6/25/08. Supervisor was not on site — Sgt. Ginty. PO Beltram claims
Raush was on City land, but it is parkland.)
I can’t believe that the DEP Police have nothing better to do than to harass a News 12 reporter. He clearly wears his press badge, his camera has News 12 on it as well as his car which has News 12 plastered all over it.
One could assume that they are not happy with the public outcry over the proposed blasting that they now want to carry out. But to suppress the basic liberty of the press, give me a break! DEP you really need to wake up and smell the coffee, we as a community will not just stand here and do nothing just so you can save some time and expense on your project, not when it comes at the expense of the surrounding community.
Till tomorrow, STAND STRONG!