Article and Photographs by Emily Anne Epstein
Published in Metro
Twenty residents of a Bushwick trailer park were pushed out of their Meserole Street warehouse – and put into the care of the Red Cross.
“First they evicted us, now they’re vacating us- we’re being persecuted” said Chris Van Doren, 27, a Brooklyn College graduate student.
Van Doren is part of the Brooklyn Project for the Arts, a collective of artists who had lived in trailers behind the warehouse for over a year.
Last month, Long Island Railroad officials ordered their eviction, towing their trailers from the illegally rented lot behind the warehouse.
When the collective moved into the warehouse, the FDNY issued an immediate vacate order citing “conditions imminently perilous to life.”
The NYPD and FDNY were on the scene today to enforce the vacate order and confiscated several space heaters.
“I thought we were going to get arrested,” said Van Doren.
The residents are intent on fighting to stay in their location, which houses a music studio, skate ramp, darkroom, painting studio, video sculpture installation, silk screening facilities, an accordion repair room, and even a koi pond.
“I don’t know what the fire department considers unsafe now”, artist Justin Tschantre said, “The warehouse has sprinklers, and front and rear egress.”
The Red Cross supplied each resident with a $50 debit card, two nights stay at the Days Inn in Sunset Park, and counseling services.
“I don’t consider myself homeless, but in the eyes of the law, I am,” said NYU student Daphne Dodd, 20, “I didn’t expect to go to college and then deal with this.”