New Yorkers stop bus carrying migrants and say ‘they are not welcome here’
Outraged Staten Island residents took to the streets Tuesday night to physically block the arrival of an MTA bus transporting asylum seekers to a newly converted shelter. Mayor Eric Adams called the move “disgraceful,” despite more than 100,000 migrants arriving in New York City since last year, the New York Post reported.
A group of unruly protesters shouting insults and hitting the sides of the bus stopped traffic, intercepting the bus as it headed toward the former Island Shores nursing home.
According to police, 10 people were taken into custody, nine of whom were issued summonses for disturbing the peace. A 48-year-old man named Vadim Belyakov was charged with assaulting an officer who was trying to make an arrest.
One video taken by some protesters outside the building at Father Capodanno Boulevard and Midland Avenue shows people whistling and shouting, “You’re not welcome!” and “You are illegal!”
There were no physical confrontations with migrants or bus staff, police said.
People against migrants – Adams against violence
Adams addressed the issue of the chaotic demonstration during his morning television appearance, saying that the “ugly demonstration” carried out by a very small group of New Yorkers should not represent the city as a whole.
“We have 8.3 million New Yorkers. So if a numerical minority decides to use hateful terms and hateful words, it does not reflect what the city is,” the mayor said. “I completely understand the frustration and anger of New Yorkers, and they are expressing it.” But don’t knock on bus doors or spew hatred against ethnic groups.”
On the subject: Near the shelter for migrants, a recording is played around the clock with a call to leave and assurances that ‘Adams deceived them’
“And I say to those who believe they will get away with violence by throwing bottles at police officers and migrants, we are not going to put up with that,” Adams continued. “We will deal with this crisis, but we are not going to do it through violence.”
Adams noted that the NYPD was “dealing with the small number of people” who were acting violently.
Discontent is growing
One of the protesters, Sal Monforte, who lives 200 meters from the shelter, claimed that the demonstration was peaceful – until the police showed up and turned “the scene into a riot.”
“People were arrested for no reason. The 10 people who were arrested last night should not have been arrested at all, said the 59-year-old retired construction worker. “My daughter was holding my five-year-old grandson in her arms last night, and one of the police officers was pushing her, and I had to stand between them. It turned out to be a small brawl,” the man said.
Monforte, who was not arrested, accused the mayor of ordering police to raid the demonstrators.
“Last night there were more than 200 police officers. There were more police officers than protesters. It was overkill for the mayor to issue such orders,” he said. “It’s a shame that we know many of the police officers who are here.” These are local police. We have good relations with them. We support them more than anyone else.”
City officials are discussing the possibility of changing the length of stay for single adult asylum seekers in New York City shelters from 60 days to 30 days. Gov. Kathy Hochul met with President Biden on Tuesday during his arrival at the U.N. General Assembly and appeared to discuss the migrant crisis. Adams did not meet with the president.
On the subject: Adams cuts costs of city agencies to find money for migrants: Brooklyn President considers this decision dangerous
Asked what he would tell Biden if they had time to meet this week, Adams said he is not one to “keep quiet” about what New York should do. “We need a decompression strategy, we need to properly fund this national crisis by declaring it a state of emergency, we need to allow asylum seekers to work,” Adams said.
Some Staten Island residents also opposed the arrival of migrants in St. John Villa Academy, a former Catholic school in the Arrochar area, late last month. At least 400 protesters gathered outside the closed school, which was turned into a temporary shelter with 300 beds. Residents were outraged by what they saw as the unceremonious release of unvetted migrants into their area.
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