In Flatbush, the fireworks have raised questions about gentrification.
When police officers showed up last weekend to crack down on the explosives in a part of the area with many black and Hispanic residents, some people assumed it was a response to a petition created by residents of Ditmas Park, a historic district in the neighborhood, that urged the city to put a “a peaceful stop to the illegally launched fireworks that have been disrupting our sleep and our lives for weeks.”
Equality for Flatbush, which calls itself a “people of color-led, multinational grass-roots organization that does anti-police repression, affordable housing and anti-gentrification/anti-displacement organizing,” lashed out at a now-deleted Facebook group, Peaceful Ditmas Park, and a law professor who helped write the petition.
Equality for Flatbush said Peaceful Ditmas Park was “a majority-white Facebook group where pro-gentrification and white supremacist sentiment is highly prevalent” and called the lawyer, Irina Manta, a “Ditmas Park Karen,” using what has become shorthand for an entitled white woman.
The organization also put out a statement calling summertime fireworks “a culturally accepted norm of Brooklyn” and “an act of resistance and a show of solidarity with the global #BlackLivesMatter rebellion.”
Ms. Manta, a Hofstra University law professor, said in a brief interview that the petition had called for civilians or mediators, not the police, to bring a stop to the fireworks. She said that the petition was never submitted to city officials, and that she never contacted the police or mayor’s office.
Ms. Manta said she had received a death threat and harassing phone calls.
The fireworks are likely to continue.
In the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on Thursday, a young man who had just set off a rocket advised onlookers to return on Friday night for more.
Jeffery C. Mays and Sean Piccoli contributed reporting.