Protesters march against Industry City rezoning, climate change, and many, many other causes

Protesters took to the steets on Sept. 27 to protest the Industry City rezoning plan and its failure to address climate change.
Brooklyn Paper
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Hundreds of activists marched in opposition to Industry City’s expansion plan on Sept. 27, claiming the development would exacerbate a wide range of social and environmental issues, including mass-incarceration, the Israeli-occupation of Palestine, and climate change.

“We’re saying no to the Industry City proposal because they’re not in the business to help the community and be climate resilient,” said Summer Sandoval, the energy democracy coordinator at a local environmental advocacy organization called Uprose. “We need to move our waterfront from what it is today into a climate-ready waterfront that addresses climate mitigation and resilience.”

Councilman Carlos Menchaca in September published a list of demands Industry City executives would have to meet to secure his approval for an up-zoning, which the developers need to pave the way for a $1-billion, 12-year expansion of the 35-acre waterfront complex.

The protest followed Industry City’s decision to bow to those demands, marking a necessary first step towards the massive redevelopment scheme’s success.

The demonstration kicked off at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, where activists did not confine themselves to the housing issues usually associated with the development scheme, with some advocates relating Industry City’s expansion plan to global warming

“As there continue to be flood zone areas, higher land property is going to go for more value,” said Marcela Mitaynes, a neighborhood organizer who plans to run for the state Assembly in Brooklyn’s 51st District. “And as it is, folks are having a hard time finding decent affordable housing. People are getting displaced.”

Others connected the development to mass incarceration, deportation, and income inequality, with a whopping 17 advocacy groups — including organizations fighting for LGBTQ representation, pro-Palestinian rights, and prison abolition — participating in the event. According to one organizer, the many causes represented at the march increased the turnout, and helped educate attendees about other issues they may be less familiar with.

“The point that people hopefully leave today with is that the only way to beat the climate catastrophe that will kill us all if we let it is to unite all these struggles together,” said Jacob Friedman, an organizer for an environmentalist advocacy group called Earth Strike NYC.

After a number of speakers had addressed the massive crowds, marchers walked from Fourth Avenue down to 32nd Street waving signs that read “Climate Justice,” “Abolish ICE,” and “Stop capitalist pollution with socialist revolution,” as they sang protest songs and chants. A marching band equipped with horn players and drummers brought up the rear.

“We’re here to set the record straight with Industry City,” Sandoval from Uprose said. “Just because you’ve found a few people in the community who you were able to use does not speak to what the community wants.”

