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Why We Fight: Join the Coast to Coast Movement to Restore Democracy to Our Cities, State, Nation

The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going
to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until
someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an
important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be
willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight,
knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to
enjoy it.” — I.F. Stone.

That quote from the famed investigative journalist.who used his weekly publication to expose the foibles of power in Washington and inspired so many of my generation of journalists was recalled for me this week by Daniel Goldstein, the central figure of the citizen rebellion that is the subject of the documentary “Battle for Brooklyn” premiering tonight for a weeklong run at Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills ().

Goldstein and his army lost the battle to stop demolition of their neighborhood for a sports arena now under construction but they derailed at least for now a massive high-rise mixed-use project — outcomes that are similar to so many community struggles in LA, losing battles that may lay the basis for winning the war someday.

At tonight’s 7:20 p.;m. screening, there will be a panel discussion with Goldstein, filmmakers Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, LA Neighbors United founder Cary Brazeman, South Central Farmers leader Tezozomoc and me.

In reviewing the film, the LA Times said: “The well-assembled documentary ”Battle for Brooklyn” follows one man’s tenacious and complicated fight
to preserve his neighborhood from a questionable invoking of eminent
domain…Although not exactly even-handed, the movie proves a deft look at a
reluctant crusader and how financial sway and political override can so
effectively trump the power of the average citizen.”

Here’s what other critics have said:

New York Times
Critic’s Pick       NY Daily News–4
Stars       Time Out NY–4 Stars

“…the film’s basic situation — local
residents and community activists vs. the development schemes of major
politicians and big business — is an archetypal element of urban life, one
that can be found in almost any city, large or small, from Maine to

– Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

The movie…has heart, soul and chutzpah…Feisty but fairly reported…The time
line that drives ‘Battle for Brooklyn’ makes it as urgent as any Hollywood thriller
– Joe Neumaier, The New York Daily News

Battle for Brooklyn is at its best showing
how Atlantic Yards used the pretense of democracy to enrich the powerful, but
how it also energized actual citizens to fight the good fight.”
– Chris Smith, New York Magazine


“The Empire State’s eminent
domain laws are unusually loose, but most of the rest of this story is
pertinent far beyond New York. Change a few names and add the next credit
bubble, and a Brooklyn-style Battle could be headed to a neighborhood near you.”

– Mark Jenkins, NPR


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5 Responses to Why We Fight: Join the Coast to Coast Movement to Restore Democracy to Our Cities, State, Nation

  1. anonymous says:

    Is LA and Brooklyn the only two facing sports stadiums, or is this some trend in today’s economy?

  2. Anonymous says:

    One word: temptation.
    The lusts for power and money are world wide,
    All I personally want is a safe, clean, well-
    managed place to live with my family and neighbors. What is your interest?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if there is a bus going from the Valley
    and another wonder is – is the theatre filled.
    I would take the bus – do not drive far or aftter dark. If the theatre is already filled, obviously no point for a bus.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bluto: Hey! What’s all this laying around stuff? Why are you all still laying around here for?
    Stork: What the hell are we supposed to do, ya moron? We’re all expelled. There’s nothing to fight for anymore.
    D-Day: [to Bluto] Let it go. War’s over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
    Bluto: What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
    Otter: [to Boon] Germans?
    Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.
    Bluto: And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough…
    [thinks hard of something to say]
    Bluto: The tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go!
    [Bluto runs out, alone; then returns]
    Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…
    Otter: Dead! Bluto’s right. Psychotic… but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!
    Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.
    D-Day: [stands up] Yeah, I agree. Let’s go get ‘em.
    Boon: Let’s do it.
    Bluto: [shouting] “Let’s do it”!
    [all of the Deltas stand up and run out with Bluto]
    —Animal House 1978

  5. Wayne from Encino says:

    Greig Smith, I’m sure on the day he and his campaign donors decided he’d not run for a 3rd term and give CD12 to Harvey’s Litte Dwarf Mitchell.

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