Buzz: Speaker silenced

It was clearly stated in her schedule. In fact, it was the only public event for that day. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito would speak at the street co-naming for Richie Pérez at 1 p.m. on Dec. 3 at East 172nd Street and Ward Avenue in the Bronx.

But the bona fide activists for justice that are comrades and disciples of the late Richie Pérez were not having any of Melissa’s posturing. “We didn’t want her there and definitely didn’t want to hear her speak,” a bochinchera said. “Her sitting on the Right to Know Act is disrespectful to Richie’s life’s work against police brutality,” another bochinchera told me. The Right to Know Act is a legislative package before the New York City Council that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public.

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Various bochincheras with whom B&B spoke said Melissa’s council adviser Erica Gonzalez was informed that “we didn't want her to speak.” Organizers of the street naming event were led to believe that the speaker would not be presente. “When she showed up, there was some scrambling,” another bochinchera said. “Erica was told that Melissa could speak, but that she should expect some of the justice warriors to call her out for killing the Right to Know.”

There was an in-your-face response from Erica to one of the organizers. “Melissa joined in the verbal assault,” a bochinchera told me. Under those terms, Melissa opted not to speak. Which leads me to speculate that Melissa, who’s used to having her way, was so pissed off that she took it out on City Hall press corps by banning them from the council side of the building.

I do know that all the women that I spoke with separately opined that if Richie were alive, he’d be denouncing Melissa. It appears the speaker has lost her activista credentials with these neoyorquinos.

Bochinche & Buzz is Gerson Borrero's weekly column of exclusive scoops and insider gossip. Remember, gente, it's all bochinche until it's confirmed.

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