BFP Statement re Controversy About the Brooklyn Commons
Statement re Controversy About the Brooklyn Commons
I’m writing this message personally and also on behalf of Brooklyn For Peace, of which I am the Chairperson. We are most distressed about the threat to the Brooklyn Commons as a space which has housed and nurtured progressive groups, including BFP, as well as the personal attacks on the integrity of Melissa Ennen, as a result of the controversy over her decision to allow Christopher Bollyn to speak at the Commons on Wednesday September 7.
Personally I disagree with that decision, but whether or not we agree about that, Melissa’s decision to proceed with allowing him to use the space does NOT mean that she is in agreement with any of his ideas or views. The way in which she is being “tried” in the court of public opinion on Facebook is only giving ammunition to whatever groups or individuals would like to see the Brooklyn Commons closed as a venue which has hosted progressive ideas and events over the years.
Melissa reports that there is an effort to convince groups which use the space at the Brooklyn Commons to pull out, and that the parents of children who use the space in the programs of the nearby “Mathnasium” are being called and advised to withdraw their children because “Melissa Ennen is an anti-semite and/or a neo-Nazi.” Who is doing this, and why?? Whose agenda is being served by this??
I believe that Melissa’s actions over the past 14 years that I have known her speak louder than any words. I met Melissa in the aftermath of 9/11, when she came to a Forum (January 2002) sponsored by Brooklyn For Peace attempting to mobilize community response to the disappearances of our Muslim neighbors, and their incarceration at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park. She joined us at weekly demonstrations in Sunset Park for several months. In the years that followed, she has made free or very low cost space available to Brooklyn For Peace for our Board meetings and public events. Nothing that she has ever said or done has made me think she is in any way anti-semitic, or would support anti-semitic, racist, or neo-Nazi views.
There is an urgent need for groups and individuals to step forward both to defend Melissa personally, and to defend the space at the Commons which has been so important to the nurturing of a progressive community in Brooklyn.
Charlotte Phillips, M.D.
Chairperson, Brooklyn For Peace
Sept 11, 2016
TH, SEPT 15: A New Cold War? The U.S., NATO and Putin’s Russia with Joseph Gerson
Does NATO make Europe and the U.S. more or less secure? Is NATO’s military buildup dangerous?
A Community Forum with Joseph Gerson, Director, Peace and Economic Security Program, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Moderator: Molly Nolan, Professor of History, NYU
WHEN: Tuesday, September 15 from 7 to 9 pm WHERE: The Brooklyn Commons, 388 Atlantic Ave. between Bond and Hoyt
Admission is free. All are welcome! Donations accepted.
Co-Sponsored by Peace & Social Action Committee of the Brooklyn Friends Meeting
Endorsed by Fort Greene Peace, Granny Peace Brigade, International Action Center, NY UNAC (United National Antiwar Coalition), NYC War Resisters League, Peace Action Bay Ridge, Peace Action Fund of New York State, Peace Action Staten Island, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans For Peace – NYC Chapter 34, Veterans Peace Council of Metro New York, World Can’t Wait
WED July 6: Demand that Cuomo Rescind Executive Order Blacklisting Institutions That Support BDS
Brooklyn For Peace Condemns Cuomo Exec Order Re Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
Brooklyn For Peace Condemns Cuomo Executive Order Re Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
Brooklyn For Peace condemns Executive Order 157 issued by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, prohibiting state agencies from doing business with institutions and companies that engage in or support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. His order will create a “blacklist” of institutions and companies that engage in any ”boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary” as a tactic to support and defend Palestinian human rights. We call on the governor to rescind his Executive Order without delay. Continue reading →
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