A handful of senior citizens were arrested for trying to stop crews from clearing away trees to make room for a garbage transfer station on the Upper East Side.
Eight people in total were arrested during the protest Friday at 91st Street and York Avenue, police said. Three of the protesters are in their 70s, while one is 80.
The protesters are livid the city has moved forward with demolishing the trees so that a ramp can be built for the garbage transfer station, which would bisect the Asphalt Green recreational campus.
“I hope Mayor de Blasio will listen to us and realize money could be better spent in improving education,” one protester, Barbara Heyman, told CBS 2.
Local politicians criticized what they said was heavy-handed treatment of the protesters.
“It’s a dark day for democracy when an administration is arresting seniors and NYCHA residents who are trying to protect a children’s playground from a garbage dump,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the district.
Some local residents have criticized plans for the waste transfer station, saying it will bring heavy trucks to the neighborhood and contribute to air pollution.