Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Fights Against ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

Amadi Ajamu

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published in the Amsterdam News. Read the rest here.

 

The battle against “ethnic cleansing” is intensifying on the sidewalks of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. For several months community members have organized and protested in front of 410 Nostrand Ave., a newly constructed building slated for high-end condominiums in the middle of a predominantly Black working-class neighborhood. Under the banner of “We Ain’t Going Nowhere!” neighborhood residents are demanding affordable housing. The ethnic cleansing and increasing rents have been pushing out people who have lived in the area for years, but the resistance is escalating every day.

 

Last Sunday afternoon realtors held their first open house at 410 Nostrand and were met with a boisterous contingent of activists standing their ground, complete with banners, placards and bullhorn.

 

 

They chanted, “We ain’t going nowhere,” “Do or die Bed-Stuy,” “Housing is a human right” and “Whose streets? Our streets” as a tentative and reluctant slow stream of white newcomers made their way into the building or just turned around and left altogether.

 

“We have been consistently demonstrating in front of this building in order to teach our people that gentrification is in fact ethnic cleansing,” said a young man named Robert. “We have to understand, as a people, that we can’t act as individuals anymore. All of us are experiencing the same thing. Our people are disappearing and finding themselves in shelters as they still go to work every day. It is pure greed. The landlords, brokers and the major financial institutions that bankroll them and give them their marching orders only think of their profits and to hell with humanity. We have to resist. We have no choice.”

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published in the Amsterdam News. Read the rest here

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