Roosevelt Island FDR Hope Memorial photo

This sign, posted at the entrance of Four Freedoms Park just below the Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and announcing the FDR Hope Memorial, reminds us that “Roosevelt Island was so named to reflect its commitment to being a community where the disabled move freely and develop to their fullest potential.”

With the demolition of Coler-Goldwater Hospital to make way for Cornell NYC Tech, it would seem that this “commitment” has been summarily betrayed. The patients on wheelchairs are no longer to be seen on the island, for they have been removed altogether as part of an ultimate exercise in “freedom” of movement. Isn’t this vaguely reminiscent of a certain pattern of expulsion, demolition, and expropriation in Palestine?

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