Even before the last of the fires at the World Trade Center complex are extinguished, developers and city, state andfederal officials are jockeying for control of the rebirth of Lower Manhattan.
At a meeting last week with 30 of the city’s largest developers and brokers, local officials insisted that the citymust direct re-development efforts. And the city’s powerful real estate developers, meanwhile, are promoting theirown plans for downtown. They are demanding tax breaks to subsidize the construction of new office towers andincentives to lure tenants back to a section of the city devastated by the Sept. 11 attack.
On a smaller scale, the city of New York informed a Brooklyn firehouse that it would be closed. Squad One losttwelve of its firefighters as they fought to save people’s lives at the World Trade Center. The city said that allthe remaining firefighters would be reassigned to other FDNY houses.
The city has tried to close the firehouse before, and community members speculated that the Guiliani administrationmay have been trying to cash in on the tragedy: the firehouse sits on prime real estate in the rapidly gentrifyingneighborhood.
But in a victory for the little people, the Park Slope community rapidly mobilized, hammering city officials withphone calls and flocking in the hundreds to a protest outside the firehouse last night. The city announced yesterdaythat it never intended to close the station.
We go now to last night’s protest-turned-celebration with Democracy Now! in Exile producer Kris Abrams.
- Protest outside the firehouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn, 9/25/01
At 12 noon on Saturday, September 22, over 100 artists all wearing black filed onto Union Square in New York, wheremany people have been gathering for the last ten days to grieve and try to make sense of what happened on September11.
A hush fell over the crowd as the artists took their places in a semi-circle.
For one hour, they stood in silence wearing face masks and placards silk-screened with the words, "OUR GRIEF IS NOT ACRY FOR WAR."
- D’lo, a spoken word poet with the Artists’ Network of Refuse & Resist.