Fans For Fair Play
Challenging Bruce Ratner’s Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Things to be thankful for 

Everyone's writing this blog today -- even the Japanese soldiers still hiding in the jungles of Borneo.

But it's the day for it, and here goes. FFFP's thankful for:

* growing numbers of Brooklynites who are taking action against Bruce Ratner's skyscraper complext at the Atlantic Yards;

* the tireless volunteers of 50 community and religious groups who have come together to battle Ratner;

* for the Downtown Brooklyn Leadership Conference's resistance to seductions that have spirited away the Rev. Herbert Daughtry from this current fight against the power;

* for Frank Gehry's designs, so obnoxious and patronizing in their scope and culture that they've convinced thousands of Brooklynites to oppose the Ratner project;

* the daring and brave journalists, some of whom have stood up to bullying from their editors in order to report the truth: Mike Lupica, Juan Gonzalez, Jess Wislowski, Michael O'Keeffe, TJ Quinn, Matthew Schuerman, Deborah Kolben, Steve Zipay, Brian Carreira, Aaron Naparstek, Neil deMause.

* Politicians who've weathered even tougher storms in the vicious and corrupt New York political scene: Letitia James, Velmanette Montgomerey, Chris Owens, Major Owens, Charles Barron. There are others who've given support with less conviction, but these are the bravehearts who've been with us since Day One.

* The U.S. Supreme Court, who's awful decision in the Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain case has ignited a firestorm of anger and awareness about the issue -- and provided the impetus for new laws to be forged on the city, state and federal level to stop eminent domain from being used for private, for-profit developments...a weirdly bi-partisan issue.

* Sheldon Silver and Joe Bruno, who as members of the Public Authorities Control Board voted against funding the Jets' West Side Stadium -- killing that monster and redirecting the light of public awareness onto Ratner's project.

* Norman Oder, who has expanded his tireless investigation of the New York Times' malfeasant reportage to all local media outlets.

* NoLandGrab.org, the locale for up-to-the-minute reporting on every aspect of the anti-Ratner struggle. A searing righteousness cut with a sharp sense of humor, NLG is the morning's first stop on the Internet.

* Union members who stand opposed to the project, even though the popular -- and shortsighted and self-centered -- unionthink is to support it.

* the growing activism of everyday people who understand that this decade's issue is overdevelopment and whether the people who live in neighborhoods get to control those neighborhoods' futures.

* the Ghosts of Brooklyn Past, who only have us to fight for the cool, eccentric, colorful, ragged legends of our beautiful borough's past, and to make sure that those eccentricities join with the push for real jobs, housing and opportunities for all -- ALL -- Brooklynites. If we don't, then the ghosts of yesteryear will leave, convinced that a place that opts for Ratner has no use for the haunting beauty of our predecessors.

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