Syracuse National Action Network acts

The traffic snaked through the neighborhood adjacent to Beattie Street towards Bethany Baptist Church as the parking lot filled to capacity.

Ladies in church hats, students, men in suits, were all making what appears to be a pilgrimage towards the structure.

Was it a funeral of a noted community leader? No. It was the scheduled appearance of Rev. Al Sharpton chair of the

National Action Network.

At the driveway dozens of Obama supporters were jockeying for the best position to gain the attention of hundreds as they made their way to a meeting of the Syracuse Chapter of NAN, National Action Network.

National Action Network is an activist organization based in New York City with 35 chapters in the United States. Saturday's meeting was an induction event in addition to reaching out to attract members to the organization. NAN's annual membership is $25 with lifetime membership cost at $500.

The building was packed as people politely made their way down the ushered aisle to the comfortable mauve padded pews.

Behind the concrete multidimensional cross were church windows with the caramel-toned faces of Jesus, Mary and Joseph -- the backdrop for what was billed as an induction ceremony.

Soon after everyone was seated came an announcement about an incident that involved a shooting in New York City, Rev. Al Sharpton would not be able to appear. In his place, he sent his daughter Dominique Sharpton.

The audience didn't moan in disappointment and after a few sighs the program continued. It was clear that Al Sharpton or no Al Sharpton in the building, this event was moving forward with local facilitators of the National Action Network along with representatives of the local black church community. People were serious and attentive as presenters gave assessments of the areas in which they were to report.

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