News, Culture & Society

Mayor Bill de Blasio bans all large gatherings in NYC through September EXCEPT BLM protests

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he is banning all large gatherings in the city in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, but gave exception to Black Lives Matters protests insisting the ‘historic’ demonstrations must be respected.

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday night, de Blasio said the demonstrators’ calls for social justice and racial equality were too important to silence, considering more than a month of protests had not caused a spike in COVID-19 cases.

While protests will be permitted to take place without pushback, de Blasio said that all other large events would be cancelled in the city through September.

‘This is a historic moment of change. We have to respect that but also say to people the kinds of gatherings we’re used to, the parades, the fairs — we just can’t have that while we’re focusing on health right now,’ de Blasio told the network.

‘If you’re just talking about health, we would always say, “Hey folks you know stay home if you can”. But we understand this moment in history people are talking about the need for historic changes,’ he added.

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday night, de Blasio said the demonstrators’ calls for social justice and racial equality were too important to silence, considering more than a month of protests had not caused a spike in COVID-19 cases

An organization leader of the group Warriors uses a megaphone to address the crowds during a protest outside of City Hall on July 1

An organization leader of the group Warriors uses a megaphone to address the crowds during a protest outside of City Hall on July 1

Protests in the name of Black Lives Matter have occurred consistently in New York since the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Despite thousands taking to the streets night after night, the rate of coronavirus infections has remained the same throughout the unrest.

A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in late June found no evidence of coronavirus cases increasing in 315 cities in the weeks after the protests first began.

Researchers concluded that protests may have been offset by an increase in social distancing among those who decided not to march.

‘While it is almost certain that the protests caused a decrease in social distancing behavior among protest attendees, we demonstrate that effect of the protests on the social distancing behavior of the entire population residing in counties with large urban protests was positive,’ the report said.

The City Hall-enacted shutdown of large gatherings will however extend to annual parades, such as the the West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn on Labor Day weekend, and the Dominican Day Parade in midtown Manhattan.

De Blasio’s administration will also deny all permits for events in parks it believes will ‘unreasonably diminish public use’ as well as street fairs and events than span more than one block or for gatherings that require a sound system.

Earlier, in another act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the NYC Mayor descended upon Fifth Avenue with a group of volunteers to paint a large mural of the movement’s namesake on the road in front of Trump Tower. 

Protests in the name of Black Lives Matter have occurred consistently in New York since the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day

Protests in the name of Black Lives Matter have occurred consistently in New York since the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day

Earlier, in another act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the NYC Mayor descended upon Fifth Avenue with a group of volunteers to paint a large mural of the movement’s namesake on the road in front of Trump Tower

Earlier, in another act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the NYC Mayor descended upon Fifth Avenue with a group of volunteers to paint a large mural of the movement’s namesake on the road in front of Trump Tower

The mayor announced the city would paint 'Black Lives Matter' on streets at locations around the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Department of Transportation workers and activists began work at the site at around 10am Thursday morning

The mayor announced the city would paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on streets at locations around the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Department of Transportation workers and activists began work at the site at around 10am Thursday morning

De Blasio was pictured filling in the letter ‘L’ on the installation earlier this morning, tweeting: ‘Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message.’ He was joined by NYC’s first lady Chirlane McCray, and Rev. Al Sharpton.

But upon his arrival at 11:30am, it appeared not all in attendance were happy to meet the mayor’s acquaintance. A chant of ‘douchebag de Blasio’ broke out among a small contingent of the crowd as he crossed the road, the New York Post reported.

‘This is such an important moment for our city,’ an undeterred de Blasio told volunteers, who chanted, ‘Black lives matter!’ with their paint rollers suspended in the air. ‘We are making a statement today of what we value in New York City’.

De Blasio left around 20 minutes later. The mayor had last week temporarily called off the mural just feet from Trump’s former home a day after engaging in a Twitter spat with the president. Trump branded the painting it a ‘symbol of hate’ and demanded the money for its creation be spent on the NYPD instead.

The mayor announced the city would paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on streets at locations around the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Department of Transportation workers and activists began work at the site at around 10am Thursday morning.

Speaking Thursday De Blasio said: ‘When I announced that we would be doing this here, President Trump said that we would be denigrating the luxury of Fifth Avenue. Let me tell you, we are not denigrating anything. We are liberating Fifth Avenue.

‘Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand. Let’s paint it right in front of his building for him.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.