Anti Ratner Rally Draws a CrowdBy
A tip for any developer wanting to put out publicity material: Make sure your models aren’t completely opposed to your plans.
Actress T. Sahara Meer, above, was recently asked to do a photoshoot for Getty Images, little knowing that her smiling face would grace the cover of a pamphlet for the most controversial development in Brooklyn at the moment: Bruce Ratner’s planned basketball arena and skyscraper complex at the Atlantic Yards.
Needless to say Ms. Meer, who lives in my neighborhood of Prospect Heights, was not pleased when she found out that she was the covergirl for a project she opposed. And today, she was one of almost a dozen speakers, including Steve Buscemi and Rosie Perez, who spoke out against the development at a rally at Grand Army Plaza organized by Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn.
Stay with me all you non-Brooklynites. This is no ordinary nimby story. We’re talking about a massive development covering seven square blocks that includes a Frank Gehry designed 620ft skscraper, almost 7,000 housing units and a 20,000-seater basketball stadium. A plan which, for better or worse, will change this part of Brooklyn irrevocably.
I swore my last experience of demonstrating would be my last. And I went along today more out of curiosity than anything else. I wanted to see if the stoppers had enough support and I was pretty impressed. It was at least 90F today and the official turnout was 4,000. I’d say that’s a little overenthusiastic. Nevertheless, it was still considerable.
The anti-corporate performer Reverend Billy (seen on EiNY before) warmed up the crowd. Unfortunately, his mock evangelical act didn’t go down too well with some of the speakers that followed, especially
Rev Dennis Dillon, chief executive minister of The Brooklyn Christian Center Rev. Clinton Miller of Brown Memorial Baptist Church Councilman Charles Barron and activist Bob Law.
The Rev. Dennis Dillon chief executive minister of The Brooklyn Christian Center Rev. Clinton Miller of Brown Memorial Baptist Church.
If it was fighting words people wanted to hear they will have gone home happy. Here’s councilwoman Letitia James working up the crowd.
Dan Zanes rounds off the afternoon with a singalong.
UPDATE2: Thanks to Norman and Daniel for clarifying Rev. Billy’s detractors.