Weekend of Events Spotlight Unfulfilled Promises at Arena

With the Barclays Center arena ready to open on Sept. 28, a wide range of community groups have organized “It’s a Crime” weekend, a series of events that will draw attention to promises far from fulfilled on the surrounding Atlantic Yards megaproject.

Rather than protest the arena itself, the multiple events that kick off on Thurs., Sept. 27, will highlight what New York State, New York City, and developer Forest City Ratner Companies promised to the people of Brooklyn, and address what has to be done now to ensure critically needed jobs, affordable housing, and other public benefits are delivered.

According to organizers, while the opening of Barclays Center fulfills the “hoops” part of the Atlantic Yards’ much touted “Jobs, Housing & Hoops” slogan, the hype and hoopla around the opening cannot mask the fact that jobs and housing that were supposed to justify the project have at best been relegated to the distant future — and at worst may never be realized as the public was led to believe.

Events for the “It’s a Crime” weekend include:

  • Thurs., Sept. 27, 7 p.m.: a candlelight vigil with Brooklyn clergy, elected officials, and community organizations to remember people and families displaced by the Atlantic Yards project’s use of eminent domain, as well as recognize those at risk of displacement today. Gathering point will be close to the arena entrance, at Pacific Bears Community Garden, corner of Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street. Click here for more information on exact meeting location.
  • Fri., Sept. 28 (arena opening day): 11 a.m., press conference at Barclays Center, in front of the Pacific Bears Community Garden; 12- 4 p.m., popup actions all around Barclays Center; 5 p.m., a virtual rally (tweet #BarclaysCenter and @AYCrimeScene for housing and jobs now); 8 p.m., free outdoor screening of the documentary Battle For Brooklyn at the Dean Playground Ball Field, just half a block from the arena (Dean Street between Sixth and Carlton Avenues)
  • Sat., Sept. 29: 6-8 p.m., opening reception for photographer Tracy Collins’ exhibit, “Atlantic Yards: Deconstructed,” at the Soapbox Gallery, 636 Dean St. The exhibit traces the “on the ground” impacts of the development over the past nine years through photography, video, and other media.

For more information on these and other activities, head to the AY Crime Scene website.

Sponsors for the “It’s a Crime” weekend include Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, Brown Community Development Corporation, BrooklynSpeaks, Fifth Avenue Committee, Park Defense Fund, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Park Slope Neighbors, East Pacific Block Association, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, South Portland Block Association, Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, Fort Greene for Peace, Rumur Inc., and Tracy Collins.

from the September 2012 Civic News