A video circulating on social media Monday appeared to show a group of men welding the gate shut of a park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a historically Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. The parks in the city remain closed, under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership, however, many are questioning the incident as he continues to allow thousands of residents to protest and even riot in the streets.
The Mayor’s spokesperson Jane Meyer defended the move, telling this reporter that “We know families are looking for relief, and we are watching health indicators closely and simultaneously working on a plan so when it’s safe to open playgrounds, we can.”
When asked if other parks had been welded shut, Meyer explained that “If patrons remove locks that were keeping gates closed, they will be shut again.” Although requested by this reporter, Meyer didn’t provide a list of other parks that had been welded shut across the city.
Today’s #BrooklynLiberation protest and march for #BlackTransLivesMatter #BLM #BlackLivesMatter
This 👀 view from across the apt!! #brooklynprotests #march #rally #protest #nyc pic.twitter.com/PcuTr8vNPU
— Alfredo Macias (@Alfredo11Macias) June 14, 2020
Over the last weekend, however, thousands of protestors in Brooklyn were allowed to participate in a Black Lives Matter rally as social distancing orders remained.
Another view of how the NYC Park Dept are welding shut the gates at the Middleton Playground (Lynch Park) so our kids shouldn't be able to play in the hot summer days in the Park. https://t.co/7o0SKlhLnk pic.twitter.com/WBSVNBoRvW
— WILLIAMSBURG NEWS (@WMSBG) June 15, 2020
The Mayor has been pressed for allegedly singling out the Jewish community amid the COVID lockdowns. In fact, he’s put out a series of tweets threatening them with arrest and even Cease and Desist orders.
My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2020
Earlier today the NYPD shut down a Yeshiva conducting classes with as many as 70 children. I can’t stress how dangerous this is for our young people. We’re issuing a Cease and Desist Order and will make sure we keep our communities and our kids safe.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 18, 2020
Now, de Blasio has become the center of a lawsuit with both Jewish and Catholic plaintiffs claim “selective enforcement” of the Mayor’s “social distancing orders.” Moreover, their suit alleges that de Blasio prevented them from gathering for religious purposes while allowing thousands to protest in the streets.
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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.
After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.
Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”
“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”
A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.
In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”
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