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September 15, 2006

Letter to the Editor, Our Time Press

Picketing Henry Ford

Stuart Schrader's unpublished letter to the editor of Our Time Press addresses columnist Errol Louis's reference to Metrotech, pointing out that eminent domain used for the project removed valuable blue-collar jobs from the community, the very community which Atlantic Yards claims to benefit:

Third, and most gravely, Mr. Louis fails to mention that one of the buildings razed with Mr. Ratner’s cherished eminent domain to build MetroTech was a factory, American Safety Razor Co.

Surely no yuppies worked there, but many of the 1,500-plus workforce staged sit-ins and other more aggressive protests against the removal of the factory. These were regular folk from the community, the type whom Mr. Louis believes Mr. Ratner’s current project will help. Deindustrialization in Brooklyn is a long and sordid tale, related to global economic trends as well as to municipal politics, so the blame cannot be dropped entirely at Mr. Ratner’s opportunistic feet. But it would be a mistake to think that the back-office jobs offered by companies that relocated to MetroTech or, perhaps someday to the Atlantic Yards, offer economic salvation to Brooklyn’s minority communities devastated by the loss of blue-collar employment. If anything, these jobs, and the accompanying condos, will bring more yuppies.

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Posted by lumi at September 15, 2006 6:05 AM