100 March, Nine Arrested in Protest of FreshDirect Relocation to South Bronx

Group asks Mayor de Blasio to drop opposition to environmental lawsuit.

Nine South Bronx residents were arrested when blocked from entering public brownfield land on the South Bronx waterfront, the proposed location of FreshDirect. Their intention was to plant detoxifying sunflowers.

Residents have filed a lawsuit in opposition to FreshDirect’s proposed relocation.

The lawsuit seeks a full environmental impact study of the proposed project. Mayor de Blasio has the opportunity to drop the City’s opposition to the lawsuit. This would compel the environmental review.

Those arrested include faith leaders, directors of local organizations and other South Bronx community leaders. They arrived at the Harlem River Yard as part of a march of more than 100.

The event was peaceful and exuberant. It included traditional Puerto Rican plena drummers, a mariachi band, giant puppets, local children playing cello, and an interfaith reflection.

FreshDirect, if allowed to proceed, would bring 1,500 additional daily truck trips through the South Bronx. This plan is a Bloomberg-era relic attempting to give the diesel-intensive grocer nearly $130 million in public subsidies to move to this public waterfront land. This community is already burdened by asthma hospitalization rates at 21 times that of other New York City neighborhoods.