Imagine you’re a tenant in an apartment building. You are paying market rent, your unit isn’t protected by rent-control or rent-stabilization; still, you’re not happy because the landlord wants to turn the building into condominiums and this means you’ll have to move somewhere else. I mean, the nerve of the guy!

So, you decide to hold a protest one Sunday morning. You gather outside the property with placards and a bullhorn or two.

Now, imagine you’re a landlord of an apartment building. You decide to turn your building into condos, seeing it as a way to make some money in a free-market economy. You think you’ll have no problem, but then a bunch of tenants decide they just don’t want to move, so they sue you and bring you to court.

Then, these tenants decide to hold a protest one Sunday morning. They gather outside the property with placards and a bullhorn or two.

If you were that landlord, what would you do in response?

Why, you’d hire a marching band to drown out the protesters, of course.

(*** Full disclosure, there are actually rent-controlled tenants in the building, but they are in no danger of being kicked out; the owner of the building is doing the renovations around them. The market-rate tenants are the ones who have sued the owner.)

More: During Swig protest, the marching band plays on – By Amy Zimmer, Metro New York

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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