Thursday, July 28, 2011

At protest outside Atlantic Yards site, former project supporters angrily call for local jobs and contracts

The big news from yesterday's protest (other coverage) of the lack of jobs at the Atlantic Yards site (and other sites), held by People for Political and Economic Empowerment (P.P.E.E.), was less the content of the protest than the fact that it occurred: formerly vocal (and disruptive) supporters of the project were now holding a protest, as I noted in my preview piece.

But the protest (videos below), which focused on Atlantic Yards (and went to one other site, near the Brooklyn Academy of Music), was notably angry, as P.P.E.E. President Allen and others excoriated developer Forest City Ratner from outside the gate and, at times, admitted regret for their formerly pro-project stance.


About 60-70 people attended, though Allen and others vowed future protests, with larger crowds. If so, Forest City--which may have tried to avert the protest--will have more on its hands.

Note that, despite the sign above, the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) shouldn't be void because Bruce Ratner and his company sold 80% of the Nets and 45% of the arena to Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. But it is tough to monitor, or enforce.

The protesters gathered at the northeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, with a good number of reporters present, most if not all drawn by a Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn press release based on my preview article. (P.P.E.E. did not, to my knowledge, send out a press release.)


One onlooker, with back to camera in right foreground, was Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's Daniel Goldstein.

The protest then moved down Sixth Avenue to the gate--at Pacific Street--to the Barclays Center arena construction site, with different people taking the bullhorn to address those inside. Construction workers, understandably, tried to ignore it; they had jobs to do.


At the direction of the police, the protesters aimed to stay on the sidewalks; after more than half an hour, they made their way to a site near BAM. While the protest was planned--and the posters indicated--to encompass multiple projects, the event focused on the Atlantic Yards site

One speaker, as noted in the final video below, was Robert Cornegy, the 56th Assembly Male District Leader and 2009 candidate for the 36th District Council seat in Bedford-Stuyvesant held (and retained) by Al Vann.

On video

Videos below shot by Jonathan Barkey; I took the photos above.















No comments:

Post a Comment