“Robert Lee has got to go.”
That was the message delivered by Reverend Al Sharpton and approximately 50 protestors outside of the Fort Hamilton army base, inside which are two streets named for Civil War rebel leaders Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The demonstration was organized outside of the base’s main gate at 101st Street, which turns into General Lee Avenue past the checkpoint and runs the length of the facility.
Demonstrators were watched over by approximately 30 NYPD officers, about half of which were kept in reserve just a block away at the Fort Hamilton Senior Citizens Center.
Separate from the event, Sharpton has been joined by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in calling for the renaming of the two streets, as reported by Stephanie Pagones and Amber Jamieson of the New York Post. Adams has become the highest-ranking elected official to support the issue, and the only one whose constituency includes the army base.
Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was the first to make such a call last week. Hey Ridge and various outlets have reported that other local officials, including Congressman Dan Donovan and Councilmember Vincent Gentile, whose districts include the army base, have yet to take a formal position (or in the case of Donovan, offer any comment whatsoever).