RNC week rally
set in Harlem
BY FRANK LOMBARDI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Fed up with Republicans and Democrats, community activists plan to hold a march and rally in Harlem on the last day of the Republican National Convention.
Planners of the Sept. 2 protest said yesterday problems "plaguing communities of color all over the country" are being ignored by both parties.
"We will not allow these issues to be drowned out among the polemics of the Republican National Convention, any more than we would allow these issues to be drowned out at the Democratic National Convention," said one of the organizers, Nelly Hester Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council.
She and other march organizers cited issues such as high incarceration and unemployment rates among black males, attacks on affirmative action, racial profiling, impediments to becoming citizens and inadequate funding of housing, health care and education programs.
The main organizing group is Artists & Activists United for Peace Coalition, which has asked city police for a permit so protesters may gather at 2 p.m. in back of the Harlem State Office Building at W. 125th St. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. The marchers would proceed to 151st St. for the rally, said Tylon Washington, the chief organizer.
Washington said he is "very encouraged" by the NYPD's handling of the permit request and anticipates approval. He estimated a turnout of 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Organizers issued an open invitation to anyone who wants to participate in a "peaceful, artistic expression of protest."
Hip hop, soul and jazz performers are expected to take part. One of them will be Nana Soul, a singer who said one of the event's goals will be to "let people know that all eyes are on Iraq, but we're still under attack" in communities like Harlem, which she called "the black Mecca."