On Friday a reader sent us a dispatch from Point Breeze, the perpetually in-conflict neighborhood that has become ground zero of the city's gentrification wars. New developers have clashed with longtime residents; the city's plan for the area has become the target of grassroots opposition; and a fracas known as Lotgate made headlines internationally.
The latest wrinkle brings some lightness of being to the proceedings. A reader wrote to say he heard that the Electrical Workers' Local 98 had a protest at the Lotgate garden—which doesn't have any electricity.
"Supposedly [the union] shut down 20th Street and tried (unsuccessfully) to drive a cherry picker into the garden," the reader wrote. "When that didn't work, they supposedly measured the garden to play horseshoes. Then they played horseshoes."
Later that day, the tipster snapped a photo of two police cruisers across from the lot/garden, which he believes were there to monitor the potentially explosive horseshoes situation—though are there even cops in those cars? It's hard to tell, but the way they're parked, it doesn't exactly seem like a crack surveillance team.
We talked to Local 98 President Brian Burroughs to ask why they protested at a lot without electricity, and he said, "To be honest, I don't know anything about that. Not that we weren't there, but you should really talk to [union lawyer] Pat Bianculli." Burroughs said he'd leave a message for Bianculli.
While we can't yet verify the horseshoes detail of the story, we like the idea of it. And one thing we know for sure about the unions in this town: They sure know how to put on a protest.
· Point Breeze Archives [CPHI]