ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

October 9, 2012

2012.10.09: FYI: Weds. Rally at BK Crimi. Ct. to support Dennis Flores

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Criminal Justice,Free Speech,OWS,Police Abuse — nyclaw01 @ 11:51 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 11:51 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: FYI: Weds. Rally at BK Crimi. Ct. to support Dennis Floresdenis flores

Please join Sunset Park Tenant Strikers, Occupy Sunset Park & Supporters toDemand that all Charges Against Activist Dennis Flores be Dismissed!!

WHAT: Press conference and rally to support Dennis Flores

WHEN: Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 9:00 am

WHERE: Brooklyn Criminal Court, 120 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, Courtroom AP4

On Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 9:00 am at the Brooklyn Criminal
Court, Sunset Park Rent Strikers, members of Occupy Sunset Park, and
other supporters will rally and demand the immediate dismissal of all
charges against Sunset Park activist Dennis Flores.

Sunset Park Rent Strikers, OSP, and supporters will rally and plan to
fill up courtroom and demand that the Brooklyn D.A’s office dismiss
all charges against OSP activist Dennis Flores. Flores came to the
aide of tenant Francisca Ixtilico who was assaulted by building super,
Israel Espinoza, who sent her to the hospital with cerebral bleeding.
Officers from the 72nd precinct arrested both OSP organizer, Dennis
Flores and super, Israel Espinoza, and charged them with 3rd degree
assault, a misdemeanor for fighting each other, and the super was also
charged for assault on tenant striker, Francisca.

Espinoza walked away from the 72nd precinct with just a desk
appearance ticket before police had even begun their investigation of
Francisca’s assault, and before they had contacted hospital officials
to learn of the extent of her injuries. Police officers were more
focused on arresting long-time organizer Dennis Flores, who had come
to the defense of Francisca by taking Espinoza off of her. Fransisca
spent a week in the hospital with cerebral bleeding.

Sunset Park tenants on 46th Street have been on strike for several
months. They have complained to numerous elected officials, government
agencies and others about the inhumane living conditions. Frustrated
with the lack of support from these officials and agencies they turned
to OSP, and others to fix and eventually take ownership of the three
buildings.

Background:
For years residents at three adjacent buildings in Sunset Park,
Brooklyn (545, 553, and 557 on 46th St) have been living in fear of
fires and electrical blackouts. Despite numerous complaints made to
city agencies and politicians’ offices, documented housing violations
(including unsafe electrical wiring, a broken boiler, and
disease-triggering agents like mold, cockroaches, rats, and bed bugs)
continue to threaten the lives of dozens of residents.

While many of these violations have persisted for years, the situation
became more dire in recent months as the buildings underwent
foreclosure. The buildings’ owner, Orazio Petito, has refused to do
necessary repairs and continues to insist that tenants pay their rent.
In the meantime, a cheap plastic fan is being used to keep the
basement’s electrical box from overheating and catching fire.

In apartments that include a pregnant woman with two children,
disabled tenants, and individuals with chronic conditions, residents
went without heat and hot water during the winter months. Today, they
face the threat of more blackouts and fear an electrical fire if they
use much-needed air conditioning. For many residents, waiting weeks
for a court order poses an intolerable risk to their lives. “Do we
have to wait for a tragedy before we see action?” asked tenant leader
Sara Lopez.

On July 5th, the affected tenants and various community members and
allies, including members of Occupy Sunset Park and Occupy Wall
Street, held a rally to stress the urgency of the repairs. The rally
was immediately followed by a march to Felix Ortiz’s office. Felix
Ortiz, a New York State assemblyman elected by Sunset Park residents,
personally promised Sara and other tenants that he would work to
resolve their unsafe housing dilemma.

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