Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, Brooklyn - a day of protests, rallies, speeches and street art

Firstly, the counter-demonstration. I went to the Rally (Sat, May 3, Pacific Ave, Brooklyn) of people opposed to the planned stadium and luxury condo development of the Atlantic Yards 'hood and before I even got there I ran into the counter-demo organized by the trade unions and the stadium developer, Forest City Ratner.

Got out of that mess and found the real rally, sponsored by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, who I think of as the good guys. They're at

These signs say what everyone knows - the counter-demonstrators were paid to participate. They were also bussed in from Long Island and Connecticut to parade as 'local' labor union members.

The fabulous Velmanette Montgomery, New York State Senator representing the 18th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, speaking out against the planned development.

The effervescent Letitia James, New York City Council Member, representing the 35th District in Brooklyn, and representing the views of the residents of her district - develop don't destroy! And stop tearing down the neighborhood! (see yesterday's blog for photos of destruction in progress, brought to you by Forest City Ratner).

Tony Avella, New York City Council Member, representing the 19th District, Queens, speaking out against unfair use of eminent domain to destroy homes for commercial development. He's also running for mayor in NYC in 2009. Something to consider.

The completed murals (see yesterday's blog for artist's painting murals the previous afternoon).

Tony Avella happens upon the murals and is actually surprised - he said they were his first campaign billboards..and they were free!


Richard Nickel, Jr. said...

The "Paid 2 Protest" / "Not Paid 2 Protest" photo pretty much sums up the day -

Union workers compelled to "take part" in the Ratner-organized farce on the other side of the barricades should not be misconstrued as widespread support for AY, but rather as the transparent sham of a financed counterprotest.

Nobody bussed in or compelled the "Time Out!" folks!

Bluecat said...

We need the Unions to support fair development. They must realize they're not actually in the plan in terms of contracts, since they won't be lowest bidder for jobs. Even I could guess at that, just looking around at who is currently working on building sites - temporary laborers, many from Mexico and Central America, and not getting a union wage for their efforts, either. I wish they were!