NYC mayor will demolish a park. People will do Civil disobedience to save the park.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021. New York City – On Saturday, September 11, 2021, the organization East River Park ACTION held a demonstration in East River Park, in the borough of Manhattan.

According to activists, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio “will demolish our big, beloved park on the unwealthy side of the Lower East Side and East Village. Everything must go–shady lawns, picnic areas, ballfields, running track, amphitheater, the compost yard, historic buildings, and 1,000 trees.”

East River Park ACTION say on Instagram, “Come out this Saturday (September 18, 2021) to the Amphitheater! Music, bbq, live with DJ Curly, come out and celebrate end of summer at #EastRiverPark. We will be tabling there for a good part of the event.” (People can take the F, J, M trains to Delancey St · Essex St.).

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9/11/2021. VIDEO. NYC mayor will demolish a park AND cut 1,000 trees. People will do Civil disobedience to save the park.

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On their website they say, “This Lenapehoking Land. This wonderful park we are trying to preserve is forever Indigenous land of Lenapehoking. We hope to honor and respect the land of this park by advocating its use as a resilient flood-absorbing sponge working with the river-side ecosystem, rather than in defiance of it. We oppose the ESCR project that continues assault on the land and recognize it adds a layer of injury to the ongoing systemic oppression of the original stewards of this land, the Lenapeyok People.”

They also say, “We Need a Green Plan, Not an Environmental Disaster. Hurricane Sandy Didn’t Kill East River Park. New York City Will.”

They add, “Soon, New York City will demolish our big, beloved park on the unwealthy side of the Lower East Side and East Village. Everything must go–shady lawns, picnic areas, ballfields, running track, amphitheater, the compost yard, historic buildings, and 1,000 trees.

The city is determined to go ahead with the massively destructive ESCR–East Side Coastal Resiliency project–even though there are alternatives that could preserve much of our park and provide flood control.

Under the current plan, the city will build a 1.2 mile wall along the water and cover the razed park with eight feet of fill. Eventually a new park will be built on top of this levee.

The loss of all trees–which help us breathe and cleans and cools our neighborhood air–and the dust from dumping a million tons of fill will cause a health crisis for our already crowded Lower East Side with many people of color, elderly and low-income residents.”

True Resiliency is Possible

There are better plans that will preserve our park and give us flood protection. 

After Hurricane Sandy raged through New York in 2012, the community worked for four years with officials to plan flood control. Flood walls and berms (long hills) would be built along the FDR Drive for storm surge protection. The park itself could be flooded during a hurricane. It would help absorb the overflowing waters and quickly recover (as it did during Sandy). It would cost about $770 million.

The plan was not perfect–and the city kept revising it until it became a bloated mess. However, there were the bones of excellent, attractive, community-responsive flood control plans.

By late 2018, the city suddenly decided the whole park should be erased to build a giant levee with a new park on top. They based their decision on a report they later insisted did not exist. Our Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and appeal shook the report loose, but it was heavily redacted. The city grudgingly unredacted part of it, revealing many alternatives to the current plan. We are in a legal fight to see the rest of the Value Engineering Study.

Now, they still plan the most destructive, least-community-friendly option: to close 60 percent of the park in October 2021, demolish it, then close other sections as they reopen completed areas. It is scheduled to take four years (but when has NYC ever done anything on schedule?) and cost $1.45 billion. The lowest bids have come in. They do not cover the entire project, yet they already exceed the budget by $73 million. Where will the money come from? See our “Already Over Budget” report.

Community members say that the current plan is an environmental injustice. Some 15,000 people including 2,000 from NYCHA Speaks have signed various petitions against the plan. Hundreds of people have testified, marched, and protested, emailed, called, and flooded social media.” CLICK HERE for more information.

Saturday, September 11, 2021. Manhattan, New York City – The organization East River Park ACTION held a demonstration in East River Park. They say, “New York City will demolish our big, beloved park on the unwealthy side of the Lower East Side and East Village. Everything must go–shady lawns, picnic areas, ballfields, running track, amphitheater, the compost yard, historic buildings, and 1,000 trees.” Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com
Saturday, September 11, 2021. Manhattan, New York City – The organization East River Park ACTION held a demonstration in East River Park. They say, “New York City will demolish our big, beloved park on the unwealthy side of the Lower East Side and East Village. Everything must go–shady lawns, picnic areas, ballfields, running track, amphitheater, the compost yard, historic buildings, and 1,000 trees.” Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com

They say on Instagram, “The City’s environmental disaster ESCR plan (approx $2B) to demolish the entire East River Park for flood control is starting in the fall (2021).”

On Monday, September 13, 2021, they said on Instagram, “SIT-IN AT THE PARK RIGHT NOW!!! They have took down a tree at the north end of #EastRiverPark by the anchor. They took down a tree between last night and this morning. Come by and support! Stay as long as you can and bring water!”

I am an independent journalist. Support independent journalism. Make a donation here: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/javiersoriano1

Saturday, September 11, 2021. Manhattan, New York City – The organization East River Park ACTION held a demonstration in East River Park.   They say, “New York City will demolish our big, beloved park on the unwealthy side of the Lower East Side and East Village. Everything must go–shady lawns, picnic areas, ballfields, running track, amphitheater, the compost yard, historic buildings, and 1,000 trees.”   Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com
Saturday, September 11, 2021. Manhattan, New York City – The organization East River Park ACTION held a demonstration in East River Park. They say, “New York City will demolish our big, beloved park on the unwealthy side of the Lower East Side and East Village. Everything must go–shady lawns, picnic areas, ballfields, running track, amphitheater, the compost yard, historic buildings, and 1,000 trees.” Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com

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