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April 4, 2008

"Shame!" Crowd outside museum shouts "Ratner's bad for Brooklyn"

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder was present in front of the Brooklyn Museum of Art last night covering the protest against the honor being paid to Bruce Ratner.

Maybe it's because a major anti-Atlantic Yards rally was held on a sweltering day or that the annual Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn walkathon fundraiser takes place in comfortable weather, while last night it was cold. Maybe it was the ostentatious elegance of the tables set for the Brooklyn Museum's gala honoring Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner.

Maybe it was the parade of limousines and SUVs bringing well-dressed guests--at $500 to $1000 and more a plate--to an event that protesters likely arrived at via the 2/3 subway line. Maybe it was a sense that Forest City Ratner, however stalled in its plans for most of Atlantic Yards, is in the driver's seat, with most elected officials yet to challenge the developer. Maybe it's that demolitions promise increased blight around the Atlantic Yards footprint. Maybe it's just the accumulation of grievances.

But the protest organized by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn last night outside the museum was notably angry, with some 80 people gathering at one point, many chanting "Ratner is a liar" and "Shame on you" at vehicles coming to drop off their passengers. (More people arrived later, as others left, so total attendance probably topped 100.) Taking off from the museum's function, several people carried signs calling Ratner a "con artist."

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Posted by steve at April 4, 2008 6:36 AM