De Blasio Cancels Large NYC Events Through September but Is Allowing Major Privileges for Protesters


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that Black Lives Matter protesters will be given special privileges even though large public events in the city will be forced to cancel in the coming months.

De Blasio, a Democrat and a former presidential candidate, made the admission during an interview with CNN on Thursday.

The mayor told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he will ban all large gatherings through at least September but will not stand in the way of mass protests because he sees them as historic.

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“It means things like parades; you know, things that here in the city could mean not just thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people,” de Blasio told Blitzer. “It’s just not time for that now.”

“What about protests?” Blitzer asked. “If people want to march down Fifth Avenue, are they going to be allowed to do so?”

“Look, Wolf, this is always an area of real sensitivity. If you’re just talking about health, we would always say, ‘Hey, folks, you know, stay home if you can,’ ” de Blasio answered.

“But we understand that this moment in history, people are talking about the need for historic changes,” he also said.

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“This is a historic moment of change. We have to respect that but also say to people the kinds of gatherings we’re used to, the parades, the fairs. We just can’t have that while we’re focusing on health right now,” de Blasio added.

The acknowledgment of the cancellations of large public events in the city comes two weeks after a federal judge ruled that de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have exceeded their authorities amid the coronavirus outbreak by restricting religious gatherings.

Judge Gary Sharpe of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York ruled that New York’s leaders have unevenly enforced public health mandates by targeting the city’s Christians and Jews.

The mayor also again endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement, briefly mentioning to Blitzer on Thursday that demonstrators, with city approval and financing, painted the words “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan hours before the interview.

De Blasio participated in the painting of the so-called “mural” honoring the group.

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President Donald Trump tweeted about the street painting last week.

“Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand. “Let’s paint it right in front of his building for him,” de Blasio told protesters Thursday.

“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ there is no more American statement, there is no more patriotic statement because there is no America without Black America,” de Blasio also said on Fifth Avenue on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. “We are acknowledging the truth of ourselves as Americans by saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’ We are righting a wrong.”

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.