Activists In Bushwick Hope To Illuminate Gentrification

| Resist!

Above: Gentrification protest in Brooklyn, snip from NY1 video, NYC Light Brigade. See full video at NY1. 

Some light displays in Brooklyn are spreading awareness of gentrification instead of holiday cheer.

Activists in Bushwick have posted signs around the neighborhood as part of a campaign called “Illumination Against Gentrification.” They are trying to keep longtime residents from being displaced from their homes.

“My mom keeps receiving at home these letters from real estate agents, developers, who have basically been harassing her. They’ve even gone to the extent of calling her at work to sell. And we don’t want to sell. We don’t plan on selling the house any time soon,” said activist Patricia Rodriguez.

“It’s always about the story of newcomers, or how newcomers are making Brooklyn hip. But the reality is that in Brooklyn, in New York City, in Queens, the Bronx, there’s a whole history that’s being erased,” said activist Will Giron.

The campaign is supported by the NYC Light Brigade, which has used light displays as a form of protest around the city.

  • Chazz A

    There is a lot more going on behind the scenes, than those outside of NYC are aware of.
    As an original Brooklynite, I have seen the good and bad sides of gentrification. I have received cash offers for my home as well as a few of my neighbors. There are real estate “vultures” with cash in hand, preying on elderly people and using tricky tactics to force them to sell. There have been families forced out via eminent domain as well. The end result is to raise the tax base under the guise of “urban renewal” and ousting people who have lived here for generations.
    I support the campaign not only for Brooklyn, but for all of the Boroughs.


    I also opposed gentrification 100 percent.


    Excellent Points Brother.

  • Chazz A

    Thanks brother Truth. We appreciate and support Mr Giron for bringing attention to this issue.

  • glenn

    Privatization of public space and corporate controlled quasi-governments must be recognized as part of gentrification. Quality of life police districts with aggressive stop and frisk policies accompany these new unaccountable corporate controlled mini-governments. These policies marketed as investments and anti-blight strategies steal from the public treasury. They re-brand public money as “grants” that can only be accessed by these private government districts. Here in Philadelphia, these special districts take up to 2/3rds of this taxpayer money for themselves, and hand out contracts to connected businesses. These “special service districts” signal that an area will be gentrified. It’s a coded policy, which indicates the mix of commercialized public spaces, brutal police districts, and often, new school catchment areas. These have been championed by middle class “liberals” as aggressively as right wingers. These privatized mini-governments are completely anti-democratic, and function as neo-colonial forces hand picking local power brokers to enforce the gentrification. The corporate executive staff of the special districts champion all the draconian zero tolerance enforcement that then attacks poorer residents, as well as the businesses which serve them. To stop gentrification, these special unaccountable service districts must be abolished, and the privatization of government itself recognized.