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Mar 6, 16

Protest Against the Rheingold Development in Brooklyn

Submitted to It’s Going Down

This weekend, members of the Brooklyn Solidarity Network showed up a block from the intersection of Bushwick and Flushing in Brooklyn, New York, the site of a future multi-condominium apartment complex. The Rheingold Luxury Condos are ground zero for gentrification in Bushwick. The proposed plan by Read Property Group aims to build 977 units over 6.4 acres spanning a total of ten blocks.

Though Read Property promised to keep 177 apartments below $1,100 a month, the Brooklyn Solidarity Network remained skeptical. In a public statement about the demonstration BSN said:

We are all witnessing the ravages of this process, but those to seek to eject longtime residents and remake the neighborhood have not won yet. The development at the former Rheingold Brewery may be the final stepping stone in the path of no return. It is a ten-block, multi-purpose condo village tossed into an area that had for so long retained its local identity. Real estate agents refer to it as ‘the game changer’ and they are correct. The scope of this project threatens to move at least 2,000 high-income tenants into the area, forcing rents and necessities up to astronomical levels. The brutalities exacted upon tenants will only get worse. The gentrification process is spiraling out of control and we need to draw the line here. This development must not be built.

Approximately 30 people showed up to support the campaign against the development. Organizers said, “Affordable housing is based on Bushwick’s median income which many of the residents don’t make, including 30% of Bushwick who are living below the poverty line. The city has become so unaffordable that even if housing were cheaper, the cost of living is becoming increasingly impossible to afford.”

Motorists honked in support as they drove by the demonstration as protesters handed out flyers to passers-by. The NYPD eventually showed up but only to gather information on the nature of the demonstration.

The Brooklyn Solidarity Network hopes to build a formation of new neighborhood councils that operate independently of any politicians, non-profits, developers, or private interests. This rally will be just the beginning of a continued campaign of escalation against New York’s developing interests.

Watch Brooklyn Solidarity Network’s informational video on the campaign

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