June 28, 2007
A rally against eminent domain abuse, four City Council members and the "Willets Point effect"
Atlantic Yards Report
As the fight against eminent domain abuse heats up, maybe it's time to start talking about "the Willets Point effect." The coalition fighting the Atlantic Yards project has gathered savvy from a high-profile battle lasting more than three years. Those challenging Columbia University's West Harlem expansion have a clear David vs. Goliath fight. And the two homeowners on Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn have strong suggestions of a link to the Underground Railroad in the face of denial by the city agency that wants their land.
But the 225 businesses operating in the “Iron Triangle” of Willets Point, Queens, employing some 1800 workers, have the manpower and muscle to mount a very public fight against the city’s plans for an upscale development that would include some 5500 housing units, a hotel and convention center, a million square feet of retail and 500,000 square feet of office space.
So, as the four disparate groups gathered yesterday on the steps of City Hall to join in a rally as New Yorkers Against Eminent Domain Abuse, the Willets Point contingent was the largest and the loudest, wearing hats and t-shirts indicating their protest, arriving by bus with signs in tow.
And given that a good number were white guys who do physical labor, the group in some ways echoed the contingent of construction workers who flooded Atlantic Yards public hearings last summer to argue for, rather than against, condemnation.
Posted by lumi at June 28, 2007 7:53 AM