On Sunday, protesters and counterprotesters clashed outside of Manhattan Mayor Eric Adams’ official mansion. Hundreds of Staten Islanders marched in opposition to constructing additional shelters for migrants.
Instead of scattering asylum seekers throughout several shelters in the five boroughs, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa encouraged Adams to house them at Gracie Mansion, the formal home of New York City mayors. There was a time when Adams agreed to that arrangement but has since backed off.
Sliwa reported that Antifa had sent emails and texts all weekend, threatening to attack xenophobes like “he and Eric Adams.” He said that the counterprotesters’ presence at the counterprotest was to “bring down the xenophobes.”
Sliwa can be seen mediating conflicts between the two groups and telling demonstrators to remain behind a police roadblock for safety and security.
The NYPD stepped in and remanded many people into custody. Sliwa was one of five people arrested during the demonstration. Police said they arrested Sliwa, an 81-year-old lady, and a male, 80, for impeding government administration and engaging in disorderly conduct.
The report states that assault charges were brought against a 32-year-old male and a 31-year-old female. Additionally, the individual was accused of resisting arrest.
Adams said his office understands New Yorkers’ frustration at being the epicenter of the national problem.
Since the spring of 2022, over a hundred thousand people have sought refuge in the city, with hundreds more arriving each day.
Adams said there is a national crisis, and New York City must make difficult choices in response to it. He said he is always looking for additional locations and has already created 206 sites, including 15 large-scale humanitarian aid facilities.
St. John Villa Academy, a disused school in Staten Island’s Arrochar neighborhood now owned by the city, has been the target of recent protests over plans to provide a refuge for migrants.
It’s been reported that a court on Friday granted a temporary restraining order to prohibit the city from utilizing the property to house migrants. However, the ruling was vacated when the city successfully appealed it.
Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul have asked President Biden for help with the influx of migrants.