Civil rights activists By Any Means Necessary and Brooklyn street artist group gilf! teamed up to make a banner that was wrapped around the former 5Pointz graffiti site in Long Island City last night.
Demolition of the warehouse-like building kicked off last week, roughly two months after the property was whitewashed. But that hasn’t deterred the opposition, which hung a yellow banner that reads “Gentrification in progress.”
In November, a federal judge allowed the Wolkoffs to proceed with demolition of the structure to make way for two residential towers, slated for 22-44 Jackson Avenue.
City Council approved the plans in October, after the Wolkoffs agreed to build and staff the buildings with 100 percent union workers. The opposition, led by the artist community, lost a bid for a court order halting development.
“Gentrification is an especially relevant topic for artists because when the rent skyrockets in these neighborhoods, they are being displaced along with the people who grew up in them. Gilf, one of the collaborators on this banner at 5 Pointz, is hesitant to paint murals in her own neighborhood for fear of pricing herself out. It’s really unfortunate,” street-art blogger Jowy Romano wrote on Instagram, as cited by Gothamist. [Gothamist] — Mark Maurer