BY JASON COHEN
The Bronx, a place that was engulfed in flames in the 70s, is now ablaze again.
Last night, the rioting and looting in the wake of the George Floyd murder continued in the Bronx, as people burned Fordham and Burnside Avenues. According to the NY Post, there were fires up and down the streets and jewelry stores broken into.
Councilman Fernando Cabrera was live on scene from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. He witnessed hundreds of young people beating people up, some brandishing machetes, vandalizing stores and setting fires. He questioned how the protesters’ parents could let them roam the streets.
Cabrera told the Bronx Times these riots have nothing to do with the movement to avenge George Floyd’s death. In fact, Floyd’s brother said that himself.
“It was anarchy last night,” he said. “It was insane. It was the darkest hour in District 14. When I got there and I saw what was happening I knew there was not enough police officers. It was painful.”
He noted that business owners are scared and are wondering why the National Guard isn’t there to help them. With plans for the city to reopen on Monday, Cabrera wonders how that would be possible.
“It is almost 2 a.m. and looting, vandalism and fires continue in the west Bronx,” Cabrera said on Facebook. “Youth are breaking, vandalizing and looting stores in Burnside Avenue. Police is stretched to the max. Started in Fordham Road and now in Burnside.”
A local blog, Uptown Collective, was one of the first to get video.
Fordham is on fire. This is an ominous sign familia. This is not good for communities of color. Protest is called for but destroying our own community is not. Stay safe.https://t.co/yFQyER9fzq#Fordham #FordhamRoad #Bronx pic.twitter.com/39sInUdJ46
— Uptown Collective (@Uptowncollectiv) June 2, 2020
“Fordham is on fire. This is an ominous sign familia. This is not good for communities of color. Protest is called for but destroying our own community is not. Stay safe.” Uptown collective said.
After a night of violence, looting and fires, Cabrera urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to send in the National Guard.
“The community was completely overwhelmed and it is absolutely essential that the Governor immediately deploy the state’s National Guard to Fordham Road,” Cabrera said. “The Bronx burned once before and it has taken decades to rebuild. We cannot let the Bronx burn again.”
Fordham Road is the busiest and most diverse commercial corridor in the Bronx. Hosting financial institutions, medical centers, and numerous retail stores, many of which are deemed essential, Fordham Road is a major source of goods and services for thousands of Bronxites.
“Fordham Road is the lifeblood of the West Bronx, providing jobs as well as essential goods and services,” he said. “We are already suffering physically, socially and emotionally from the COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t afford to lose our economic engine. It would forever damage this community. I urge Governor Cuomo to deploy the National Guard immediately.”
An officer responding to a scene in Mount Eden was also run over by a car and the Throggs Neck Jewelers and a pharmacy in TN were also damaged last night in separate protests.
Community Board 6 was at the scene this morning cleaning up following last night’s protest.
I love the Bronx.
— Aaron Carr (@aaronAcarr) June 2, 2020
Other videos showed hundreds of volunteers who had been cleaning up Fordham Road and Burnside Avenue “for hours” starting this morning and continuing well into the afternoon.
Hundreds of community volunteers gather on Fordham Road & Burnside Ave in the Bronx to cleanup. Been at it for hours. Our community is LOVE. Our people are RESILLIENCE. We will get through this together. This is who we are, and who we have always been. We rise. pic.twitter.com/OiPCJ3a0Rm
— Pierina Ana (@pierisan) June 2, 2020
This story first appeared on bxtimes.com.