Mayoral Hopeful Arrested in Hospital Closing Protest

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July 11, 2013; New York Times


Three NYC mayoral candidates showed up to a protest over the closing of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn on Wednesday, but only one, Bill de Blasio, actually got arrested as part of a planned civil disobedience action. The protesters demanded to see the hospital’s finances, charging that SUNY was closing the hospital to make a real estate killing.

Mr. de Blasio is headed for the Democratic primary, along with Anthony D. Weiner and John C. Liu, but they avoided arrest, even as the police arrested over a dozen protesters. Liu and Weiner, the article says, disappeared into the crowd.

The article describes the benighted Mr. Weiner as appearing in “blue shirt sleeves, looking uncertain about whether to line up behind his opponent…Then, with impeccable political instincts, Mr. Weiner turned and gave Mr. de Blasio a big bear hug for the cameras—both television and tourist.”

The New York State Nurses Association and United Healthcare Workers East (1199SEIU) invited the candidates. Although the 1199 union has endorsed Mr. de Blasio for mayor, the nurses’ association has not…yet. It’s just one information point among many when it comes to backing a candidate but one, probably, with significant symbolic power.—Ruth McCambridge