About 250 people attended a rally Sunday, May 2, at the Otsego County Courthouse, to support the community’s Asian American and Pacific Island residents.
The “Otsego Rally for Solidarity with Asian Americans” was organized and run by a group of Cooperstown Central School freshmen, including 15-year-old Cate Bohler, who said she wanted to speak up to support her friends or anyone who is being harassed.
“As a young Asian-American girl, hearing people call COVID the China virus is hurtful,” Bohler said, reading from her prepared statement about why she wanted to stage the rally. “It is more than hurtful. It is harmful. It perpetuates anti-American sentiments and racism.”
Speakers included the students, as well as local officials, including Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri, Otsego Town Supervisor Meg Kiernan and Otsego County Rep. Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, who said he thinks he is the county’s only elected official of Asian descent. Lapin’s mom is Japanese.
“The deep-seated nature of systemic racism requires us to make continuous choices and take continuous actions to advance anti-racist ideas in the public space,” Lapin said.
CELEBRATE – 5 – 8 p.m. Celebrate our progress since the official end of slavery with food, music and art. Also, learn about all the work that still needs to be done. Please wear a mask & practice social distancing. Includes speakers at 6 with candlelight vigil at 7:45 p.m. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/events/275119526873479/ for info.
PROTEST – 1 – 5 p.m. Come for a peaceful protest against the police violence that led to the death of George Floyd, raise money to support NAACP & ACLU. Be prepared to socially distance, wear your masks. Bring your friends, loved ones, and signs. All are welcome. Otsego County Courthouse, Cooperstown.
COOPERSTOWN – Following the outpouring of support at the Oneonta “Justice for George Floyd” rally, a second such protest has been scheduled for Cooperstown at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 7 in front of the Otsego County Courthouse.
“I was approached by my friend Maria Noto to help organize the protest,” said Village Trustee MacGuire Benton, who was at Sunday’s protest. “And I never say no to social justice.”
Perhaps as many as 500 people rallied peacefully in Oneonta’s Muller Plaza this afternoon to hear Rev. LaDana Clark, a former police officer, above, say, “Most of our police are trying to do the right thing, but it’s the bad apples have to be checked and removed! There can be no peace as long as an officer can place his knee on the neck of a black man and take his life in front of our eyes!” As is happening nationwide, SUNY Oneonta student Sadie Starr Lincoln, Oneonta, inset left, organized this afternoon’s protest calling for justice and an end to racism following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Other speakers included SUNY students Johnson Brown and Kimberly Miller; Rev. Craig Schwalenberg, pastor, Unitarian Universalist Society and Shannon McHugh, a member of the city’s Community Relations & Human Rights Commission. Attendees were urged to vote, to speak out when they see incidents of racism and to join the NAACP, Oneonta chapter; Rev. Cynthia Walton-Leavitt of the Red Door Church was on site with NAACP membership applications. The crowd filled Muller Plaza and spread across the street. Since social distancing was difficult, organizers urged attendees to be tested for COVID-19 following the gathering. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Fifty protesters gathered in Oneonta’s Muller Plaza this evening in support of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, which may be voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow. Above, Alice Lichtenstein, Becca Brooks, Elayne Moser-Campoli and others flash their signs as passing cars while organizer Amy Pondolfino, right, read selections from Congress’ Articles of Impeachment, which charge the President with Obstruction of Justice and Abuse of Power stemming from charges that he withheld military aid as a means of pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to perform favors for him. The crowd followed by singing seasonally inspired songs like “‘Tis The Season For Impeachment.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Protesters, including Kristen Jastremski and Jeannine Webster, joined the Quakers weekly anti-war protest in front of the Cooperstown Post Office to bring awareness and decry the migrant detention camps along the southern border, where children are reportedly being separated from their parents and kept in unsanitary conditions. At right, Christine Heller holds a sign that paraphrases John Lennon’s “Imagine.” A group of Cooperstown citizens will be travelling to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, next week to work with and provide legal aid to immigrants. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com
Some 90 Oneontans – including, above, Ad Van Buren, Oneonta, Bill Van Buren of Sidney and his wife Julie, and Bruce Van Buren, Oneonta – rallied in Oneonta’s Muller Plaza this evening in solidarity with the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller investigations into 2016 campaign irregularies. At right, as passing cars honk in support – and a few against, Betsy Holland, Oneonta, stands with fellow protesters along Main Street with her sign that states “Trump is not above the law!” The Defend The Mueller Investigation protest, started by Moveon.org and organized locally by Amy Pondolfino, began in response to suspicions that President Trump will be firing Robert Mueller, who is currently investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who overseers Mueller’s work. Mueller’s efforts have already garnered 20 indictments and several guilty pleas. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Over 400 people marched from Oneonta High School to Muller Plaza this morning as they took part in the national March For Our Lives protest for tougher gun legislation. Above, Caroline Bagby, a OHS senior and recent recipient of the Women’s Trailblazer Award, delivers an impassioned speech to those gathered in the plaza. Numerous people spoke including Mayor Gary Herzig, Assembly candidate Daniel Buttermann, Abbey Koutnik and others. At right, county Representative Danny Lapin, D-City of Oneonta, holds his sign high as the crowd marches down East Street during the first leg of the march. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
THEATER – 8 p.m. Stuff of Dreams presents “Never Too Late.” Tickets @ Green Toad Book store or by calling (607)432-5407. Cost $15 adult, $12 senior and students, and $10 children 12 and under. Production Center of Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.