Hundreds of people in the Borough Park Orthodox community protested Tuesday night over new coronavirus related restrictions on synagogues, schools, and non-essential businesses, the New York Post reported.
Protesters reportedly ignored orders to disperse and started fires, the Post reported. Activist Heshy Tischler criticized Democratic officials Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over the restrictions that will close schools and limit houses of worship to 10 people, according to the Post.
“It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back,” Tischler said after he ripped his face mask, the Post reported. “Do not allow them to torture you or scare you.”
Some of these videos circulating from last night in Borough Park are pretty incredible.
At least when the lockdowns were done by zip code, people understood that, even if imperfect. Now, Orthodox Jews feel their neighborhoods are being singled out. pic.twitter.com/AzkeL3nyw8
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) October 7, 2020
The restrictions limiting houses of worship and closing schools be instated by Friday for a minimum of two weeks, according to the Post. Councilman Kalman Yeger attended a protest on 13th street, Borro Park News reported.
“We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion,” Yeger said.
Protesters stopped traffic on 13th street, lit a garbage fire, and chased off two sheriff’s deputies responding to the incident, the Post reported. The protesters chanted “Jewish lives matter,” and officials extinguished the fire around 1:30 a.m., according to the Post.
Yeger and four other Jewish New York lawmakers released a joint statement addressing the restrictions, the Post reported.
“We are appalled by Governor Cuomo’s words and actions today. He has chosen to pursue a scientifically and constitutionally questionable shutdown of our communities,” the statement by Yeger, state Sen. Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and Councilman Chaim Deutsch said, the Post reported.
Cuomo said the restrictions were coordinated with national public health experts, according to a release issued Tuesday. Cuomo’s initiative is based on stopping the spread of the coronavirus within individual clusters and by taking precautions in surrounding communities, according to the statement.
“His administration’s utter lack of coordination and communication with local officials has been an ongoing issue since the start of the pandemic, and particularly recently as we face this uptick,” the statement said.
The lawmakers said Cuomo did not include them in discussions leading up to the restrictive orders, the Post reported.
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