Friday, March 25, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg Was Booed At The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Ceremony ; Media Coverage Insults Memory of the Dead

27 March 2011 Updated! No major New York City newspaper has reported that Mayor Bloomberg was booed at the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 100th anniversary ceremony.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was booed at the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire ceremonies today.

NEW YORK - At a ceremony commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was loudly booed by labor activists and union supporters, the wire service Agence France-Presse reported.

Mayor Bloomberg had been delivering a speech about fire safety and the importance of labor protections when activists began to boo the unpopular mayor. The ceremony took place in Greenwich Village, outside the building where the fire broke out on March 25, 1911. The building is now owned by New York University.

Since he changed the term limits laws to run for a previously impossible third term as mayor, Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, has been on a scorched-earth campaign to shut down firehouses all across New York City. Critics allege that the closing down of firehouses and the layoffs of firefighters would put the city at risk should a large fire take place.

Today's ceremony was marking the deaths of 146 people at the Triangle Waist Company ; the outrage following the fire and deaths resulted in reforms in labor laws in New York and around the nation. For weeks before the memorial ceremony, many newspapers and even some cable news channels, such as NY1, had been paying tribute to the ''far-reaching impact on workplace safety, the labor movement and the New York political scene'' that came about as a result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. To not report how community activists booed the New York mayor over his scorched-earth campaign to close down firehouses, attack city unions, and do nothing to prevent hospital closings reveals that the media tributes were not only superficial, but, at the end of the day, the total media coverage has been an insult on the sacrifice made by the 146 people, who died in 1911.

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