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Smoked out: Save Morton Williams market rally postponed due to Canadian haze

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | A mass rally to save the Morton Williams supermarket scheduled for Thurs., June 8, has been put off due to the Canadian wildfire smog blanketing the city.

The rally was set to be held outside New York University’s Bobst Library, at Washington Square South near LaGuardia Place, at 4 p.m. But organizers decided it was best to hold off, especially since many attending the event would be seniors, along with disabled persons, who are at greater risk from hazardous air conditions.

Judith Callet, one of the leaders with former Councilmember Alan Gerson of the group Save Our Supermarket (S.O.S.), said the conditions simply could not be ignored.

“It’s turning brown. It’s getting darker,” she said of the air, speaking to The Village Sun around 4 p.m. Wednesday. “I’m on Third Street and I can’t even see to Bleecker Street. Alan and I finally decided jointly, for the health of our community, we’re postponing.”

In addition to local residents and community leaders, union leaders and Morton Williams workers were expected to attend the now-postponed rally.

They are all calling on the city and N.Y.U. to “take any steps necessary” to ensure that the neighborhood’s key full-service supermarket continues to operate at or near its current location at Bleecker Street and LaGuardia Place. More than 3,000 locals shop at the store daily, and more than 8,500 have signed a petition to save the market.

The city is currently mulling whether to build a new public school on the site, which has sported a supermarket for at least 60 years. N.Y.U., during a rezoning process for the extra-wide “superblock” more than 10 years ago, had pledged that the market — if it had to be displaced for a new school — would still have a home somewhere on the block. Yet, in the final rezoning agreement, drafted by N.Y.U. attorneys, this commitment was absent.

The city has until the end of the year to decide if it wants to build a school at the current supermarket site.

A new date for the rally was not immediately announced. Check for updates.

One Comment

  1. Bill Weinberg Bill Weinberg June 8, 2023

    Canadian haze, all thru my brain
    Lately the air don’t seem the same
    Smells so funny, like a burning tree
    Whatever it is, that smog canceled my protest rally

    Help me, help me! Son of Sam!

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