If watching the reenactment of the Tompkins Square Park Riot got you in the mood for real-life East Village activism — or if you missed the May Day festivities and are feeling left out — well then you’re in luck: housing advocacy group Good Old Lower East Side has organized a “parade to resist gentrification in NYC communities.”
Between those three processions through the neighborhood’s community gardens and this, there’ll be a lot of parades in the East Village this Saturday. This one starts at Tompkins Square Park and will pass by Paradise Alley, the Beat generation hangout that David Amram and others eulogized for us last year. Here’s the call to arms, sent to us by a reader.
MAY 3, 12:00 PM, TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK, E.7TH ST. & AVE. AEAST VILLAGE TENANT PARADE AGAINST GENTRIFICATIONYou are invited to attend a press conference at Tompkins Sq. Park and join an East Village Parade to resist gentrification in NYC communities. The loss of affordable regulated housing in the East Village and the displacement of tenants have been caused by landlords like Steven and Harriet Croman of 9300 Realty. This landlord currently owns about 70 buildings in the east Village alone and hundreds throughout the city. He has been exploiting the vacancy decontrol laws for over 20 years using abusive tactics to force tenants out of rent-regulated apartments. After the press conference the parade will go to Croman’s 9300 Realty buildings in the area to reach out to his tenants. Many of Croman’s tenants have the same problems and need to know how to protect their rights.Paradise AlleyThe parade will stop at Paradise Alley to dramatize the difficulty of being an artist in NYC today. On Ave. A and East 11th St. the building known as Paradise Alley was located before being replaced by the current building in 1987. While this little known location is famous for the beat artists, musicians and writers from the 50’s and 60’s, there is a less known association with East Village artists during the depression. In 1938 Paradise Alley was known as a bohemian artists’ colony. The landlord raised rents so high that the residents refused to pay it. The landlord got evictions but when the artists still refused to leave, the landlord got the police to brake down the doors and evicted the artists at gunpoint. This event in 1938 mirrors what artists are experiencing today in NYC.Artists can’t afford high rents Addressing how gentrification has affected the artist’s community and the loss of affordable living and workspace in NYC highlights the problem of out of control rents. Croman has been responsible for the displacement of many artists in the East Village as well as damaged art works through lack of building maintenance and negligent construction practices.Rent FreezeThe goal of the Parade action is also to alert the East Village tenant community about the need to support the Rent Freeze. Mayor de Blazio is asking the RGB to impose a rent freeze this year to put a brake on rising rents. NYC tenants have to demand the same with feet on the street.Come to the East Village Tenant Parade and Paradise Alley remembrance. The parade will move through the East Village starting at 12:00 pm. at the corner ofEast 7th St. & Ave. A. For information Call 212-533-2541.