Brooklyn-based activist Clive Campbell, along with a community organization called Da Black Defense League, recently announced their intention to file a $5 billion lawsuit against Jay-Z, real-estate developer Bruce Ratner and Barclay’s Bank in connection with the Atlantic Yards project currently under way in Brooklyn. Through the $4 billion project, Ratner plans to bring the New York Nets basketball team to the borough and set them up in a new arena. Jay is a member of a Nets ownership group and has endorsed the project, while Barclay’s owns the naming rights for the stadium. The bank has long been accused of helping to finance the slave trade.
According to the New York Observer, the claim, which was originally brought to the attention of Da Black Defense League in October, states that Hov and Ratner “profited from the African Slave Trade and continue to profit from these gains, through a conspiracy dating back hundreds of years and continue to date to oppress Black people, enslave them, unlawfully deport them to all corners of the Earth.” Da Black Defense League plans to file a lawsuit against the involved parties today. Ratner’s company has reportedly dismissed the claim as having no legal merit.
In related news, Da Black Defense League staged a demonstration on Saturday (February 23) in Brooklyn called Da Million Man Reparation March, which aimed to bring exposure to the injustice of Barclay’s and the Atlantic Yards project. In a flyer for the march, Da Black Defense League further explained the $5 billion lawsuit under a heading called “The Black Holocaust,” saying, “The murder of 500,000,000 African Blacks and the demand for reparations for the abduction, murder, rape, willie-lynching and the stealing of all African natural resources; God given right to inherit those resources and our birth right to determine our own destiny.”
CORRECTION: This story originally claimed that DJ Kool Herc (a.k.a. Clive Campbell) was behind this lawsuit, based on a report from the Observer. The Observer has since corrected this story and said that the Clive Campbell behind the lawsuit is in fact not Kool Herc.