A community presentation by developers of their plans for Barry Farm had to be called off before it began, amid furious protests from neighbors and outsiders opposed to redevelopment of the low-income housing community.
Seven development teams responded to the city's solicitation in the fall for plans to convert the neighborhood near the Anacostia Metro Station into a mixed-use development, and those seven teams were invited by the community's resident council to present their plans tonight at the Excel Academy Public Charter School. But as soon as the first developer got up to present—potential mayoral candidate Robert Bobb, representing the Barry Farm Community Redevelopment Team—the large contingent of people brought to the meeting by the protest group Empower D.C. stood up and began chanting, "We shall not, we shall not be moved!"
Not all of the protesters were Barry Farm residents, nor were all of the Barry Farm residents protesting. As the Empower group chanted, a woman in the crowd shouted at them, "Do you all live in Barry Farm? Some people want this!" Protesters and residents who wanted the meeting to proceed then got in each other's faces, prompting several police officers to step in, before D.C. Housing Authority officials asked them to stand back.
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