That Bill de Blasio sure does have a lot of pull with his comrades, huh?
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio implored protesters on Monday to wait until after the funerals of two policemen shot dead in an ambush before resuming rallies that have roiled the city and beyond over the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
But de Blasio’s plea was quickly dismissed by several activist groups that vowed to continue protests that have stirred the city daily after grand juries chose not to indict police officers who killed Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
“It’s a time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things we will talk about in due time,” de Blasio said in a speech to a charity with close ties to the New York Police Department, two days after Rafael Ramos, 40, and his partner, Wenjian Liu, 28, were killed.
It’s cute how the media refers to hardline Communist groups as “activists,” isn’t it?
“Let’s comfort these families, let’s see them through these funerals,” de Blasio said in his speech, hours after visiting the officers’ grieving families with Bill Bratton, the police commissioner. “Then debate can begin again.”
But the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist representing the families of Garner and Brown, said de Blasio’s call was too nebulous to heed.
“Is a vigil a protest? Is a rally?” Sharpton said in a telephone interview, calling de Blasio’s comments “an ill-defined request.”
Sharpton, who joined Garner’s relatives over the weekend to denounce the slaying of the officers, said he would not change planned prayer vigils at the scene of Garner’s death and elsewhere over the coming days to mark the family’s first Christmas without him.
Keep it up, Al. Maybe you can manufacture some more “death threats” in the meantime.
The Answer Coalition, an activist group, denounced the mayor’s plea as an “outrageous” attempt to “chill” free expression. It said it had no intention of cancelling a long-planned protest march on Tuesday evening.