Foes of 9/11 trial ready to keep fightingDowntown residents who started a grassroots movement against hosting the trial of suspected 9/11 plotters in Lower Manhattan were cautiously optimistic as federal officials consider alternatives. They pledged to continue their fight.
“People are fired up,” said Jeanie Chin, who lives in Chatham Towers next door to the federal courthouse at 500 Pearl Street. “They’re ready to hit the pavement. We’ve come too far to backtrack.”
When Chatham Towers tenants began protesting more than two months ago, the trial location appeared to be a fait accompli. Concerns initially fell on deaf ears from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others. Even Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin supported holding the years-long trials downtown before penning a New York Times op-ed plea to move them to Governors Island.
Chin’s group wouldn’t relent even though they were up against the Obama administration — and “liberal Democrats” to boot. They worked “around the clock” writing reports about the negative impact not only on their building, but on tourism for the entire area.
The Justice Department said it’s looking at alternative sites since Bloomberg,
Gov. David Paterson and the real estate industry have complained.
Some reports yesterday claimed a New York trial had been ruled out.
But Gary Grindler, incoming acting deputy attorney general, told reporters yesterday that a trial here is “not off the table.”
“President Obama was a community organizer,” Chin said. “He needs to respect this process.”