New York Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed parents and neighborhood groups who ‘took the law into their own hands’ on Monday
Orthodox Jewish families frustrated wth coronavirus restrictions, cut the locks on city parks to allow their kids to play.
Despite cracking down on local parents, De Blasio defended the protesters who crowd the streets. He said the city should ‘allow some space’ for protesters who flout social distancing rules to gather in mass.
RT reports: The mayor scolded New Yorkers for busting open padlocked playgrounds, during a press conference on Tuesday at which he reminded reporters that the sites are set to remain closed until “Phase 2” of post-coronavirus reopening.
“We’re not going to allow people to take the law into their own hands. It just doesn’t work.“
Insisting the continued closure of children’s play-spaces is “for a reason,” de Blasio insisted he’d been “very sympathetic” and tried to “make it work,” but blamed parents for not following the rules. He also threatened to postpone Phase 2 or even return to full lockdown if city residents refused to cooperate, hinting that any suggestion the virus was spreading would push any hoped-for playground reopening into the distant future.
De Blasio’s recriminations were playground-specific for a reason, however. The mayor was photographed marching with protesters in East Harlem on Sunday, and has repeatedly defended the George Floyd protesters’ flouting of the Covid-19 social distancing measures he insists on applying elsewhere with an iron fist, proclaiming that “an extraordinary crisis seated in 400 years of American racism” trumps “the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person.”
A Hasidic Jewish group was filmed cutting the lock on Williamsburg’s Middleton Playground on Monday, presumably reasoning that with the massive protests that have thronged the streets over the past three weeks, the logic that children must be barred from climbing on play equipment for the sake of “social distancing” has been utterly shredded.
Police have repeatedly targeted playgrounds for enforcement even as protests drew thousands of people into tight quarters and children remain largely unaffected by the virus. Middleton Playground was even briefly welded shut – though the city apparently removed the weld after local outcry. It was initially shuttered on May 31, one of 10 playgrounds closed for alleged social distancing violations, according to de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein, and its lock has reportedly been cut 25 times.
Adding insult to injury, the welding was done the day after the massive “Black Trans Lives Matter” protest at the Brooklyn Museum, which saw thousands of demonstrators gather in a tight crush – seemingly perfect conditions for transmitting the coronavirus. However, a spokesman for de Blasio’s office recently confirmed the city’s contact-tracers will not be asking those who test positive for Covid-19 if they’ve been to a protest recently.