Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

85 Bowery tenants end hunger strike against Mayor Bill De BIasio’s collusion with landlord and developers

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New York, NY – After 3 days protesting NYC Mayor Bill De BIasio’s collusion with landlord and developers, the 85 Bowery tenants ended their hunger strike outside City Hall on June 1, 2018; after their landlord Joseph Betesh announced his agreement on a deadline to have tenants back in the building by August 1, 2018.

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The tenants of 85 Bowery——including babies and seniors——were displaced in the cold night of January 18, 2018; by their landlord Joseph Betesh in collaboration with City agencies with the excuse of making repairs. Since then, these families have been homeless, forced into cramped conditions. The Bowery tenants’ actions to go back home, including a 5—day hunger strike, made the Mayor’s Office oversee the repairs. Nevertheless, Mayor De Blasio not only has allowed Betesh to keep delaying the repair process, but has acquiesced in his most outrageous act—-tossing the tenants’ belongings into dumpsters.

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The mistreatment of the Bowery tenants is shocking but not surprising, as De Blasio has been pushing for pro—developer rezoning plans, while refusing to pass community—led rezoning plans like the Chinatown Working Group plan. As he makes this a city for the rich, landlords and developers are allowed to displace tenants and communities all across the city. For a mayor who prides himself on being a protector of working families and immigrant communities, this is shameful.

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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! On May 30, 2018; the 85 Bowery tenants resume their hunger strike. They are fighting to go back home and are taking the lead to put an end to De Blasio’s displacement agenda.

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The tenants and supporters demand that Mayor De Blasio:

* Guarantee on paper a deadline by which the tenants can return home

* Stop having City agencies evict tenants on behalf of landlords

* End pro-developers displacement agenda; instead, pass community—led rezoning plans like the Chinatown Working Group plan.

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During the hunger strike, the landlord Joseph Betesh of 83-85 Bowery has agreed to the deadline of August 31 for the tenants to go back home, and is willing to pay each family every day if he passes the deadline for whatever reason. While other details of the agreement need to be finalized, this is the key demand the tenants want, i.e. a guaranteed deadline.

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This makes it more ironic for our dear “progressive” Mayor De Blasio, who for months has failed the tenants for even giving a guaranteed date. Now, even a slumlord is more progressive than him.

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© Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

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