Phila. police tie construction-site arson to union sabotage
December 29, 2012|By Inga Saffron
The site where Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting is building a new meetinghouse was damaged by arsonists during Christmas week, and police are now “absolutely” sure the attack was the result of a dispute between members of a Philadelphia construction union and the project’s nonunion contractor.
Although no suspects have been identified in the Dec. 21 incident, Lt. George McClay of Northwest Detectives said Friday that he was certain the small Quaker building on East Mermaid Lane was targeted because it is being built with nonunion labor.
“I absolutely think it is a union issue,” McClay said.
If union members were involved, the attack would be the second violent incident in Philadelphia this year related to the use of nonunion construction workers. This spring, union protesters clashed with nonunion workers renovating the former Goldtex factory tower at 12th and Wood Streets for Post Bros., an apartment developer.
Unlike that high-profile development, the meetinghouse is a modest undertaking. The total cost for the building, which will include a work by the nationally recognized light artist James Turrell, is expected to run just over $6 million. Of that, about $3.5 million is being spent on construction.
Police nevertheless believe that it is unlikely that a random vandal carried out the attack on the Chestnut Hill site, where the steel outline of the future meetinghouse is visible. The vandals used an acetylene torch, which requires a skilled operator who must wear a special mask and gloves.
Employees arriving for work Dec. 21 said they found the site in disarray. The cab of a large, mobile building crane had been completely burned. Vandals had also used the torch to shear off the steel bolts on nearly a dozen columns. Three others were hacked halfway through at the base, as if someone were trying to cut down a tree.
McClay said police had no leads. “There is not a whole lot to go on. There were no witnesses, no video,” he said. The attack has been declared an arson.
Contractor Robert N. Reeves Jr. said he was convinced union members were involved.
“I don’t think this was a spontaneous group of kids who did this,” he said during a tour of the site Friday. “We’re really talking about the bad behavior of union bullies.”
He estimated that the cost of the damage could run over $500,000.
Monthly Archives: December 2012
This Democrat thinks Benghazi Mission using Militias for security was wrong and needed correction! Has he looked at what Obama and the Military Leaders are doing to our soldiers in Afghanistan? What pathetic leaders we have! (so called leaders, I must say)
Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House intelligence committee, said security was “plainly inadequate, intelligence collection needs to be improved, and our reliance on local militias was sorely misplaced.” Schiff, D-Calif., added that “these are not mistakes we can afford to make again.”
Piers Morgan Calls Pro-Gun Advocate ‘Unbelievably Stupid,’ ‘Dangerous’: ‘You Shame Your Country’
By Noel Sheppard | December 19, 2012 | 08:42
CNN’s Piers Morgan has been on a rabid anti-gun rant since July’s Aurora, Colorado, shootings that has gotten even more venomous after Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
On Tuesday, he rudely and disgracefully tore into guest Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, calling him “an unbelievably stupid man” who’s “dangerous,” concluding the interview by saying, “You shame your country” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: The AR-15, as we’ve now seen from the last three mass shootings in America, Aurora, the shopping mall in Oregon, and now at Sandy Hook school, is the preferred choice of weapon for disturbed young men who want to commit mass atrocity, can fire hundreds of bullets at rapid speed, if you have the right magazines.
The president of the United States has indicated he wants to ban assault weapons like this. What is your view?
LARRY PRATT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: I think we need to ban gun control laws that keep people from being able to protect themselves. The problem is not going to go away if we ban this or that gun. We’ve tried that. That doesn’t work. Doesn’t even work in England. You have mass murders there all over Europe. There have been mass murderers.
MORGAN: You’re talking complete and utter — you are talking complete and utter nonsense.
PRATT: The solution is for people to be able to defend themselves at the point of the crime and not wait for 20 minutes for the police to come after everybody is dead.
MORGAN: What you’ve just said, Mr. Pratt, was an absolute lie. The gun murder rate in countries like Britain or Germany or Australia, who’ve all suffered massacres many years ago, similar nature, have — there are 35 people killed a year. Your country has 12,000.
PRATT: Your murder rate has — your murder rate is lower than ours, that is true. Your violent —
MORGAN: Lower? It’s 75 against 12,000 in Australia.
PRATT: Your violent crime rate —
MORGAN: They had a massacre. And they got rid of these assault weapons.
PRATT: Your violent crime rate is higher than ours as is the violent crime rate in Australia. America is not the Wild West that you are depicting. We only have the problem in our cities, and unhappily, in our schools where people like you have been able to get laws put on the books that keep people from being able to defend themselves.
I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible.
MORGAN: You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?
PRATT: It seems to me that you’re morally obtuse. You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. And I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.
