F.I.B attended the press conference held at eminent domain central otherwise known as Freddy's Bar which has become the community gathering place to organize against the Atlantic Yards Project. Councilmember Letitia James gave a rousing speech denouncing the priorities of Michael Bloomberg, Govenor Patterson, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and "other elected officials" (Bill DiBlaso anyone?) who's work with real estate developers has cummulated to this...the eviction of 88 homeless families in the dead of winter for a parking lot. And for a project that will not start for several years.
Tish James was followed by Senator Velmanette Montgomery who also spoke eloquently against the project and made a point of saying that this housing is being built for people who don't even live in Brooklyn and noted that all the luxury condos that went up in the last few years are mostly vacant. That this project will not bring jobs to the community, it will just force the community out.
Montgomery was followed by Develop Don't Destroy founder, Daniel Goldstein, who asked "where's A.C.O.R.N today? Goldstein said that this shelter is being closed prematurely as the court date for the takeover of the 22 acres of land which includes the shelter, Freddy's Bar and his own home has been pushed back to March 17th rather than next week. He also noted that there has been warehoused housing sitting vacant OWNED by Ratner for the last 6 years.
Daniel was followed by a speaker from F.U.R.E.E (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality), a woman representing the homeless and then the events organisor Steve DeSeve and the messages were all united in the belief that we need to keep fighting even though it would seem all sign point to Ratner plowing it all down and destroying the neighborhood. Barclays Bank is involved and the world needs to know what their money is going towards, displacing a community for the worst basketball team in the country. (It was also noted that Barclay's gave money to the nazi's and contributed to the funding of the slave trade.)
It all cummulated in a spirited live performance by Crystal Waters. It was amazing and bless her for coming out and singing up about this.
There is going to be a vigil in front of the Pacific Dean Homeless Shelter on Monday at 10pm, the community is counting on Govenor Patterson to do right on this and reopen the shelter.