{takebacktheland.org} FUREE in the NY Times: Subsidize Housing not Hotels

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Take Back the Land

May 20, 2010, 7:17:51 PM5/20/10
to Take Back the Land

The May 2010 Month of Action is on in New York City.

Read the Full story at Takebacktheland.org or http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/with-sheraton-downtown-brooklyns-makeover-continues/

“What we’re saying is, in the middle of an affordable housing crisis, stop bailing out hotels and major development and start focusing on low-income and working-class families in this country.”

- FUREE executive director Valery Jean in the New York Times.

Chanting “Housing, not Hotels,” members of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) crashed the fancy grand opening of the Sheraton Hotel Brooklyn on Thursday, May 20. The 321 room hotel was feted with a food, elected officials and media, but not many local residents.  

“If the city of New York has money to subsidize wealthy corporation like Sheraton to build luxury hotel rooms during a recession, they should have money to build housing that is affordable to residents of Brooklyn,” argued Diana Smith, Board Secretary of FUREE.

Members and other residents continued the protest even after the Sheraton called in the police. The action is part of FUREE’s “Take Back our CommUNITY” campaign for community control over land and housing.

Dignitaries at the ribbon cutting included Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership president Joe Chan, among others. FUREE members, however, were not as happy as the Sheraton Hotel corporation to see the dignitaries.

“Joe Chan and other politicians are taking buildings that people live in, destroying them and making big condos and hotels that no one can afford,” complained 19 year old FUREE youth leader and Brooklyn resident Elvin Paulino. “We are mad, so we are recruiting new members and are going to take down these politicians and developers with whatever we can.”

Founded in 2001, FUREE is a Brooklyn-based, membership led multi-racial organization of more than 500 families that organizes low-income and working families to promote equality, improve economic conditions, and build collective power to win systemic changes at the local, state and national level.  Primarily led by women of color with an emphasis on community and family, FUREE uses direct action, leadership development, community organizing, and political education to achieve our vision and goals.

FUREE will host its annual convention on Saturday, May 22 at PS 67, located at 51 Edwards St. (between Myrtle Ave. & Tillary St.) in Brooklyn beginning at 12 noon. For more information, visit to FUREE.org, call 718-852-2960 or email in...@furee.org.

FUREE is an autonomous organization which is also part of the Take Back the Land Movement. This action is part of the may 2010 National Month of Action to demand the human right to housing called for by the Take Back the Land Movement (takebacktheland.org), which is supported by the US Human Rights Network (USHRNetwork.org).

Read the Full story at Takebacktheland.org or http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/with-sheraton-downtown-brooklyns-makeover-continues/

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