The annual walkathon to raise money to fight Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards mega-development is going undercover — under cover of darkness, that is.
For the first time, the four-year-old tradition of marching in and around the footprint of the faltering $4-billion, 16-skyscraper, arena, residential and office space complex will be held at night — with participants carrying candles.
“We’re doing it to shed light on [the developer’s and the state’s] abuses, and we’re hoping that politicians will also see the light,” Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, one the march’s organizers, said about the twilight gimmick.
DDDB has been fighting the 22-acre mega-project since it was unveiled in 2003 — the heady days of the Brooklyn real-estate boom — and now the group’s battle is reaching a critical phase just as the project appears to be collapsing under its own weight.
Ratner has won virtually every legal round so far — but just as it looked like he would clear a court hurdle, a state appellate panel ruled last month that a key suit would go ahead — with oral arguments next year.
That decision will delay the project for at least another six months, Ratner said — and opponents believe that the faltering economy, a crippling credit crunch, soaring costs, and the reluctance of state lawmakers to provide additional subsidies, will kill it for good.
So that could turn this event from a walkathon to a victory lap.
One thing is for sure, so many people despise this project that it’s even bringing together liberals, conservatives, Libertarians and Greens.
“[We’re joining to] literally walk for freedom and property rights,” said Richard Cooper, a spokesman for the state Libertarian party.
Of course, this event is not just about political parties; the walkathon ends with a dance party at the Brooklyn Lyceum.
— Evan Gardner
Walk Don’t Destroy 4. Meet at Bob Law’s Seafood Café (637 Vanderbilt Ave., between St. Marks and Prospect places in Prospect Heights) at 5:15 pm on Oct. 18. For info, call (718) 362-4784. To walk or sponsor walkers visit www.dddb.net/walkathon.