September 23rd, 2009
The March for Answers is a not just a protest march against further suppression of NYC CAN in its battles with the City of New York City to get the referendum for a new 9/11 investigation on the November ballot.
September 23, 2009
In this context, think of the city as Mike Bloomberg, who just bought his third term as mayor despite New Yorkers voted twice to limit local elected officials to two terms. Term limits were extended by Bloomberg with a good twist of the arms of the City Council and pushed through. So much for the will of the people.
Yet, in the case of NYC CAN, I can readily see why this should be a can of worms for many of the participants in 9/11 still lurking in the city shadows, not to mention in several Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, who all call themselves our friends. With friends like these who needs enemies. That said, NYC CAN filed a 621-page Bill of Particulars on August 27 in response to a summary judgment that was to be made by September 21.
This was in response to an earlier letter from the City Clerk dated July 24, 2009, the city claiming that only 26,003 signatures were valid ergo they were short 3,997 short of the requisite 30,000 signatures to qualify for a ballot referendum. The main reason for disqualifying ballots turned out to be somewhat shady: some having proper addresses counted more than authentic signatures, even if the owners of those signatures may have moved.
This was accentuated when Dennis McMahon, counsel to the petitioners, pointed out, “The City has an incredibly successful record of shooting down ballot initiatives; we will be arguing from a fresh perspective that reflects the unprecedented events of 9/11. We believe the courts will see how critical an issue this is, and be persuaded with our legal reasoning and point of view.”
As a result, there was an immense effort put forth by 50-plus volunteers who gave more than 1,000 hours over a two-week period, from August 10 to August 25, to identify those 7,166 signatures it contended in fact were valid. NYC CAN submitted another 28,000 signatures on September 4 to guarantee that the referendum will go on the ballot if they win the case, bringing the total number of signatures to 80,000.
Representatives for NYC CAN, 9/11 family member Manny Badillo and Executive Director Ted Walter arrived at the Board of Elections on the morning of Wednesday, September 9, to assist the court-appointed referee in beginning a line-by-line review of disputed signatures. This only to hear that the referee’s review had been called off due to a last minute concession by the city. As Mr. Badillo reported, “The city conceded we have 30,000 valid signatures. Big victory.”