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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

An Open Letter to Barbra Streisand & Leonard Cohen Re: Barclays Arena Shows

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2012


An Open Letter to
Barbra Streisand and Leonard Cohen

Before Playing Barclays Arena Superstars Urged to
Learn About History Behind Despised Atlantic Yards Project


BROOKLYN, New York — The following is an open letter from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn to Barbra Streisand and Leonard Cohen after their announced shows at Forest City Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov's Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn:

Dear Ms. Streisand and Mr. Cohen:

We at Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, the grassroots community non-profit organization that led the fight against Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project and advocated for inclusive, democratic development, write to you regarding your scheduled performances at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The billion dollar, publicly subsidized Barclays arena is the only component of the larger Atlantic Yards project under construction.

We understand the excitement your fans feel about your upcoming shows in Brooklyn and we do not question your right as artists to play whatever venue you choose to play, or your fans' right to enjoy your performances.

However, as artists of your stature and caliber, as artists with a history of philanthropy, social justice and civil liberty advocacy, and protest lyrics, we strongly urge you to take on every citizen's responsibility to learn about the history behind the venue you are associating yourselves with.

We believe you won't like what you discover.

The history behind the Barclays Center is an ugly one. It represents so much of what is wrong with our government, particularly crony capitalism and the abuse of power.

Mr. Cohen, you famously wrote these lyrics:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with his or her fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes


Few, if any, song lyrics better describe the Barclays Center and its larger Atlantic Yards context. (Ironically in 2009 these lyrics were used to denounce the state agency that approved the Atlantic Yards project. See: www.bit.ly/cohenlyric)

Ms. Streisand, your official website has posted a column by Jim Hightower railing against TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline, including its use of eminent domain for the project. Hightower writes, "…this foreign-owned corporation would use the autocratic power of eminent domain to take land from unwilling sellers along the 2,000 mile route."

Unfortunately the Barclays Center where you both are scheduled to perform was wholly dependent on the "autocratic" use of eminent domain to take homes and businesses from unwilling sellers to benefit a multi-billion dollar real estate development firm and, as it turns out, one of the wealthiest men in the world, the Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov.

Here is a short list of the abuses that have led to the construction of the Barclays Center:

1. Not a single elected official, never mind the affected communities themselves, had the chance to vote on the largest real estate project in Brooklyn's history, one dependent upon hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies, eminent domain for private gain, and a backroom, sweetheart public land deal.

2. The developer, exploiting a housing and unemployment crisis to aid his land grab, relentlessly promised "Jobs, Housing and Hoops." Thousands of "affordable" housing units and 15,000 jobs were promised, and these promises were targeted at low income and minority communities. Today all we have is a soon-to-open arena -- your scheduled performance venue -- with mostly unaffordable tickets, not a single housing unit, a miniscule percentage of the promised jobs, a massive surface parking lot and acres and acres of demolished properties that will sit dormant for decades, held hostage by the developer.

3. The 22-acre site (the World Trade Center site is 16 acres) at Brooklyn's key crossroads, described as "a great piece of real estate" by Forest City Enterprises Chairman Chuck Ratner, was given to the developer without any bidding process. (In other words, a fixed, sweetheart deal to make the rich richer as lamented in "Everybody Knows.")

4. Eminent domain was used to take homes and businesses from property owners, small business owners, and rent-stabilized tenants, and hand them over to one of the most powerful and wealthiest development firms in the United States, providing that developer with a private land monopoly in the heart of Brooklyn. A long-term, family homeless shelter was amongst the properties condemned and demolished on behalf of the developer.

We could go on and on, but we'll stop here.

The Oscar short-listed feature documentary "Battle for Brooklyn" is a riveting film detailing the local communities' eight year long struggle against Atlantic Yards. It features a chilling quote from Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 2010 arena groundbreaking where he declares to an invite-only crowd, "No one's going to remember how long it took. They're just going to see that it was done."

The Mayor is wrong. People do, and will continue to, remember exactly how Barclays came to be. We strongly urge you to watch the film to see for yourselves. You can also gain a wealth of knowledge from Atlanticyardsreport.com, Nolandgrab.org and our website DDDB.net.

As long as international icons, with passions and beliefs such as yours, play Barclays without an inkling of its back-story, you are aiding Mr. Bloomberg in his wish to erase the history of struggle and the fight for justice and democracy that will forever be associated with the Barclays venue. That's not even to mention the continued anger over a disparaged and despised project that promised the moon in terms of social good but instead has only delivered a basketball arena. (On June 10th a clergy led protest denouncing the developer's broken promises of jobs and housing will take place at the arena site).

Your songs have given so many people hope and emotional sustenance. Yet, your upcoming concerts in Brooklyn will be at a venue that has taken so much away from the people of Brooklyn, and beyond.

Again, we are not urging you to disappoint your fans, but we are urging you to use your voices to inform them about what really happened. If you don't do this you will be aiding those in power in their attempt to bury the truth.

Sincerely,
The Steering Committee of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn



Posted: 5.22.12
DDDB.net en español.
Battle for Brooklyn
Screening Schedule

Battle Fore Brooklyn
Unity 4 Community Meeting, June 15th at 388 Atlantic Avenue

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn on Facebook

Click here
to order DDDB tshirts. They cost $20 and all funds go to our legal campaign, shirts come in black, red, gold and pink tanktops.

Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals
Ruling

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

2/26/09
Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

Click for
Screening Schedule
of
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters


Read a review
-----------------------
Atlantic Yards
would be
Instant
Gentrification
Click image to see why:


-No Land Grab.org

-Atlantic Yards Report
-Atlantic Yards Deathwatch
-The Footprint Gazette
-Brooklyn Matters
-Noticing New York
-NY Times "The Local" FG/CH
-Brooklyn Views
-Council of B'klyn N'hoods
-The Brooklyn Paper
-The Brooklyn Wire
-Atlantic Lots
-Who Walk in Brooklyn
-S. Oxford St. Block Assoc.
-City Limits City Blogs
-The Knickerblogger
-Anyplace, Brooklyn
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-Bay Ridge Journal
-Clawback
-Picketing Henry Ford
-Castle Coalition Blog
-Dope on the Slope
-Gowanus Lounge
-Fans For Fair Play
-Views from the Bridge
-Old First Blog
-DailyHeights.com
-Brooklyn Footprints
-Freddys Bklyn Roundhouse
-Ctr for the Study of Bklyn
-Pardon Me for Asking
-Clinton Hill Blog
-Only The Blog Knows BK
-Brownstoner
-Sustainable Flatbush
-A Child Grows in Bklyn
-Williamsburg Warriors

-The Real Estate
-Rail Yards Blog (H. Yards)
-OnNYTurf-Atlantic Yards
-Manhattan User's Guide
-Naparstek
-Streets Blog
-Urban Place & Space
-New York Games
-Field of Schemes
-News 12 Brooklyn
-Queens Crap
-Dist.35 Comm'ity Gazette
-Save Our Parks (Bronx)
-Eminent Domain Watch
-NJ Eminent Domain Law
-PLANYC
-Big Cities Big Boxes
-www.DANDOCTOROFF.com
-Olympic Bloomdoggle
-TenantServices.com
-Tenant.net