On Monday September 25, Democratic Party Oligarchs gathered at Cafe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill for a 2,500 dollar a plate fundraiser hosted by George and Phillip Norcross – but a different sort of crowd was gathered on the sidewalk outside: a group of working class activists fed up with the rich and powerful making decisions without us. The Green Party of New Jersey joined with Democratic Socialists -South Jersey, Food and Water Action, and New Jersey Communities United protesting on the sidewalks outside the cafe.
Holding signs ranging from “Break up the South Jersey Power Brokers” and “Give us back our schools” to “No! To corporate takeover of our water” the issues were varied but all the protestors shared the same vision of ending the excessive influence and power of corporations and monied power brokers such as George Norcross on NJ elections.
“We are called ‘The Soprano State’ here in NJ and nowhere is it more evident than in the amount of power certain individuals who have never even been elected to any office have over our democracy”, says Heather Warburton, Co-Chair of The Green Party of NJ, “Money speaks loudly, which leaves no room for the voices of the working people”. Protesters shouted chants of “Hey Norcross, Hey Hey. How many schools did you close today?” and “Whose Camden. Our Camden. Whose Newark? Our Newark. Whose Atlantic City? Our Atlantic City.” which is a reference to the state takeover of those cities.
Melissa Tomlinson, an educator and Green Party candidate for Freeholder in Atlantic County who was present at the protest, said, “We will continually show a presence wherever Mr Norcross has a public appearance, to question his direct agenda to close public schools and silence the democratic voices of the community members.” Henry Green, longtime Atlantic City resident and Green Party candidate for Mayor of Atlantic City added, “All Atlantic City officials are banking that if Phil Murphy wins he will restore Atlantic City’s sovereignty and save the city, but as you see George Norcross has his hands all over Murphy. They are all in bed together. This fundraiser shows where his support lies.”
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