Recently, we have seen citizen struggles in Puerto Rico, Paris, Hong Kong, and Britain over the actions of governments overstepping the boundaries of government rule. In this country, we struggle against Unwanted Wars, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, and Climate Change issues and more. These have been mainly capitalist struggles, where the rich are forcing officials to change regulations in exchange for goodies, like schools, parks, and fancy urban centers. All of it is helping to create more and more gentrification that pushes low and middle-class people from their homes.
We have yet to take to the streets like those mentioned above, but that might not be for long. Last night, I witnessed residents of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, shout down City Councilman, Carlos Menchaca, and force him out of a meeting he was presenting on rezoning. Menchaca was explaining his position on rezoning Sunset Park's Industry City when people started to chant no rezoning, no compromise, over and over again. After more than an hour of repeated interruptions, the councilman put the mic down and left.
Like so many other communities, Sunset Park is facing a rezoning that will significantly impact the large immigrant community. 72% of Sunset Park is made up of immigrants from Latin, and Asian countries. And this rezoning will entitle Industry City to changes that will impact all of the low and middle-class residents, as it has in many other communities. So these residents are fighting back.
Here is the entire meeting plus a rally outside:
The group Protect Sunset Park, met for two hours with Councilman Carlos Menchaca, on Friday, to discuss the Industry City request for rezoning. The group informed the councilman that the community is saying no to the IC request. The fears of displacement are in the minds of this immigrant community; and who can blame them? With every rezoning that has occurred so far, there has been displacement and the loss of local business to big named chains.
City Hall and City Planning are applying pressure on the councilman to decide on the plan quickly; a project City Hall wants. Menchaca and Community Board 7 appear to be constructing an alternative to appease City Hall. But the question is, is there time, and what would happen if we said no and walked away from the rezoning request?
The video that follows is the essence of what happened in Friday's meeting. Three languages are spoken in this video: Chinese, English, and Spanish, so please forward it to friends in Sunset Park.
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