Communities

This Group Decorated Bushwick With Anti-Gentrification Holiday Lights

by Tasbeeh Herwees

January 1, 2016
Image via the Mi Casa No Es Su Casa Facebook page

A Brooklyn activist group dressed their Bushwick neighborhood in illuminated signs that display anti-gentrification messages. The project placed 21 signs around the neighborhood that bore such messages as “GENTRIFICATION IS THE NEW COLONIALISM,” “NO EVICTION ZONE,” and “NO ME DESPLACES.” Called Mi Casa No Es Su Casa, the project was an artistic response to the swift and ongoing gentrification of New York neighborhoods, which has resulted in the displacement of resident populations.

“We installed light signs in houses all over Bushwick with the support and participation of longtime Bushwick residents, including tenants, home-owners and small business owners,” the project organizerss wrote on their Facebook page. “Everyone involved was very enthusiastic about fighting back against gentrification and the displacement, discrimination and harassment that comes with it.”

Image via the Mi Casa No Es Su Casa Facebook page 

Mi Casa No Es Su Casa was a collaboration between the Mayday Space, a Bushwick community organizing center, and NYC Light Brigade, an activist group that uses light signs to address issues of social justice. They funded the project through a GoFundMe campaign that raised a little more than $1,500. Pati Rodriguez, one of the main organizers, told Gothamist that they’d grown fatigued by the constant encroachment of developers in their neighborhood.

“We've been living in our home here in Bushwick since I was 8 or 9 years old. My mother has been receiving letters from real estate developers for the last eight years,” Rodriguez told Gothamist. “They're calling her at work to get her to sell her house, but where are we going to go? We understand that land is power, we don't want to sell our home.”

The signs have been up since Christmas Eve, but may soon come down. Rodriguez told Gothamist that they have plans for other anti-gentrification projects in the near future.

Image via the Mi Casa No Es Su Casa Facebook page 

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This Group Decorated Bushwick With Anti-Gentrification Holiday Lights