Bronx congressional candidate and former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was handcuffed by police outside of the Museum of Modern Art during the morning of its Monday, October 21 reopening alongside an army of protestors.
Unlike many pieces in MoMA, protestors’ outrage left little to interpretation- the 15th District congressional hopeful called for the removal of a museum board trustee, Steven Tananbaum whom she’s accused of worsening Puerto Rico’s debt crisis through Goldentree Asset Management hedge funds that he is in charge of.
People waved Puerto Rican flags and belted out yells aimed at the museum’s financial infrastructure while holding posters that stated “Goldentree owns 2.6 Billion of the Puerto Rican debt.”
“It’s unconscionable, unethical, and downright wrong for anyone to take advantage of a nation who is suffering from a natural disaster. Puerto Rico lost over 3,000 lives during Hurricane Maria, leaving the island with no water, food, shelter, clothes, or healthcare for months,” she said.
Mark-Viverito reiterated her position that Tananbaum’s finances are based ‘on the sweat, blood, and tears of Puerto Rican people’ in front of the newly renovated museum’s front entrance on West 53rd Street prior to be cuffed by cops.
Following the protest, which had started dispersing around 11:00 a.m., Mark-Viverito took to Twitter posting pictures of her being taken into police custody and the protest with the message:
“We will not be silenced and we will not stop until our voices are heard. People are not for profit.”
A large police presence remained around MoMA, which was already dealing with out the door lines for its reopening.