WALK=Latinas Against FDNY Cuts – MISSION STATEMENT
Latinas Against FDNY Cuts/LAFC is a grass-roots coalition of volunteer individuals and organizations concerned about the destructive force of fire. LAFC members include survivors, relatives and neighbors of fires, clergy, community board members, students, elected officials, labor and community organizations.
WALK AGAINST FDNY CUTS
Every May LAFC organizes the annual Walk Against FDNY Cuts tour that passes Brooklyn's closed fire companies and reflects at major fatal or arson fires that result in death, injury, poverty and homelessness. We express our distress for reduced fire safety services and show appreciation for NYC's Bravest who daily risk life and limb, protecting our lives for 350years.
Walk Against FDNY Cuts is an annual peoples' testimony that fire is a fearsome element of nature that spreads rapidly to kill, maim and traumatize multiple victims, and that fire service cuts increase risk to both civilians and firefighters.
The Walk is held on the Saturday after May4th, to honor St.Florian, a patron saint of firefighters.
WHY WE WALK
We walk to protest government administrations and budgets that provide our first responder with inadequate ropes, radios or frequencies, quarters, vehicles, bunker gear, wages, contracts, thus weakening our safety net.
We protest illogical budget cuts that close fire companies, reduce staffing and basic equipment – budgets cuts that ignore the resulting costs of death, trauma and loss of property and housing.
We walk to mourn the cheapening and disposability of New Yorkers' lives.
We mourn the loss of neighbors and the devoted, brave people who strive to avoid such loss.
We walk to remember that our constitutional right to speak must be exercised freely and frequently or be lost.
We walk to remember that taxation without representation never can be acceptable in America.
We walk to honor those who knew the danger yet ran without hesitation to rescue 25,000 from 9/11’s catastrophic arson. In the greatest rescue in history, carrying 100 pounds of gear and defective radios, our Bravest climbed to the 78th floor, ran through a tunnel, took buses, active, off-duty, retired, volunteer and Fire Patrol - they cared and they came for us.
We walk to celebrate and honor The Bravest, who believe that lives of strangers are worth great risk.
We walk to honor hundreds of firefighters forced to early retirement while the Fire Dept. lost their expertise.
We walk to thank hundreds of firefighters injured at Ground Zero, suffering emotionally and physically.
I walk to honor Billy: an exemplary young firefighter killed 9/11. His brothers would ask: "What would Billy do?" I walk because Billy cannot.
We walk to remember that real heroes run to save lives – to catch balls in stadiums for $5million year.
We walk to honor such dedication and example.
We walk to thank firefighters and fire officers working for years without contact or raise.
We walk to remember that firefighters are working men and women, devoted to their families, and we owe them adequate wages, equipment, conditions, respect. We owe them our survival in dire straits.
We walk to honor labor and to remind Wall Street that farms and factories and computers are useless without workers who need living wages.
We walk to remind health professionals that Brooklyn has no burn unit and that fire victims have excruciating injuries and mental trauma.
We walk to remind housing and homelessness professionals that homes burn faster than they can build.
We walk to remind animal lovers that pets die in fires.
We walk to remember that fires often are 1000° and double in size every minute and smoke contains toxins and one of five fire deaths is a kid under 10.
We walk because African-Americans are 13% of the population but 26% of fire deaths.
We walk because NYC is still Terror Central.
We walk because firefighters also provide emergency medical services at ferry, plane, subway, vehicle, and construction accidents, asthma and heart attacks. Now they get anti-terrorism training, and the interrupted meal they pay for may be their last.
FIRE HISTORY of NYC
We remember New York City's conflagrations: 9.21.1776 British Invade NY, 12.16-17.1835 Great NY Fire, 12.16-17.1835 Great NY Fire, 6.15.1904 General Slocum, 3.25.1911 Triangle ShirtWaist Factory, Coney Island 5.27.1911=Dreamland 12.11.1911=Luna-Park, 2.17.1975 NY Telephone Exchange-lethal to many firefighters, 8.26.1995 photos -St.George Hotel 3.25.1099 Happyland, the Twin Towers, 10.31.2003-Harlem subway, the 2006 Greenpoint fire, the 1966 23rd Street fire that killed 12firefighters, the many fires that wiped out 42,000 housing units in the Bronx, any fire that kills a neighbor or firefighter or pet or future.
We walk to remember that we had firefighters before we had a City Hall, which has burned thrice.
We walk to remember that George Washington and prominent citizens were volunteer firefighters.
We walk to remember that since the earliest Wall Street colony, the wooden houses of New Amsterdam burned down and were rebuilt safer with the careful advice of firefighters.
We walk to remember the medieval Knights of St.John Hospitaler who rescued Crusaders and first organized firefighting against incendiary devices used as a weapon of war.
MY TRIBE WEARS BLUE AND RIDES RED HORSES.