(AllHipHop News) Hip-Hop’s birthplace continues to be altered, after a local community center is raided and evicted by surprise.
The Rebel Diaz Art’s Collective (RDACBX) of the South Bronx had their warehouse turned art space on 478 Austin Place reduced to scraps Thursday (February 28) after lease negotiations fell through.
New Rochelle real estate company Austin Property Corp allegedly attempted to stall those negotiations, after RDACBX’s lease expired.
According to DNAinfo, the landlord and RDACBX constantly clashed over unauthorized graffiti on the building and complaints from building tenants.
Allegedly, the collective protested a rent increase from $1,400 to $2,400 by refusing to pay the rent, even though they claim some payments were rejected. As a result, six months of back rent piled up and the landowner took action.
According to a press release from RDACBX, a previous participant, 19-year-old Karen Louviere, claims the raid methods were unjustifably violent.
“They came in with armed guards officers into what is supposed to be a safe space for the community.” RDACBX’s co-founder RodStarz hinted at a more conspiratorial reason for the surprise eviction:
“In a time where budget cuts, stop and frisk, and gentrification are affecting our communities, it’s a shame we are being treated like criminals. There is no justification for this eviction.”
An emergency press conference/rally was scheduled yesterday at 6pm at the location of the fallen community center.
RDACBX were responsible for numerous events which promoted cultural awareness and promoted local artists. One of the events included South by South Bronx, a flip on the popular music event South by South West (SxSW) and featured talks from Hip Hop pioneers such as Grandmaster Caz and rising stars such as Mysonne.
This eviction is being treated as an unfortunate holdup and not an insurmountable obstacle to achieve certain goals such as the planned creation of the Richie Perez Radical Library in dedication to the late Puerto Rican human rights activist.
“Despite the violent removal of RDACBX from its space, RDACBX will continue to work on its development, as it strives to be a resource for the community. There is a need for this organization to exist in The South Bronx,” says Claudia De La Cruz, a member of RDACBX
Check below to see RodStarz’s speech at the RDACBX rally: