Low-grade mischief preceded the Fort Greene screening of the anti–Atlantic Yards film “Brooklyn Matters” at Bishop Loughlin High School on Wednesday, from verbal harassment to the illicit removal of posters advertising the show.
Two days before the screening, the owners of a Fort Greene bodega that had put up posters for the screening reported a bizarre run-in with two diehard Atlantic Yards supporters, according to Fort Greene Association member Lucy Koteen.
“Two guys came by the bodega, tore down the posters on the outside and started kicking at the door,” said Koteen. “Then they came in and started screaming, ‘We need jobs!’ So the storeowners called the police.”
The shop-owners didn’t want the name or location of their store printed, for fear of retaliation. Nor did they ask for new posters to replace those torn down.
“And I wasn’t going to ask them to put up any,” said Koteen. “We don’t want any trouble.”
The 88th Precinct would not confirm the incident, but it comes as little surprise that the film has stirred up strong emotions. Produced by documentarian Isabel Hill, “Brooklyn Matters” takes a decidedly negative view of the 16-skyscraper-and-arena project, and features few proponents of the controversial development.
The bodega’s experience was far from uncommon. Society for Clinton Hill head Sharon Barnes said many of the posters she put up on Monday were torn down within hours.
“I put some up at the corner of Myrtle and Washington avenues, and on Washington between Willoughby and Myrtle avenues, and they were down by the middle of the day,” said Barnes.
Barnes pins the blame squarely on project supporters.
“The only people who would go to the trouble to tear them down would be people who were involved with Ratner.”