They’ve “occupied” Gerritsen Beach — for a few minutes, anyway.
A group of similarly dressed demonstrators stood up and chanted “Jobs not cuts!” at a civic meeting Wednesday night, stunning a crowd of 50 homeowners who showed up to hear how they can get federal aid for damage done to their homes during Hurricane Irene.
The 10 members of United New York — an anti-Wall Street labor group — were all seated in the front row and wearing jackets before the meeting began. Once it started, they stood up and took off their jackets — revealing their identical homemade shirts that had the words “Jobs not cuts” written in marker across their chests — and began chanting the slogan.
The demonstrators were quickly removed from the meeting, at the Court Club on Gerritsen Avenue between Channel and Devon avenues.
The forum’s host, Sen. Marty Golden (R–Marine Park), tried shouting them down to no avail.
The brief moment of chaos ended when others at the meeting quieted the protestors down and herded them out of the hall without incident.
Outside, the protestors — who hailed from North Brooklyn and Red Hook — said they chose the venue to send a message to newly-elected Rep. Bob Turner (R–Marine Park), who pledged to grow the economy by cutting government spending during his successful campaign to replace disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
But Turner didn’t attend the event, as protestors had hoped, though his office did send an aide.
Turner’s rep declined to comment on the incident.
The congressman, who has been in office for all of two months, has not been named to any committees that oversee the nation’s budget.
The surprise outburst drew plenty of anger from residents.
“These weren’t Gerritsen Beach people,” said Chris Doyle, who was there to ask the feds to pay for the costs of repairing his basement, which flooded during the storm in August. “It wasn’t the right place to protest.”
Golden said the demonstrators behaved “inappropriatley.”
“Some of the people here had tremendous losses” in the hurricane, he said. “The protest was out out of the blue.”
Reach reporter Daniel Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-8310.