On November 17th, I rode my bike to the Brooklyn Museum. There I saw activists from all over New York City at an event dubbed, "Protest The 6th Annual Brooklyn Real Estate Summit at Brooklyn Museum,"
Garden activists were there protesting the sale of lots holding community gardens to make way for luxury condos no one can afford.
Anti gentrification activists were there to condemn a pattern of rapid housing speculation displacing long term residents.
Library activists were there to rally supports against the sale of libraries to make way to for luxury condos.
From hospitals to schools, there is very little space in New York that real estate does not think they can muscle their way into, push people out of, and transform from a spaces people use, to spaces people make exchanges within, profiting from by the inch. There has to be another story for this global borough, activists plead. Yet, our mayor seems to follow development's lead. On November 17th, activists declared they were pushing back.
I stood with a few activists from Citizens defending libraries.
|(Ellen Moynihan / Gothamist)|
|(Jim O'Grady / WNYC|
My friend Beka, of Notanalternative noted, FYI--WNYC story is inaccurate--the museum asked us back in April if we could contribute our mili-tents to the upcoming AGITPROP show. We said yes. When we learned about the museum hosting the real estate summit we decided the tents belonged outside at a real, live protest about displacement--not just in a historical retrospective.
"It's literally like vultures descending on the city saying, okay, what neighborhoods haven't been gentrified yet?" said Faith Pennick, a filmmaker from Lefferts Gardens. Meanwhile, "Everything is becoming more expensive, like going to a museum. Either I hold on to my apartment for dear life or, if it crosses a threshold, I'll have to leave."