New York protest against migrant shelters turns violent, 5 arrested

News & Politics

New York residents continued to protest against migrant shelters being placed in their neighborhoods, but police arrested five people after one demonstration turned violent.

Activist Curtis Silwa, a onetime Republican mayoral candidate and Guardian Angel, led a demonstration outside Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, on the Upper East Side to protest against the migrant plan.

Video posted to social media showed scuffles breaking out and police arresting some of the protesters.

The New York Police Department said that a 32-year-old male was charged with assault and resisting arrest, a 31-year-old woman was charged with assault, and three others — ages 81, 80 and 69 years old — were charged with obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

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Silwa was among those arrested.

“This is not left or right politics. This is a crisis that we have on our hands. This is why we’re here. To raise awareness,” said Angel Perez, one of the protesters.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has been publicly feuding with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, over the response to the migrants and asylum seekers being bused into the city by Republican governors. Adams has demanded that other cities in New York be forced to share the burden of housing migrants, while Hochul has argued that migrants will do better in the city than in rural parts of the state.

At least one county in western New York has refused to take in any more migrants after two separate allegations of sexual assault involving asylum seekers were made.

Residents of Staten Island have lambasted officials for placing migrants in a former high school site. Some migrants have left the shelter after residents protested and yelled at them to go home. Others have preferred to stay as local officials mount a legal battle to stop the shelter.

Scott Herkert, a Staten Island resident, told WNYW-TV that officials did not include residents in the decision to house the migrants in their neighborhoods.

“No one asked me if I wanted it. I didn’t ask for it, [but] it’s in my backyard now,” said Herkert.

“My son’s view from his bedroom is showers and a garbage container. That’s just the direct impact. More importantly, the safety, like I said, we don’t know who’s coming from the border, and they could be great people, we don’t know that,” he added.

“Had you given us an opportunity to go through that process and plan this out instead of doing it in secret, we might be looking at a different situation,” Herkert concluded.

Here’s a local news report about the arrests:


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