One minute your gathering for critical mass trying to figure out which guy in a giants baseball cap and red sweat band is a “plain clothes” cop. The next minute “poof.” Union square suddenly is surrounded by fences and its not just to keep a large group of people from going on a bike ride. Bad Dream? Nope just another day in the never end struggle to keep our diminishing public space out of the hands of developers and utilized for what its meant to be…p-u-b-l-i-c s-p-a-c-e.
The story is a familiar one and goes a little something like this…
“Here’s the skinny: after letting the pavilion building fall into disrepair for over a decade, the city government was finally ready to pony up the cash to repair the building and return it to public use. Before the city could even complete their own plans, the Union Square Business Improvement District, or BID, (led by corporate chain stores such as Barnes and Noble and Whole Foods) got involved, dangling wads of extra (anonymously donated) cash, and before you know it the plans that emerged took on a decidedly unfriendly tone, particularly if you happen to be an artist selling your work, a farmer selling food, or any citizen who might want to just sit down in the park without having to purchase a $5.00 lattÃ©.”
Find out more information about all this at saveunionsquare2008.blogspot.com
or better yet come to a rally at 5pm Wednesday, May 21st. at Union Square South.