Monthly Archives: April 2009

springtime and the living aint easy, but its pretty, and that counts

Dear Readers,

I’m writing to you from the soft green blanket of clean grass at Bryant Park.  Nestled up against the New York Public Library’s main branch, Bryant Park is an ice skating rink in the winter and lawn oasis in the summer.  Right now its still spring, there are long sleeves and pants, bikinis and bare chests, but most of all there are people, out and about after a long, metropolis style hibernation.  Strains of the winsome carousel blow in the breeze behind me, above the long lawn littered with bodies are the trees and their fresh, new leaves.

More from the political poet this week, keep checkin in!

Peace,

Roopa Singh

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photo essay: evo morales speech canceled in ever changing harlem

[lets follow each other on twitter: http:// http://www.twitter.com/politicalpoet%5D

dear readers,

eager attendees learned that evo morales canceled his harlem speech today just minutes before he was due to take the podium. the disappointing message was relayed in spanish by a spokeswoman who took the podium at salem universal mothodist church in harlem, and asked for, “please, just 5 minutes of silence,” before breaking the news that morales would not be speaking due to health issues.

4.22.09 (photo: roopa singh)

4.22.09 (photo: roopa singh)

morales cancels harlem speech, 4.22.09 (photo: roopa singh)

morales cancels harlem speech, 4.22.09 (photo: roopa singh)

there was a line down the block, stretching back from adam clayton powell boulevard (7th avenue) all the way through a massive projects courtyard off 6th avenue. the colorfully layered bolivian flag shone from the palms of all in line. the flag was emblazoned across tickets for entry and press passes. the press credential table was strewn with passes for the gamut of la prensa, including the new york times, el diario, manhattan neighborhood network, and pbs. the spokeswomen said he was sick. others said it may have been security reasons. still others postulated that morales may have been silenced.

morales harlem speech canceled (4.22.09, photo:roopa singh)

morales harlem speech canceled (4.22.09, photo:roopa singh)

press table, morales harlem speech canceled (4.22.09, photo:roopa singh)

press table, morales harlem speech canceled (4.22.09, photo:roopa singh

all set up with nothing to shoot, evo morales canceled harlem speech (photo:roopa singh)

all set up with nothing to shoot, evo morales canceled harlem speech (photo:roopa singh)

morales harlem speech canceled (4.22.09, photo:roopa singh)

morales harlem speech canceled (4.22.09, photo:roopa singh)

regardless, the crowd was palpably disappointed, barely buyoed by the musicians who took the stage with traditional bolivian windpipes and drums. the long line outside split apart into circles of people, still waiting, as though perhaps there had been a mistake.

inside the church, musicians to bolster the crowds disappointment (photo: roopa singh)

inside the church, musicians to bolster the crowds disappointment (photo: roopa singh)

morales, bolivia’s first indigenous head of state, recently began erecting universities designed to educate indigenous people. thus far around 40 have been built, and around 80 more are in the works. that morales is invested in long term change is unquestionable.  so why is his stance on the obama administration gritty, at best?

the miami herald ran an article on morales april 18, 2009, in which he was quoted as saying: ”Those staff members [the DEA stationed in Bolivia] continue to operate as if they were serving the Bush administration,” he said. “It’s up to the U.S. government to improve our relations. If diplomatic relations have to do with investments … and not meddling and conspiracies, they are welcomed.”

 Bolivia's President Evo Morales gestures during a press conference Saturday at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Fifth Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (ariana cubillos/ap photo)

Morales said he came to the summit “seeking a dialogue of cooperation, not relations built on conspiracies.” ”One hundred days have gone by and we in Boliva have yet to feel any changes,” Morales said, referring to Obama’s length in office. “The policy of conspiracy continues.” Regardless of why the Morales Harlem speech was canceled, the disappointment was felt by all present.

Hopefully Morales will be able to speak to the American people sooner than later.  Harlem, a foundational African American enclave undergoing massive race and class based change, would be a powerful location for Morales to address the American people.  Known as “Harlem World,” or simply “Uptown,” by hip hop heads around the world, this historic neighborhood can currently related to “right to remain,” and “right of return” struggles around the world.  These shots reflect the Harlem which surrounds Salem Church, location of the canceled Morales speech.  Enjoy.

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

support community struggles mural: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

condos: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

sotheby's and nypd: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

sotheby's and nypd: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

free puerto rican political prisoners: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

free puerto rican political prisoners: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

health food and fried chicken: harlem world right now (4.22.09, photo: roopa singh)

Stay tuned for more,
Roopa Singh
http://www.twitter.com/politicalpoet

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Politics of Real Change: Bolivian President Evo Morales to Give Historic Speech in Harlem, this Wednesday

Dear Readers,

I just got wind of this press release, Evo Morals is speaking this Wednesday in Harlem.  This is a historic moment for Bolivia, the country has marked a steady progression from the win for water at Cochabamba to the most recent tectonic shifts in the country’s Constitution.  Morales speaking in Harlem brings to mind Castro, Malcolm, Che and all the women who’ve stirred the seeds of change through Uptown moments.  If you are in NY, lets go.  If you aren’t, I’ll make sure to post pics and commentary.

Stay Tuned,

Roopa Singh/politicalpoet

*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 202-365-6900

admin@boliviaun.org

Bolivian President Evo Morales to Speak in Harlem, NY

Following his participation in the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and just eight days after having ended a hunger strike urging lawmakers to uphold Bolivia?s new constitution, President Evo Morales will give a public address in Harlem at Salem Universal Methodist Church, from 6:00-8:00 PM on Wednesday, April 22nd. President Morales will be in New York on April 22nd to call on the United Nations to recognize that day as International Mother Earth Day, an occasion that would emphasize harmony between human beings and nature as a necessity in the context of pressing environmental problems like climate change. In an historic community encounter in New York, President Morales will present the Mother Earth Day initiative to an audience of local leaders, faith-based organizations, activists and scholars. He will talk about the environment as well as other issues like relations with the U.S. and Bolivia’s recuperation of its natural resource riches to fund groundbreaking anti-poverty programs.

WHAT: Public Address by Bolivian President Evo Morales in Harlem

WHERE: Salem United Methodist Church, 2190 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave & 129th St.), New York, NY

WHEN: Wednesday, April 22nd, 6-8 PM

CREDENTIALS: Members of the media interested in covering this event should call 202-365-6900 or e-mail admin@bolivianun.org to confirm attendance as soon as possible. Please arrive by 5PM. If you are part of a television crew, please let us know in advance and arrive at 4pm at the latest.

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