MORGAN: What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t — you don’t actually give —
PRATT: You have no —
MORGAN: You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America? You don’t actually care. All you care about —
PRATT: It seems to me that facts don’t bother you, do they, Mr. Morgan?
MORGAN: — is the right for any — Americans — you would like to see —
PRATT: Facts seem to — they bounce right off of your head.
MORGAN: No, no, let’s deal with some facts.
PRATT: You’re speaking oblivious…
Morgan’s attacks began a bit later:
MORGAN: Can you answer my question?
PRATT: I’m answering your question. I wish you could understand it. Because you’re talking against self-defense.
MORGAN: Would you like to see — would you like to see — would you like to see —
PRATT: You’re talking against people being able to protect themselves.
MORGAN: Would you like to see teachers armed —
PRATT: And you don’t want to hear it, that’s why you keep interrupting me.
MORGAN: No, no, I don’t mind hearing it. I think it’s complete nonsense. But I mind hearing it. You would like to see —
PRATT: Well, Brits tend to do that, don’t they?
MORGAN: Stop being so facetious. I just want you to answer this one question. Post what happened at Sandy Hook, your answer to this problem of repeated use of this weapon with these high-capacity magazines is to continue letting Americans buy them with impunity, and to not concern yourself with these mass shootings. Is that right?
PRATT: The Second Amendment means what it says, and meanwhile, you want to continue laws against self-defense. Laws that prohibit self-defense. Laws that prohibit teachers and other faculty, other members of the administration in schools from being able to defend themselves if they have a concealed carry permit. The laws prohibit them right now. We have been lobbying against those laws since they were put on. We will continue to do so, pointing out that that is where the problem is. And for you to support them means that you’re really blind to the role that that plays in enabling murderers to operate within impunity.
MORGAN: Yes, I know — I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days. It’s down to idiots like you. Mr. Pratt, thank you for joining me. When we come back —
PRATT: Thank you for your high-level argument, Mr. Morgan. It’s really very good.
MORGAN: You know what, you wouldn’t understand the meaning of the phrase high-level argument. You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense. And you shame your country.
PRATT: Disarmament is dangerous. Ask Neville Chamberlain, your role model.
MORGAN: Yes. Sure. I know all about role models and you’re not one of them.
It’s one thing for an anchor or host to disagree with his guest, but to attack them for a differing view is not what journalism is supposed to be about. Or is that no longer important to CNN as it struggles to get viewers as well as its relevancy back?
The reality is that there are many in this nation that believe that the current gun laws promote violence rather than reduce it, and that if there had been someone armed at Sandy Hook Elementary School as well as the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the shootings either wouldn’t have taken place at all or would have resulted in less loss of life.
Irrespective of what the anti-gun left represented by folks such as Morgan think, this is a position that has its place in this debate even after this most recent event.
If America is going to have an honest discussion about guns post-Sandy Hook, it should be a debate rather than a lecture.
Unfortunately, much like global warming, that’s not what typically happens here anymore. The left has its view, and the goal is to ram it down everyone’s throat until it enforces its will on the population.
Sadly, so-called journalists such as Morgan believe it’s their responsibility to aid and abet the bullying rather than truly advancing a meaningful dialogue.
If only that weren’t the case.
(HT Dan Gainor)
Petraeus mistress won’t face cyberstalking charge
Broadwell’s lawyer, Robert Muse, gave The Associated Press a letter from U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill that says no federal charges will be brought in Florida related to “alleged acts of cyberstalking.”
A retired general, Petraeus resigned as CIA director in November after acknowledging the extramarital affair, which was exposed after Broadwell emailed Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, allegedly warning Kelley to stay away from Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Kelley reported the emails to the FBI, triggering an investigation that led the FBI to Kelley’s emails to the married Allen, who is now under investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
How ‘ticking time bomb’ Adam Lanza went from ‘genius’ tech geek who grew up in a $1.6million home to heartless killer
- The shooter, Adam Lanza, 20, described as a ‘ticking time bomb’ who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome and was painfully shy and awkward
- Peers remember him as a quiet and extremely intelligent student who kept to himself and carried black briefcase to class
- Brother Ryan, 24, an accountant at Ernst and Young, said Adam had personality disorder
- Gunman killed his mother at home they shared in Newtown, then stole her guns and carried out massacre
- Reporters broke the news of the massacre to Adam’s father, Peter, who is divorced from the mother and lives in Stamford, Connecticut with new wife
- Moved to tears, President Obama says ‘our hearts are broken today’
- Flags around America being flown at half staff
PUBLISHED: 16:24 EST, 15 December 2012 | UPDATED: 05:41 EST, 16 December 20
Crazed killer Adam Lanza was a ‘ticking time bomb’ who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome and was painfully shy and awkward, former classmates said yesterday.
