Resolution J2886-2013

Celebrating the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela

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  • Jan 14, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Jan 14, 2014: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Jan 10, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  celebrating  the  life  and  accomplishments of
Nelson Mandela, civil rights leader and prominent freedom  fighter,  and
commemorating the 24th Anniversary of his visit to New York City and the
speech he presented to the people of Harlem

WHEREAS,  It  is the sense of this Legislative Body, in keeping with its
time-honored traditions, to recognize and pay tribute to those  extraor-
dinary  individuals  who  foster ethnic pride and enhance the profile of
cultural diversity which strengthens the fabric of  the  communities  of
New York State; Nelson Mandela was one such individual; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to  celebrate
the  life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela, civil rights leader and
prominent freedom fighter, and to commemorate the  24th  Anniversary  of
his  visit to New York City and the speech he presented to the people of
Harlem; and
  WHEREAS, On June 22, 1990, Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, made a
worldly homecoming to New York  City--as  a  crucial  component  of  the
unstinting quest to end apartheid--as part of his visit, Mr. Mandela was
greeted  by  over  150,000  people  as  his  motorcade moved from Queens
through Brooklyn; he spoke to a crowd of over 100,000 people in  Harlem;
he  addressed  a  crowd at the world-renowned Riverside Church--where he
would later be memorialized--guided by former Manhattan  Borough  Presi-
dent  and  then-Mayor  of New York City, David Dinkins; he addressed the
United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid; was feted with a  ticker-
tape  parade  in  Manhattan  down  the Canyon of Heroes culminating in a
speech to over 200,000 at New York City  Hall  and  made  remarks  to  a
packed house at Yankee Stadium to conclude this day of inspiration; and
  WHEREAS,  On  this  day, Nelson Mandela was welcomed with open arms by
over 100,000 people in Harlem who identified in him,  as  daughters  and
sons of Africa, a commonality of struggle, singularity of hope and unity
of cause in fighting racism and oppression the world over; and
  WHEREAS,  In  his  speech to the people of Harlem, which took place at
the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Adam Clayton Powell,
Jr.  Boulevards in the middle of African Square,  Nelson  Mandela  high-
lighted  the common bond and mutual inspiration shared amongst all those
gathered, saying "Whilst my comrades and I were in prison,  we  followed
closely  your  own  struggle  against the injustices of racist discrimi-
nation and economic inequality. We were and are aware of the  resistance
of  the people of Harlem and continue to be inspired by your indomitable
fighting spirit. I am able to speak to you because of the  mass  resist-
ance  of  our people and the unceasing solidarity of millions throughout
the world. It is you, the working people of Harlem, that helped make  it
happen"; and
  WHEREAS,  Nelson  Mandela's  homecoming in Harlem occurred on the same
day he delivered his famous speech to the United Nations Special Commit-
tee on Apartheid; as such, it was a befitting  and  appropriate  bookend
that  ended  with  many  of the same universal words of truth and power,
including "The light at the end of the tunnel  is  beckoning"..."But  we
are  not  yet there; Let us act in unity. Let us double and redouble our
efforts"; and
  WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela's presence in Harlem was an event of  unparal-
leled  inspiration  to  a  local  and  global community that saw in him,
everything about themselves and the pillars of struggle  and  hope  that
unite  us all; the evening ended with a resounding and redoubling chorus
of the chant:  "And We Will Not Give Up The Fight!"; now, therefore,  be
it

  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
celebrate the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela,  civil  rights
leader  and prominent freedom fighter, and to commemorate the 24th Anni-
versary of his visit to New York City and the speech he presented to the
people of Harlem; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Nelson Mandela.

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