New York City

Mayor de Blasio defends right to protest

September 23, 2014 Associated Press
Protestors and police wrestle with a barricade on the corner of Wall Street and Broadway during a march demanding action on climate change and corporate greed, on Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending protesters’ rights to demonstrate on New York City’s streets. More than 100 people were arrested Monday in a climate change protest claiming that Wall Street companies were destroying the earth.

Many of them deliberately blocked roadways, snarling traffic in the nation’s financial capital.

De Blasio said Tuesday he thinks “the First Amendment is a little more important than traffic.”

The mayor said that since New York is an international city and home to the United Nations, it has a “responsibility” to allow peaceful protests.

De Blasio, a Democrat who took office in January, is a former activist who participated in scores of protests. He was arrested last summer for protesting the closure of a Brooklyn hospital.

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