Last night, a troubling portrait began to emerge of the ‘Goth’ loner, who dressed all in black and was obsessed with video games.
Others say Lanza used to be a mild-mannered student in high school, making the honor roll, and living with his mother, Nancy Lanza, who in turn loved playing dice games and decorating their upscale home for the holidays.
Witnesses say Lanza was going from room to room shooting people, after first killing the principal Dawn Hochsprung and the school psychologist Mary Sherlach execution-style when they confronted him in the hallway
Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy, before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 26 people including 20 children
Nancy Lanza’s home in Newtown, Connecticut, was raided after 2 pm Friday and she was found shot dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the face
The 20-year-old – who shot dead 27 people in America’s worst-ever school killing – began his rampage by shooting his mother in the face at the family’s $1.6 million home in Newtown, Connecticut, dubbed America’s ‘safest town’.
He then then took three of her guns and drove her black Honda Civic to Sandy Hook Elementary School around 9.30am, where he killed 20 young children and six adults before shooting himself in the head.
Lanza used two semi-automatic pistols, a Glock and Sig Sauer, and reportedly wiped out an entire classroom of young children, then shot several in a second class before taking his own life.
While an official has said that the 20-year-old gunman in the Connecticut school shooting had Asperger’s syndrome, experts say there is no connection between the disorder and violence.
Asperger’s is a mild form of autism often characterized by social awkwardness.
“There really is no clear association between Asperger’s and violent behavior,” said psychologist Elizabeth Laugeson, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Witnesses say Lanza was going from room to room shooting people, after first killing the principal Dawn Hochsprung and the school psychologist Mary Sherlach execution-style when they confronted him in the hallway.
Former classmate Olivia DeVivo said she remembered Lanza talking about ‘blowing things up’, but added: ‘I put that down to the usual talk of boys. I think he went so unnoticed people didn’t stop to think, “There’s something going on here – maybe he needs some kind of help?”
‘No one is surprised. He always seemed like he was someone who was capable of that because he didn’t really connect with our high school, with our town.’
Another former school friend, Jamie Crespo, 19, said: ‘He used to hang with the freaks, guys who dressed in trench coats.’
Other students remember him walking through school dressed in black, carrying a black briefcase.
Newtown High School’s 2010 class president Ben Federman is like the rest of his classmates – he can barely remember Adam Lanza.
Mr Federman, who was home from attending college at Vanderbilt University, told MailOnline that he had heard from many graduates from the class of 2010 and none of them can think of a single friend Lanza had.
‘The only time I ever saw him was in the hallway and he never seemed to engage anyone. He was just focused on walking from one class to another,’ Mr Federman said.
His only memory of the 20–year-old Lanza was the bizarre way he dressed – always in button-down shirts that were too big for him. He also usually had pens in his shirt pocket and usually carried a black leather briefcase.
‘You noticed that because it was different. He carried a briefcase and not a backpack,’ Mr Federman said.
Lanza appears to have enjoyed a normal childhood, attending Sandy Hook Elementary and then Newtown High School, in the affluent town 60 miles from New York.
He graduated high school in 2010 and refused to pose for the traditional high school yearbook picture – a rite of passage in America. Instead, a note on the page under his name states: ‘Camera shy.’
In 2007, when he was a freshman, he was pictured along with ten of his classmates for a group photo of the ‘Tech Club,’ which ‘allowed students to explore technology and promote events’ on student TV.
In two yearbooks from his time in high school – he wasn’t even listed in one and his name appeared under ‘not pictured’ in another.
Richard Novia, the school district’s head of security until 2008, who also served as adviser for the school technology club, said Lanza clearly ‘had some disabilities.
‘If that boy would’ve burned himself, he would not have known it or felt it physically,” Novia told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It was my job to pay close attention to that.’
Mr Novia described Lanza as ‘a very scared young boy, who was very nervous around people he could trust or he refused to speak with,’ Novia said.
‘Somewhere along in the last four years, there were significant changes that led to what has happened,’ Novia said. ‘I could never have foreseen him doing that.’
Yesterday reports claimed he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism where sufferers experience difficulties with communication and social skills, which can lead to isolation and emotional problems.
Neighbor Justin Germak, 17, said he knew Lanza ‘had a condition’. ‘You definitely noticed it. He was needy. He struggled to be social.’
‘Everyone just assumed he was a smart kid and that’s why he didn’t like talking to people all the time,’ Peter Lalli, 20, who graduated with Lanza in 2010, told the New York Daily News. ‘He hung out with the smart crowd.’
