Close to 100 protesters gathered for a photo shoot at Liberty State Park to denounce privatization plans for the park, with Sam Pesin leading the charge by shouting “Governor Christie: keep your hands off this park!”
Greg Remaud, the NY/NJ baykeeper, believes that these protests would help push for public hearings so the Christie Administration can really hear the concerns of the community.
“What we are really waiting is public hearings, every time in Liberty State Park if there’s a big change, there’s always a public hearing, where people can come out and people can say ‘oh I like a hotel or I don’t like a hotel’,” he told Hudson County View.
“For some reason, the Christie Administration is not committed to holding public hearings. They are having stake holder hearings, but we all know those are rigged.”
Remaud has previously made it clear he’s no Christie fan, taking a hard shot at the governor last month by exclaiming “it’s not time for a little traffic problem at Liberty State Park” in reference to a possible privatization plan – and of course also making a Bridgegate reference.
“We want true public hearings, Senator [Steve] Sweeney, and I believe Mayor [Steven] Fulop both have talked to Commissioner Bob Martin, from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, who told them there are going to be public hearings, so we are going to hold them accountable, the commissioner accountable.”
Sweeney and Fulop, two expected Democratic gubernatorial candidates in 2017, joined Remaud at the January press conference at the Liberty House Restaurant in January to announce a coalition against privatizing the park.
The Jersey City Council followed suit by passing a measure days later opposing the Christie administration’s privatization plan.
Signs reading “Free and Green,” “Save LSP” and “Picnics Not Privatization” were raised high during the photo taken on President’s Day, symbolizing the “day to put democracy into action and Stand Up for Liberty State Park,” Remaud stated.
Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31) also joined the photo protest and told Hudson County View that she recalls coming to the park as a little girl with her parents and currently enjoys spending time in the park with her own family.
“Commercializing the park is not a good thing, so that’s why I’m here and I’m praying that our voices are heard along with the community.”
Sam Pesin, president of Friends of Liberty State Park, led many protests over the hill, just past the America Flag chanting, “Governor Christie: keep your hands off this park!”
Following last months press conference, Brian T. Murray, a spokesman from Christie’s office, accused the coalition led by Fulop and Sweeney of “intentionally peddling misinformation.”
“Collectively and as individuals, they either have no idea what they are talking about or are playing politics by intentionally peddling misinformation to the public. It’s really that simple,” he said in an email, declining to comment further.