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April 16, 2007

More than 200 rally against demolition for parking; new protest coming Wednesday

Atlantic Yards Report covers the Brooklyn Speaks rally:

BSRally-AYR.jpg

Despite stormy weather, more than 200 people—a respectable number given the wind and rain—came to the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (LAPC) in Fort Greene for a “Rally Against Demolition for Parking,” organized by the BrooklynSpeaks coalition, which seeks significant changes to make Atlantic Yards “a plan that works for Brooklyn.”

The goal: to get elected officials, especially Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to take notice and intervene before Forest City Ratner’s (FCR) project proceeds further. Orange banners festooned the sanctuary, among them “Speak Up for Brooklyn,” “Don’t Blight the Site,” “Community Not Cars,” and “Parks Not Parking Lots.”

While presumably everyone attending supported the rally’s stated purpose, some go further, backing the lawsuits organized by Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), which thinks the plan should be scrapped, not fixed, and charges that eminent domain has been abused as part of a sweetheart deal. Perhaps half the attendees wore either the orange BrooklynSpeaks t-shirts given out at the door or the purple shirts of marshals. A few dozen people wore DDDB shirts. The rest avoided logos.

Of the several elected officials who spoke, Council Member Letitia James, whose opposition exceeds that stated by BrooklynSpeaks, drew the loudest applause.

Near the front of the sanctuary, large posters explained the plan for interim surface parking and showed a potential outcome: the empty lots that persisted in the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area for decades. (Atlantic Yards is supposed to take ten years, but even project landscape architect Laurie Olin speculates that it could take 20 years.)

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Posted by lumi at April 16, 2007 10:27 AM