Curtis Sliwa, the Republican leader who is an outspoken critic of the mayor in terms of his handling of the immigration crisis, led a protest Thursday outside of a fundraising event for Mayor Eric Adams in hopes of disrupting it.
The protest comes on the heels of Sliwa announcing that he plans to run again to be mayor, amidst an ongoing battle against an influx of asylum seekers coming to the Big Apple. The election is scheduled for 2025.
In recent months, Sliwa has galvanized the fear and fury of many New Yorkers who oppose the influx of new arrivals. While Mayor Adams has been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden and has demanded federal aid, the founder of the Guardian Angels has taken a different approach by taking his outrage and anti-immigrant rhetoric to the streets.
Sliwa has served as the figurehead at a number of demonstrations over the last few months, ending in several arrests and clashes—most notably outside of Gracie Mansion and in Staten Island where he and a group of locals attempted to halt buses bringing in new arrivals.
“We are here to greet the mayor because he’s going to come, looking to get wined, dined, and pocket lined,” Sliwa told amNewYork Metro as he joined supporters outside of the fundraiser Thursday at 546 Fifth Ave. “He’s not interested in being mayor, he’s interested in the nightlife, and he’s interested in raising money for his future run for the White House.”
While previous Sliwa demonstrations have drawn hundreds and even thousands in Staten Island and at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, his rallying call in Midtown Manhattan went largely unanswered save for a few dozen die-hard supporters who didn’t let their low numbers dissuade them from attempting to heckle Adams as he arrived.
The mayor paid very little attention to the group, simply brushing over them with a passing smile. This continued a tradition of Adams opting to disregard Sliwa.
Adams was very dismissive of Sliwa when the Republican leader’s name was raised during a press conference last month.
“Curtis Sliwa? That in itself states that it would do a disservice to me and other New Yorkers for me to even respond to that,” Adams told reporters last month. He even referred to him as “buffoon.”
Despite losing by a large margin in his first run in 2021 for Gracie Mansion, Sliwa, who says he is gearing up for what he himself has called “round two” believes he is getting the mayor to take notice.
“There’s no doubt I’ve gotten into his head and I’ve gotten under his skin,” Sliwa said. “He’s elected to be mayor of the people of New York, not the illegal aliens.”
Several elected officials who concede the migrant issue has indeed become a crisis have pushed back against this anti-migrant rhetoric, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams who said that such talk is only designed to “cause havoc.”