Another former classmate said Adam has been ‘a weird kid since we were five years old.’
Tim Dalton wrote on Twitter: ‘As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised…’
Family friends said Lanza’s problems started to escalate when his parents divorced in 2008 after 18 years together.
His father Peter, a wealthy executive for General Electric, who is believed to earn $1 million a year, moved out of the family home in 2006, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.
The 52-year-old married librarian Shelley Cudiner last year, and the couple moved 40 miles away to Stamford, Connecticut..
Father: Peter, a wealthy executive for General Electric, who is believed to earn $1million a year, moved out of the family home in 2006
However, he continued to provide well for Nancy and their younger son, giving her the family home as well as nearly $325,000 a year.
One of Lanza’s former classmates spoke of his ‘noticeable decline’ after his parents’ divorce. ‘He was a loner at school and hyper intelligent,’ he said. ‘But in recent years he disappeared off the radar.
‘The word is that he was badly affected when his parents split and that might be what pushed him over the edge.
‘He was always weird but the divorce affected him. He was arguing with his mother. He was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.’
A relative to the family said that Adam Lanza was ‘obviously not well,’ adding that he often seemed troubled. They described Nancy as being rigid and at times, overbearing.
Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping firm who worked on the family’s home, said she was an avid gun collector: ‘She told me she would go target shooting with her kids.’
Sources close to the investigation also revealed last night that Nancy had recently stopped hosting monthly get-togethers for neighbors in order to look after her increasingly troubled son.
The 50-year-old is thought to have worked as a supply teacher at the elementary school where the shootings took place.
Last night it also emerged Nancy was a member of the Doomsday Preppers movement, which believes people should prepare for end of the world.
Her former sister-in-law Marsha said she had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.
‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.’
Marsha added that her nephew had been raised by ‘kind, nurturing’ parents’. She said she last seen Adam in June but recalled nothing appeared out of the ordinary.
‘Nancy was a good mother, kind-hearted,’ she added. ‘She wasn’t one to deny reality. She would have sought psychiatric help for her son had she felt he needed it.’
Emergency personnel, parents and teachers swarmed to Sandy Hook Elementary School after the gunman opened fire
Map of area surrounding Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed at least 26 people, 20 of them small children Lanza’s aunt, Marsha Lanza, said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.
The Crystal Lake, Illinois resident told the Associated Press she was close with Adam Lanza’s mother and sent her a Facebook message Friday morning asking how she was doing. Nancy Lanza never responded.
Marsha Lanza described Nancy Lanza as a good mother and kind-hearted. If her son had needed counseling, ‘Nancy wasn’t one to deny reality,’ she said.
Marsha Lanza said her husband saw Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary about him.
Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy, at the upscale suburban home they shared together and then took three of her guns and drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School about 9.30am
One neighbor told MailOnline that her daughters had visited the house while trick or treating on Halloween, and that an older woman answered the door.
A man several houses down, who said he was friends with the couple, declined to give his name, saying only that they are ‘great people’ and ‘my heart bleeds for them.’
Pia Conte, 47, who lives in the neighborhood and has two sons in their 20s, said Lanza and his girlfriend kept to themselves.
Ms Conte called the ordeal ‘sad’ for Lanza and his family, and suggested that the violence is a portion of a much larger situation.
‘Guns are easy to point to, but it’s really a mental health issue.’
Catherine Urso, who was attending a vigil Friday evening in Newtown said her college-age son knew the killer and remembered him for his alternative style.
‘He just said he was very thin, very remote and was one of the goths,’ she said.
Still, several local news clippings from recent years mention Adam Lanza’s name among Newtown High School’s honor roll students.
Gloria Milas, whose son Joshua was in the club with Lanza, hosted one of the parties once.
She recalled a school meeting in 2008 organized by the gunman’s mother to try to save the job of the club’s adviser. At the meeting, Milas said, Adam Lanza’s brother Ryan said a few words in support of the adviser, who he said had taken his brother under his wing.
‘My brother has always been a nerd,’ Ryan Lanza said then, according to Milas. ‘He still wears a pocket protector.’
Ryan Lanza, brother of Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting suspect Adam Lanza, is seen being led away by cops, left, and in photos pulled from his Facebook page, right
Ryan Lanza is escorted to a car outside his home in Hoboken by law enforcement. Police said he has been very cooperative during the investigation
Ryan, 24, who was originally thought to have been the shooter, was being questioned by police after he was arrested at his home in Hoboken, New Jersey.
He was on a bus on his way home from work when he was being named as the gunman and posted on Facebook that it wasn’t him.
