22 December 2003, New York Daily News, pg. 1:
A LOUD "NO" TO NETS
Take arena fight to City Hall
by Lisa L. Colangelo
Trying to block a developer's shot at building a 19,000-seat basketball arena in Brooklyn, about 100 protesters turned out at City Hall yesterday to cry foul.
Bruce Ratner's proposed $2.5 billion project to house the NBA's New Jersey Nets would displace 1,000 people living in the area of Atlantic and Flatbush Aves., foes of the plan said. Ratner has put the figure at 100.
Toting signs reading "Develop, Don't Destroy" and "Develop Smart. Don't be Cruel," protesters tried to get the attention of Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who both back the project. "It will tear apart the fabric of our existing, vibrant community," said Karla Rothstein, who lives on nearby Dean St. and would lose her home to eminent domain if the project goes through.
22 January 2004, New York Sun, "Seeds of Protest Grow in Area Where Nets Would Play" by Christopher Rovzar:
Protesters meet regularly in the murky confines of Freddy's Bar, a local dive that has been on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Dean Street for decades. Ragged, homemade signs dot windows and balconies in the area, decrying the incoming "Field of Schemes" and imploring "Develop. Don't destroy our homes."
17 February 2004, New York Post, "Siegel to Fight for Arena Foes" by Gersh Kuntzman, pg. 21:
Opponents of a plan to build a $450 million basketball arena in congested Downtown Brooklyn have hired civil-liberties lawyer Norman Siegel to wage the legal battle, The Post has learned.
The hiring of Siegel, a prominent free-speech attorney and former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, is seen as the first major step toward uniting several groups that oppose Bruce Ratner's effort to bring the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn.
Siegel's hiring will be announced tomorrow by a "broad-based community group," according to Daniel Goldstein of the group Develop Don't Destroy.