Protesters rally against gentrification & racism at Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza on Ridgewood/Bushwick border

BAN march
Photo via Facebook/BANgentrification

Hundreds of protesters marched across Brooklyn from Barclays Center all the way to the Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border over the weekend during the Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN)’s first borough-wide march against gentrification, racism and police violence.

BAN, a grassroots coalition, organized the Sept. 9 march to demand that the city and its leaders fight back against the ongoing gentrification of areas throughout Brooklyn and the racism that many residents continue to face.

“The city has squandered and mismanaged public assets to enrich developers while the people they serve face impoverishing rents and landlord harassment, loss of small affordable businesses, and crumbling public transit and parks systems,” BAN said in their release for the march. “BAN challenges the de Blasio administration and politicians who run on platforms of fighting inequality while perpetuating the tale of two cities.”

Along the route marchers were heard chanting phrases such as “Hey, hey, ho, ho, these greedy landlords got to go,” “Whose city? Our city,” and  “What do we want? Affordable housing. When do we want it? Now” to bring light to their cause.

During the all-day event, BAN also held rallies at six locations along the route in gentrifying neighborhoods which featured speakers who have faced rent hikes, landlord harassment, police violence, and the privatization of public land in their communities.

The final rally location for the march was held at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza. A video of the rally can be seen below.

Video via Facebook/BANgentrification

BAN amassed the support of more than 100 community-based organizations, local small businesses, tenants associations, families who have been impacted by police violence, and local chapters of national anti-police brutality groups.

Some of the things the marchers want to see the city tackle head-on are:

  • An end to certain rezonings and deals for public land, tax exemptions, and subsidies which they claim are largely favorable to developers;
  • Investing public funds into the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in order to maintain it — not privatize it — and to grow low-income housing programs;
  • Enforcement of rent regulations;
  • An end to what the marchers called “police suppression of resistance” and the NYPD’s Broken Windows policing;
  • Greater protection of small businesses and jobs by supporting commercial tenant protections and ending policies that advance development for the super-rich; and
  • The political defeat of city and state elected officials who support major zoning and development projects that fuel gentrification.

For more information about BAN, visit their website at bangentrification.org.