Ryan Lanza had been extremely cooperative and was not under arrest or in custody by Saturday morning, but investigators were still searching his computers and phone records. He told law enforcement he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010.
Brett Wilshe, a friend of Ryan Lanza’s, said he sent him a Facebook message Friday asking what was going on and if he was OK. According to Wilshe, Lanza’s reply was something along the lines of: ‘It was my brother. I think my mother is dead. Oh my God.’
Adam Lanza shot his mother at her home before driving in her car to the elementary school and shooting dead 26 people before turning the gun on himself
Sandy Hook Elementary School is in Newtown, Connecticut, where Nancy Lanza lived. Son Ryan lives in Hoboken, New Jersey
‘IT’S TIME FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION’ SAYS MAYOR BLOOMBERG
‘We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again.
For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year-olds.
President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem.
Calling for “meaningful action” is not enough. We need immediate action.’
Peter Lanza declined to comment after police performed a welfare check on him.
Mr Lanza learned of the tragic and senseless massacre by reporters who had flocked to his home.
He arrived shortly after police left and asked what the problem was.
The Stamford Advocate said his expression shifted from patient to surprise to horror.
Newtown was once named one of the safest places to live in America and before this morning, there had been one murder in a decade.
After the names of the murdered children were released publicly, the families of the victims – along with their friends and neighbors – closed ranks while they mourned.
Authorities asked reporters not to approach the grieving families.
Connecticut state troopers were posted outside many of their homes. Throughout Sandy Hook and Newyown, squad cars idling in driveways or on the streets in front of house became a sure sign that the inhabitants inside were mourning a terrible loss.
The President addressed a stunned nation five hours after the shooting and openly wept as he spoke of the mindless shooting saying: ‘Our hearts are broken today.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248782/Adam-Lanza-How-classmates-remember-genius-turned-heartless-killer.html#ixzz2FDq4zFfk
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This has been known and kept quiet. Wonder why our leaders prefer muslims? And why our young soldiers come back confused? Ever wonder why the Left has such a hate for those who judge? ie.Christians. Wonder why there has been such an increase in this sick activity in the last 10-15 years? http://mobile.wnd.com/2012/12/army-acknowledges-pedophilia-part-of-islam/
Labor louts disrupt Dolan cancer benefit
- By REBECCA HARSHBARGER and BILL SANDERSON
- Last Updated: 3:10 AM, December 7, 2012
- Posted: 1:20 AM, December 7, 2012
Disgruntled union workers put their fight against Cablevision over the fight against cancer at a Times Square protest last night.
About 50 members of the Communications Workers of America Local 1109 disrupted a benefit for cancer research at the Hard Rock Cafe, carrying signs and blaring music as attendees streamed in.
Cablevision CEO James Dolan, whose rock band performed at the event, told The Post that the workers’ actions are “despicable.”
“They think being disruptive for their personal gain is more important than beating pancreatic cancer,” he said. “Their values are twisted. I’m surprised at the depth of their lowness. Everyone who deals with them should take note. It’s shameful.”
The benefit was expected to raise $1.75 million for the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic-cancer research.
The foundation is named for Cablevision exec Marc Lustgarten, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1999. Cablevision pays all the foundation’s administrative costs, and the foundation says that all the money raised last night will go to research.
The union, which is in drawn-out contract talks with Cablevision, labeled Dolan a “Grinch” for stalling negotiations with 280 company technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn.
“He is a greedy person pretending to be philanthropist; he’s Scrooge!” barked Tim Dubnau, an organizer for Communications Workers of America Local 1109.
But event attendees said the union members picked the wrong time and place to air their grievances.
“I’m a pancreatic-cancer survivor, and it’s unfortunate that they have to protest an event like this,” said Scott Nelson, 59, who lives in Minnesota.
“The survival rate is so low. It’s one of the least-funded cancers,” Nelson said. “It’s hard to understand why people would protest an event like this.”
Cindy Dolar, of Northport, LI, added, “It’s kind of disgusting that they’re protesting an event to raise money for research on pancreatic cancer. I’m shocked. It’s in very poor taste.”
Defiant Local 1109 members couldn’t care less about what they were disrupting.
Dolan is “a philanthropist and a bully,” said Chris Calabrese, Local 1109’s executive vice president.
Dubnau added, “He’s just trying to look good in front of the community. Some workers have cancer, and don’t have health care.”
Local 1109 invited other unions to participate in the protest — but in online posts seeking support, it only called the event a concert by Dolan’s band, and omitted the fact it was a cancer research fund raiser.
Offended officials of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians withdrew from the protest when they realized the event was for charity.