At 7:30PM Tuesday night, June 28, as City Council was scheduled to vote on the budget deal, about 100 residents marched from Bloombergville down Broadway to protest at City Hall.
As the protesters reached City Hall, a disruption squad of 13 entered the City Council office building at 250 Broadway, across the street. Chanting “Stop the Vote! Stop the Vote! We have a right to be here!” they sat down in the lobby, locking their arms together to block the entrance from inside.
When word of the action spread, protesters broke off from City Hall and hurried across Broadway to the City Council building. Inside the building, police began separating the protesters and arresting them. Shouting “Let Them Go!” and “They say cut back, we say fight back!” protesters outside surged forward to block the entrance, preventing police from taking the group out the main doors.
As police started bringing the sit-in protesters out a side entrance instead, they were met by more Bloombergville protesters, calling “Let Them Go!” and surrounding the two police vans they were being loaded into and keeping them from being driven off. Police and protesters chased each other for two blocks, stopping the vans and being pushed back so they could keep going.
Protests continued into the night at 250 Broadway and then at the Emigrant Bank Building, 49-51 Chambers Street, where the vote was scheduled to be held around midnight. In the end, the vote on the budget was postponed until Wednesday.
Protests continue today.
First video of last night’s protest:
“This is what Democracy looks like!” — First video of Last Night’s Protest. Bloombergville protesters following City Council Members up the stairs of 52 Chambers Street to the entrance of the building. Until that moment, police had kept the group on the sidewalk outside the building.
Video Courtesy of Cesar Arenas-Mena
Talented spoken word street poet Luke R. Nephews, to show solidarity came by Bloombergville, on our 7th day. Luke is a member of PEACE POETS, an international organization that provides poetry workshops to youth and prisoners all around the world.
The Peace Poets outreach has spanned the globe including countries like Guatemala, Columbia, Haiti and India. They are based in Bronx, New York.
They came by to send a message as well as elevate the spirits of Bloombergville’s citizens. According to Luke, “We use poetry and media to confront social injustice. Redefine minds to show people that they can be a part of the solution. Realizing the power that we have together.”
Video Courtesy of RhodePictures.
Filmmakers from the Peoples Video Network came to Bloombergville to talk with participants about the protest, what’s it’s been like and why they chose to sleep on a sidewalk for nearly a week. You can meet some of the residents of Bloombergville and listen to their stories:
Video Courtesy of PeoplesVideo
Party at Bloomberg’s!
Bloombergville, Saturday, June 18, 5PM!
Meet at Broadway and Park Place
No Cuts, No Layoffs! Make Bankers and Millionaires Pay!
FACEBOOK – INVITE A FRIEND!
Since Tuesday, the people of Bloombergville have camped out, marched and rallied to protest proposed drastic cuts to the city budget. Now we’re having a party!
Come down to have fun, show your support, make music, dance, and mingle with the residents of Bloombergville. Bring musical instruments. If you want to sleep out with us, bring your sleeping bag. The sleep-out, as a form of public protest, is absolutely legal as long as there are no tents. The more, the merrier!
Join our protest against budget cuts to all public services: education, health and mental health care, housing, childcare, senior centers, firehouses, libraries, community centers. We’re not leaving until we stop the cuts!
P.S. To protect against police harassment, Bloombergville prohibits any alcohol or illegal drugs at our site. Please cooperate.
For more information go to: www.nocutsny.wordpress.com
Video Courtesy of BloombergsBudgetCuts