Reach reporter Rose Adams at or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Updated 10:46 am, October 1, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Alex from Sunset Park says:
In case it wasn't clear before, this is what many of us in the neighborhood have been frustrated with throughout this process: groups and people from outside our community using Sunset Park as a staging ground to push their agenda. Apparently, Industry City is to blame for every single problem in the world, from tensions in the Middle East to rising sea levels to the Amazon fires to LGBT discrimination. Please stop. The people who actually LIVE in Sunset Park support Industry City and the opportunity it provides our neighbors!
Oct. 1, 2019, 8:35 am
Elizabeth from Sunset Park says:
I support Industry City because they took a virtually abandoned complex and invested a lot of money to bring jobs, services, shops and amenities to the neighborhood I have lived in since 1983. Does anyone remember the blight that existed there before they rescued it? The developers have contributed to the community in many ways, given jobs to thousands of people and brought innovation and a new energy to the area. It seems to me the protestors are looking for someone to blame for the changes going on throughout the city in rents. Some of the people leading the protests are self promoters whose opinions do not represent the vast majority of Sunset Park residents. The city is constantly evolving and changing, in this case for the better in Sunset Park.
Oct. 1, 2019, 9:17 am
Patrice from Washington Heights says:
What do these people even want? They have like 10 unconnected agendas, and the only message is that they're permenantly dis-satisfied. Nothing could or would please them. They gain joy from being against.
Oct. 1, 2019, 9:18 am
concerned from Greenwood says:
I agree with Alex. I don't know discourage Uprose from their advocacy work but this feels over-the-top. What does climate change have to do with the development of the former Bush Terminal (now called "Industry City")?
Oct. 1, 2019, 11:29 am
SCR from Realityville says:
There is one certainty. If you consequently,have less housing,instead of more housing;you will have higher real-estate prices. Not lower prices.That's the consequences of opposing the"Industry City expansion". At least,in place,in which so many talented;continue to migrate to. This much of Brooklyn,NY. And every time,mostly younger,newer Brooklynites;opt for Ubers&Lyfts-instead NYC Subways and/or busses,they are personally,and collectively;adding to"capitalist pollution. And,it is definitely,also the case;if they choose bottled-water,instead of tap-water? Most bottled water,is produced by giant beverage companies. Or huge multinational food-conglomerates. How many of those protesters,grasped these realities?
Oct. 1, 2019, 3:30 pm
Rick Barr from Sunset Park says:
This is insane. Protesters linking Industry City rezoning to "mass-incarceration, the Israeli-occupation of Palestine, and climate change." Could that really be accurately reported?
Oct. 1, 2019, 3:59 pm
Sparkle from Bay Ridge says:
What do we want? Everything!! When do we want it? Now!! Up the proletariat!!
Oct. 1, 2019, 4 pm
Luis from Sunset Park says:
Elizabeth hit the nail on the head! Also, please remember: this rezoning is only for land Industry City ALREADY owns, there are 0 tax breaks or public subsidies in their proposal, and there is 0 housing (luxury or otherwise) in the plan. They have agreed to every single demand laid out by the councilman and the community. I live + work in sunset park with my family and say YES ALREADY!
Oct. 2, 2019, 10:24 am
anonymous from LES says:
I believe that it is hard for some folks to wrap their minds around the reality of Industry City and other areas of the city that are undergoing gentrification. Gentrification is colonialism. It is a land grab by speculators where some benefit is gained by people of means and a great deal of profit is made by the speculators. When this kind of land speculation happens people lose their jobs and livelihood. There is no attempt to ensure the survival of anyone that loses their job or can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood. This is the dehumanizing of humans and all of us too because we are complicit and complacent. The connection that all of the groups that supported this rally and march have is in every case groups of humans are dehumanized. And the connection to the climate crisis is that this kind of exploitation of land and humans is causing the unprecedented climate catastrophes around the world that are happening. This is not sustainable for any of us and we must all start to take actions.
Oct. 2, 2019, 11:22 am
Jose from Sunset Park says:
Anonymous from LES has a fundamental misunderstanding of what colonialism is. To start with, none of the present residents of Sunset Park are an indigenous population. They were preceeded in Sunset Park by other people, and in many cases may be characterized as having displaced the prior residents. Neighborhoods change; this is an immutable fact of life in NY. What you call gentrification is simply one form of change, one that you may be able to influence but cannot stop. The rally was a silly mishmash of random grievances. Not to be taken seriously.
Oct. 2, 2019, 3:31 pm
Anonymous from Carroll Gardens says:
What anonymous from LES also gets wrong is their description of Jamestown's purchase and investment in Industry City as "a land grab," and as "speculation." Speculation in land and property is investing without input. It's buying something because you believe it will increase in value due to forces outside of the investment itself. Like when someone buys stock in a company because they think it's going to go up. Or buying a 2nd home and renting it out because they think the neighborhood is increasing in value. That's speculation. Is that what Jamestown is doing here? Absolutely not: They PLAN TO SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS investing in Industry City. A billion dollars. Of their money. To take something that, until their arrival, was the home of just a handful of workers, and turn it into something that will house THOUSANDS OF WORKERS. That's not speculation. That's direct investment. It's direct investment in our city, and like it or not, the Sunset Park community. We can disagree on whether or not that investment in Sunset Park will benefit the constituency that this opposition represents: that's a real dilemma that should be debated. But to say they are speculating? Come on. Read a book.
Oct. 3, 2019, 11:37 am
Jay Johnson from Jouralamon says:
Put the neighborhood first and ignore national and international special interest groups along with the politicians that pander to them
Oct. 5, 2019, 12:43 pm

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