An array of climate activists were cuffed on Thursday afternoon for blocking the entrance to City Hall in an act of pushback against Mayor Eric Adams amidst news that a top fundraiser has been raided by authorities.
A hot topic engulfed into a fireball on Nov. 2 when a demonstration denouncing proposed regulations that would weaken Local Law 97 ended with participants chanting “Arrest Eric Adams instead” after news broke that the home of the mayor’s chief campaign fundraiser had been raided by the FBI.
Activists rallied outside of City Hall with banners and signs to demand Adams make a turnabout on the reported slashing of Local Law 97, which currently ensures Big Apple buildings adhere to strict guidelines and do not produce extensive gas emissions and contribute to climate change. According to the Department of Buildings Sustainability, buildings in New York City account for two-thirds of greenhouse emissions in the Big Apple, so with Local Law 97 the city’s goal would be to reduce these building emissions by 80% in 2050.
“Eric Adams is siding with the billionaires of real estate behind the attack on Local Law 97. If he doesn’t back off on his proposed loopholes for landlords, he will cost the city thousands of jobs, massive pollution cuts and increase utility bills across the city. New York City has been a global leader on this issue, but we will go backwards if Adams goes through with dismantling our city’s landmark climate and jobs law,” Pete Sikora, Climate and Inequality Campaigns director with New York Communities for Change said.
During the course of the protest attendees discovered the news that the Brooklyn home of Brianna Suggs was searched by the FBI that morning, which had the group charging against Hizzoner with even greater vitriol.
“We Just got a Google alert that Eric Adams — one of his closest advisers and fundraisers just had her house raided today. Our mayor, so we know who he represents,” one speaker said.
Protesters cited the devastating flooding to hit New York City this year as another reason why Local Law 97 should be bolstered and not weakened.
“Facing down worsening climate chaos is no time for political favors to real estate magnates like Douglas Durst — dirty money plus dirty politics equals dirty air. Mayor Adams’ dangerous proposal to weaken Local Law 97, our landmark climate and jobs law, puts all of our futures at risk,” Food & Water Watch Senior New York Organizer Eric Weltman. “Mayor Adams must side with his constituents.”
In an effort to ensure their voices were heard, the group blocked the Broadway entrance to City Hall, attempting to stop council members and other visitors from accessing the building.
Cops swiftly put an end to the blockade by swooping in and placing demonstrators’ hands in zip ties before leading them to waiting police vehicles. This had demonstrators chanting “Arrest Eric Adams,” referencing the timely raid.
While police did not have the final number of arrests made by publication time, organizers reported that 15 individuals were taken into custody
Adams’ campaign counsel states that they will comply with any inquiries regarding the raid.
“The campaign has always held itself to the highest standards,” Adam’s Campaign Counsel Vito Pitta said. “The campaign will of course comply with any inquiries, as appropriate.”