475 Kent: the insanity of New York housing policy

a silent cry from a witness across the street two days ago

Whatever the bureaucratic, commercial or political story which lies behind the human tragedy of New York City's dreadful and totally irresponsible eviction of over 200 men, women, children and their pets from their homes in the darkness nine days ago on one of the coldest nights of the year, if this doesn't radicalize New Yorkers, we deserve whatever we get.

But there is no acceptable outcome to this particular tale other than the quick return of these people and a proper accounting of the official malfeasance which resulted in their removal in the first place.

Bloomberg, Markowitz, Quinn, anybody out there? We do note that that very decent local member of the City Council, David Yassky, has been with this story from the beginning, was at the scene on Sunday, and appears to be very supportive of the vibrant and creative community which has lived and worked inside this massive, 11-story Williamsburg building block for ten years.

For more on the story of 475 Kent, see Bloggy and any number of other on-line sites.

The images below were taken this past Sunday night. They show tenants retrieving their possessions (boxes, art, bicycles, baby carriages, parakeets, etc.) in the last moments before the building was finally padlocked, for a painfully-indefinite period. A large crowd gathered across the street in the bitter cold to observe the sad scene.

If you go to Barry's flickr images, note the Police van parked on the sidewalk adjacent to the large crowd which was repeatedly pushed back from the parking lane onto that part of the sidewalk not occupied by an NYPD vehicle.




To think that today I was complaining about there being no heat in my apt. Queers Without Borders stands in solidarity with the people of 475 Kent Ave. This same type of crap which we all know has been going on for years. We have seen it over the years even in a small city like Hartford. All we can say here is RETURN THE PEOPLE TO THEIR HOMES!!

During the 1717 Troutman vacate (the circumstances of which were eerily similar to 475 Kent's), New York Magazine, via wannabe journalist Annsley Chapman, chose to play up the "he, he, they're just hipsters" factor in lieu of any actual journalism. Here is how 220 suddenly homeless New Yorkers were treated by Annsley Chapman's lazy reporting:


Isn't that great?! Aside from dealing with homelessness, several Troutman folks ended up with red arrows over their heads!

I hope the 475 Kent residents get attention from real investigative journalists. Good luck!