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September 21, 2012

Barclays Center Opponents Protest Arena With Derisive Mock Ribbon-Cutting

Gothamist
by Aaron Marks

This morning, protestors gathered outside the Barclays Center to stage an alternate ribbon cutting ceremony, airing grievances that the Atlantic Yards project has broken its promises of jobs and affordable housing. In lieu of rally cries and speeches, the protestors opted for a slightly different tactic: theater. Indeed, nothing brings the rich and powerful to their knees like ACTING.

With their faces hidden behind two-foot high glossy masks of politicians, the protestors appeared more like a theater troupe than pitchfork mob. Shouts of, "Is anybody wearing Cuomo? Who wants to be Paterson, it's a non-speaking part!" emerged from the pit of around thirty community organizers, who presented a short play satirizing the politics and back room deals which helped build the Barclays center, scheduled to open today.

While their approach may have been non-traditional, the issues they protested are serious. We've known since last year that Atlantic Yards would not be as job friendly as initially promised: Only around 100 out of a promised 1,500 jobs were created for local Brooklynites. But if jobs weren't created, at least the project would be building affordable housing for Brooklyn families, right?

Wrong.

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Posted by eric at September 21, 2012 2:53 PM