Anti-Gentrification Protest Takes to the Streets

Anti-Gentrification Protest Takes to the Streets
Leaders of the march led chants of “Whose city? Our city!” and “Brooklyn’s not for sale!” (Paul Stremple/BKLYNER)

About 200 community organizers and protesters marched through rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods this Saturday in a rally opposing gentrification, racism and police violence organized by the Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN). More than 100 groups and grassroots organizations endorsed the protest.

Police denied the group a permit for amplified sound, but the rally carried on, using a “human microphone” technique to repeat and amplify speakers’ voices before the march. The group alleges the 78th precinct stalled their request for a permit on purpose.

An organizer warms up the crowd prior to the march (Paul Stremple/BKLYNER)

Starting at 11:00am, September 9, in front of Barclay’s, speakers related stories covering a host of issues, from rent hikes and tenant harassment to “broken windows” and racist policing.

There was a heavy police presence at the event, with officers walking the street and cars creeping along in pace with the march.

A map of the stops along the march route (Via Equality for Flatbush)

With such a variety of sponsoring groups, the message of the march was broad. Many of the participants marching, when asked about the cause they came out to support, replied with a variation on the theme of “generally, all of it.”

BAN’s platform mostly focuses on housing issues: universal rent-stabilization, opposition to sale or leasing of NYCHA land, and a call to localize “area median income” measurements in communities where affordable housing is being built.

A jogger on Fulton Ave in Clinton Hill watches the march move past (Paul Stremple/BKLYNER)