The "Battle For Brooklyn" is over.
However, the war against what longtime Atlantic Yards redevelopment critics called the systematic abuse of eminent domain, public subsidies for private projects and broken promises in terms of jobs and affordable housing, continues.
That was the message at a rally held in the pouring rain on Friday in front of Barclays Center.
"The space that we're standing on right now, which is privately owned and privately operated, was once my home, the homes of my neighbors, public street, public sidewalk," said Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. "Eminent domain has taken that public access away from us. So eminent domain isn't just about people's homes or people's businesses, it's about public space being turned into private space."
Goldstein was joined by other veterans of the Atlantic Yards fight from Fifth Avenue Committee, Pratt Area Community Council and Kathleen Noriega, an unemployed construction worker who is suing the embattled job training nonprofit BUILD and developer Forest City Ratner.
Also at the event were longtime residents like Ed Goldman of Fort Greene-Clinton Hill, who vowed to continue the fight against the Atlantic Yards project long after Friday's Barclays opening.
"They built this arena in the neighborhood I live in," Goldman said. "They promised affordable housing and jobs ... But those promises are not being made on any level."
Goldman predicted that the arena's arrival would drive up already spiraling rents in Fort Greene, forcing more people and businesses to move away from the neighborhood.
"Ratner and the rest of these developers are changing the face of this borough," he said.
Goldstein echoed that sentiment before giving his demands for an impartial supplemental environmental impact statement, a plan for more affordable units available for families and the inclusion of other developers at the site.
"In this neighborhood we were told that this project was needed to stem the tide of gentrification in Central Brooklyn," Goldstein said. "This arena is a gentrifying machine. We're having small shop owners, small business owners pushed out because landlords are speculating on the boom times this arena will bring, which we don't expect to happen."