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August 4, 2009
Atlantic Yards meeting brings out supporters and opponents
by Junico Simino and Stephen Witt
Nobody gets to the bottom of the story like Steve Witt.
Once again, as has been the case in almost every hearing regarding the project since it was announced in 2003,supporters of the project far outnumbered opponents, and amid all of the applause and ridicule, guest speakers stood up to let their opinions be heard.
During the meeting, protesters erupted in opposition against the project, eventually being escorted off the premises by police.
Civil rights crusader Witt tries to pour a little gasoline on the race/class divide.
Following several raucous meetings concerning the Atlantic Yards project, opponents have put out the call for protection.
One knowledgeable source said that Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), the main organization fighting the project, has spoken to at least two prominent ministers recently in the African− and Caribbean−American community to see if they could get some of their people out to future meetings who oppose the project.
The call comes out after a large and vocal contingent of African−Americans and construction union members, desperately in need of jobs, have shouted down the opponents, who are largely white. at two recent meetings concerning the $4 billion arena and housing project at the Atlantic/Flatbush avenue intersections.
Among the accusations being hurled against the opponents are that they are fairly new to the neighborhood, and in some cases gentrified the neighborhood in housing that was once factories with jobs.
Additionally, the hecklers note that opponents, who number a few dozen at most at the meetings, continually ask the same questions to stall the project while people in the nearby public housing developments are crying out for the jobs and small business opportunities the project may bring.
Norman Oder does some free editing and fact-checking of these stories over at Atlantic Yards Report.
NoLandGrab: Could there be a job at The Onion in Stephen Witt's future?
Posted by eric at August 4, 2009 11:35 AM