Categorized | populism

Rent Strike in Sunset Park, Queens

First published here.

My local Occupy group, Occupy/Ocupemos Sunset Park, has been immersed in a local struggle, a rent strike in a series of buildings on 46th street in this Brooklyn neighborhood. Here are some of the flyers we’ve been producing for the actions.

The strike has been receiving terrific media coverage and terrific support from the Occupy network. I will be back in the next few days with a post to detail what’s been happening and put the struggle in context.

The first action ended with an impromptu hour-long occupation of state assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s office, which was truly awesome. Tonight, see the last flyer below, we’re staging a sidewalk sleep-in and people’s inspection of the buildings.

The video below was taken at the first action; it sums up what was happening at the beginning. Yours truly is interviewed at length toward the end. Enjoy.

A terrific account of the strike with interviews with many of the rent strikers can be found here: “Brooklyn Women Make Their Building Theirs.”

Update from OccupyWallSt.org:

Support Rent Strikers: Don’t push the 99% out of NYC + #OWS Events 7/25-8/3

Posted 21 hours ago on July 25, 2012, 4:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Something big is happening in Sunset Park. Tenants are demanding liveable conditions and a response to the 400 documented housing violations in their building. For years residents in these three buildings have been living in fear of fires, electrical blackouts and disease-triggering agents like mold, cockroaches and rats. Despite numerous complaints made to city agencies and politicians’ offices, these violations continue to threaten the lives of dozens of residents.

All over New York City, landlords like Orazio Petito are trying to displace residents from their homes because they can gentrify the buildings and raise rent. Read more about how this courageous community is standing up to defend their home.

Occupy Sunset Park asks you to join them to show ongoing support for the rent strikers by stopping by for a nightly vigil from 6pm to 7pm on 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, near the R train at 45th St.

Occupy these Actions and Assemblies:

Friday, July 27th, 3:00pm
March on Wall Street
Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park) to Wall Street
Join us in meeting the bankers and brokers for the closing bell as we issue our grievances and stand in support of workers everywhere.

Friday, July 27th, 7:00pm
Sunset Park Food For Thought Film Series: Broken on All Sides
La Casita, 414 45th Street, Sunset Park
Next Friday’s Food For Thought FIlm Showing will be BROKEN ON ALL SIDES, a timely exploration of mass incarceration and the racist nature of the criminal justice system as explored in Michelle Alexander’s THE NEW JIM CROW Join us for film and discussion! Friday, July 27, at La Casita in Sunset Park. FREE.

Saturday, July 28th, 7:30am
Stop the Frack Attack. Rally in DC (bus leaving from NYC)
Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park)
OWS Environmental Solidarity joins other New Yorkers in the fight against Fracking. Now is the time to bring the stories of the people truly impacted by oil and gas development to the legislative and regulatory entities that can—and must be pushed to—make a difference in the way that the fossil fuel industry operates in this country and the energy options the nation pursues.

Saturday, July 28, 11:30am
Premiere of Occupy Brooklyn TV
Brooklyn cable TV & streaming
Occupy Public Access TV is launching a new OWS TV show this week. It will air on TW channel 35, Cablevision channel 68, and RCN channel 83 in Brooklyn, and on Verizon cable channel 43 throughout NYC. A special edition of the show, with extra footage, will be published on occupypublicaccesstv.com.

Saturday, July 28th, 1:00pm
Radical Walking Tours – Gowanus Canal & Brooklyn Transect
Union Street @ Gowanus Canal
Engage the city, your body, and others, by putting yourself in motion to engage the political, ecological, and your embodied urban environment – New York City.

Saturday, July 28th, 2:00pm
S17 Education Planning Assembly
Washington Square Park
September 17th, Occupy’s one-year anniversary, is just around the corner. This is a call for all groups planning education-related activities to come together and coordinate actions, resources, needs, etc. If you aren’t involved in a group, but want to help plan educational events for S17, this meeting is also for you.

Sunday, July 29th, 2:00pm
Strike Debt Strategy Session
33 W 14th St New York
Join us as we strategize about the next steps in this movement to transform, challenge and re-think debt. As Strike Debt gains momentum and as debt emerges as a key theme among many organizers, we gather to ask some major questions about debt and movement-building.

Tuesday, July 31st, 6:30pm
Occupy Astoria Movie Night – The New Jim Crow
Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street at 30th Avenue
Join Occupy Astoria for our ongoing Film Series. The New Jim Crow, litigator turned legal scholar Michelle Alexander’s recent book, challenges us to place mass incarceration at the heart of our struggles for racial justice in America.

Friday, August 3, 4:00pm
Wake Up Wall Street: Money Out, Voters In
The 3rd in a series of condemnations of CITIZENS UNITED. As long as our democracy is hijacked by big corporate money, there will be no business as usual.

Daily #OccupyUnionSq Info Table
@OWSUnionSquare
Every day Occupy Union Square has an info table open and staffed, acting as a hub to promote the constant flurry of events and meetings occurring across OWS.

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