Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Anti-Jail Rally on Brooklyn Courthouse Steps Almost Didn't Happen

As local politicians and advocates mounted the steps of state Supreme Court for the "Stop the Brooklyn House of Detention" rally near Borough Hall Tuesday morning, a courthouse security guard came out and demanded to see a permit.

There was an awkward pause, a sort of "I thought you had it" moment, as the organizers realized that there was, um, no permit. The guard proceeded to tells the dignitaries where to go -- way over there, by the road.

After a bit of hemming and hawing, the misunderstanding got worked out (the large number of dignitaries may have had something to do with it) and the Brooklyn House of D opponents made their case on the courthouse steps, as planned.

As described by the Brooklyn Eagle's Dennis Holt, "What was expressed was that this part of town has no reason for a jail; that demographics have changed in the last 20 years, making a jail here an unwelcome blot; that spending $440 million on something not needed or wanted at this time is 'fiscal foolishness'; and that the city is not planning to use required public review measures."

Hours after the rally, the case went before a Brooklyn judge to determine the legality of reopening and expanding the jail. The Eagle article goes into the legalities; one interesting point seems to hinge on whether the city simply wants to reopen the jail, or whether the city wants to jointly reopen and expand the jail.

Apparently, there was some chuckling in the courtroom when the city appeared to concede that point to the petitioners. More on the case here.

- 'Stop the Brooklyn House of Detention' Rally
- Don't Get Your Pants In a Twist Over Brooklyn House of Detention, Says Eagle

- Brooklyn House of Detention, Now With Retail
- Goodbye Supersized, Butt Ugly Brooklyn House of Detention Condos, Hello Bigger Jail
- Brooklyn House of Detention Forum Thursday -- Commissioner Horn Will Answer All Your Questions
- House of Detention Site May Be 'Most Valuable Square Block in Downtown Brooklyn'
- Brooklyn House of Detention Could Get 'Super-sized'
- Spring Cleaning at the Brooklyn House of Detention
- Meet the Neighbors
- Do Not Pass Go. . .
- What Should We Name the Brooklyn House of Detention Hotel?

Photo by MK Metz

Photos by MK Metz

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