Protests against Atlantic City’s takeover

Local officers, community leaders and Atlantic City’s residents organised a rally to oppose New Jersey’s plan to take over the city’s finances.

US.- Atlantic City is facing a financial emergency. The city is about to run out of funds to pay its employees and to operate nonessential services in just a few days. Despite the desperate situation, a group of protesters gathered last Saturday in the rain to oppose the state’s plan to take over Atlantic City’s finances.

The anti-takeover protest was expected to gather in front of the City Hall and march to the Atlantic City Convention Center, but only around 20 people showed up so the protesters stayed put at the City Hall’s entryway. According to organisers the lack of attendance was due to the rain.

“We don’t want to become another Detroit or Flint, Mich., controlled by state government,” said Steven L. Young, community activist and one of the rally’s organisers. “They talk about wanting the city to give them a seat at the table when it comes to running our city, but why is that we are always the main meal at the table,” Young added.

“The governor should be working to bring all the parties together to find a solution,” said city Councilman Kaleem Shabazz said. “No one disagrees that Atlantic City has tremendous financial problems. We disagree on how those problems should be solved.”

Organisers also said there are a number of rallies and protests scheduled for later this month as a way to express opposition to the takeover bill the Senate passed last month, which was sponsored by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester.)