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July 26, 2011

Formerly vocal and distruptive Atlantic Yards supporters, P.P.E.E. (and REBUILD), to rally July 27 protesting lack of jobs at AY site and other construction sites

Atlantic Yards Report

The Atlantic Yards saga is now moving toward a version of blowback.

Saying "We need jobs, not broken promises," a group that loudly and sometimes disruptively rallied in support for Atlantic Yards is changing its tune, organizing a public protest on July 27 outside the in-progress Barclays Center site and nearby Downtown Brooklyn-area construction sites.

The rally, aimed to start at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues at 9:30 a.m., is sponsored by P.P.E.E. (People for Political and Economic Empowerment), which helps train and place hard-to-employ people, some of them ex-convicts, in construction work.

P.P.E.E. is essentially interchangeable with REBUILD, an organization launched in 2004 by the late Darnell Canada, a pro-project activist who had just left BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development), a signatory of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement. BUILD also works on job training, though for a broader range of jobs beyond construction.

"Don't tell me one thing one day, and then when the day comes, when the work is coming, you tell me something else," Martin Allen (right), Canada's friend and president of P.P.E.E., told me, during a recent interview at P.P.E.E. headquarters in Bushwick, on a stretch of Broadway where storefront churches vie with retail outlets.

(P.P.E.E. and REBUILD, once located on Gold Street near Downtown Brooklyn, saw that space demolished for the luxury Avalon Fort Greene, and had to seek inexpensive quarters farther away from the Fort Greene housing projects that are part of their base.)

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NoLandGrab: Here's hoping they'll have a large inflatable Ratner at the protest.

Posted by eric at July 26, 2011 12:11 PM