BY KARI LINDBERG | With passionate chants of “Racism No More,” “New York City Not For Sale” and “De Blasio, Step Down,” members the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side kicked off their protest outside City Hall last Wednesday.
Around 100 protestors, mainly older Chinese and Latinos, came out alongside activists, wearing signs in English, Spanish and Chinese saying “De Blasio, Step Down” and “Stop Ethnic Racism.” They called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to leave office for failing to protect Asian, African-American and Latino communities from being displaced.
Coalition member Dr. Sharon Cadiz said residents can see recent examples of how community action can reshape development decisions in Maspeth and at LIC’s own Phipps Houses site.
Nearly 300 people packed the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House in Long Island City on Monday night to discuss the de Blasio administration’s plan to rezone the area.
Hosted by the Justice for All Coalition, an alliance supported by Faith in New York and consisting of local labor, church, and public housing tenant groups, the forum sought to inform local residents about the stakes of a potential rezoning and share the coalition’s platform of demands for future equitable development.
In October 1966—50 years ago—Chinese leader Mao Zedong appeared on Tiananmen Square in Beijing to address an audience of 1.5 million Red Guards, the paramilitary youth he had called upon to tear down the Communist Party hierarchy. “Long live the Red Guards!” he shouted, to roars of approval. “Long live the great Cultural Revolution!”
That spring, Mao first called for a “Cultural Revolution,” urging the working class to “struggle against and crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road” and “criticize and repudiate…the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes.”
By the Chinese Progressive Association and the Asian Community Development Corporation
Yesterday evening starting at 6pm, MassDOT, along with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, held its fifth and final public meeting at the State Transportation building, where it unveiled the final guidelines and Invitation to Bid on Parcels 25 and 26. The Chinatown community has dedicated countless hours attending all five meetings and submitting oral and written comments during and after each meeting. The Chinatown community has patiently followed along with MassDOT’s public process, repeating the community’s needs time and time again. MassDOT has failed to respond in good faith and as a result the Chinatown community felt it had exhausted its options and was compelled to walk out en masse.
Approximately 18,000 San Franciscans live in single-room occupancy hotels in the city, the vast majority of them (73 percent) in Chinatown. The buildings, with their small living quarters, community bathrooms and community kitchens, are some of the city’s few remaining remnants of affordable housing.
A new documentary short, Home Is a Hotel, tells the story of a mother and daughter who share an 8×10′ SRO unit in a private, for-profit building in Chinatown. Directed by local filmmakers Todd Sills and Kevin Wong, the film is currently streaming as part of the PBS Online Film Festival, an annual three-week showcase of short films.
Within an hour’s time on a recent Friday afternoon, five people visited the tiny, constructed room nestled in the rear of Asian Arts Initiative to collect socks, water bottles, deodorant and tampons.
The room on the 1200 block of Pearl Street was filled with artifacts of Chinatown past; photographs of old buildings decorated the walls, and a documentary from the 1970s showing residents protesting the construction of the Vine Street Expressway played on loop in the corner.
Community Board 3 got an earful last Tuesday night from a coalition of Lower East Side activists who complained that the board was dragging its legs in the battle to stop the proliferation of luxury high-rises, hotels and other upscale developments that are displacing poor people who live in the neighborhood.
Members of the Chinatown Working Group — a coalition of grassroots organizations whose goal is to draft a master plan that would preserve housing affordability in a wide swath of Lower Manhattan — spoke out angrily at the full board meeting at P.S. 20 on May 24. They repeatedly demanded that C.B. 3 at its next monthly meeting issue a strong statement of support for the coalition’s housing preservation agenda.