Greenpoint Gazette

Bushwick Inlet Activists to Take to the Water in Fight for Long-Awaited Park

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Pushing forth with their efforts to make Bushwick Inlet Park a reality, advocacy group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park (FBIP) is organizing an occupy style rally at the site of the promised – but never delivered open space on August 9.

Taking it a step further, the organizers will occupy the inlet itself in additions to the proposed parkland.

Local boating groups have gathered dozens of participants who will paddle human-powered boats along the river facing the land on the day of the protest.

On land, the proposed site will be encircled with caution tape as protestors hold banners, fly kites and practice a guerilla-style art installation encompassing the whole land, known as art bombing.

“The main drawing point of the land is the waterfront and until recently the community hasn’t had any access to that land,” said Steve Chesler, of FBIP. “There is this beautiful inlet of water, and we have the right to access it and we are trying to highlight what we were promised in the rezoning resolution.”

Since a capacity City Hall rally in March, the group has built a strong coterie of supporters – over 4,000 at last count, according to Chesler. The group has since hosted block parties and rallies, students from local schools have planted seeds to sell plants and raise money for the purchase of the park, and most recently legislation was introduced at the state level by State Assemblyman and Senator Joe Lentol and Daniel Squadron respectively.

The bill didn’t make the cut for the recently concluded legislative sessions, but could be heard as early as January next year.

The group is also doing research into pursuing legal avenues, with developers now interested in the land to potentially convert it into residential buildings, even though the current zoning only permits its use for small offices and retail purposes, and with the price tag of the land having surpassed $200 million, according to conservative estimates.

Occupy Bushwick Inlet, Aug. 9, 12:30-2 p.m. To learn more about the rally and to register to participate visit http://www.bushwickinletpark.org/event/occupy-the-inlet/

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