By Rachel Holliday Smith- DNAinfo.com
CROWN HEIGHTS — Police removed two members of a controversial local activist group from a community board meeting Wednesday night — issuing them summonses for disorderly conduct after the latest in a long line of heated protests over land use rules in the neighborhood.
Alicia Boyd, leader of Movement to Protect the People, and another woman described as a member of MTOPP were led out of the St. Francis de Sales school on Eastern Parkway and Classon Avenue in Crown Heights shortly after they began shouting and chanting at the start of the Community Board 9 committee meeting.
“This is what they do when you participate in your government!” Boyd yelled as officers from the 71st Precinct led her out in handcuffs.
Both women were held in a police van outside the school for the duration of the meeting, issued summonses for disorderly conduct and released, police said.
MTOPP has been a consistent presence at recent CB9 meetings about possible changes to zoning rules in southern Crown Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, protesting the board’s efforts to work with the Department of City Planning to start studying changing land use rules in the area.
The meeting came a week after MTOPP’s use of racially charged language on fliers and in person at a Feb. 4 committee meeting, including calling a board member “KKK” and accusing those who supported rezoning of being “Uncle Toms.” That meeting culminated in a shouting match between Boyd and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.
Cumbo wrote an open letter to the community on the rezoning issue Wednesday, calling out “a consistent small group of individuals, who ridicule, humiliate, verbally attack and interrupt anyone that attempts to speak at the meetings with racist and anti-Semitic comments.”
She added that moving forward with a study by city planning about rezoning the neighborhood “gives us the greatest understanding of what all of our options are,” emphasizing that a study by the department “is only a set of recommendations” and not legally binding.
The next full board meeting for CB9 will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Medgar Evers College at 1650 Bedford Ave.
Activists in the community request community support for the zoning study. Please sign the following petition to encourage the community’s opinion to be heard. Click here to sign the petition.