Peaceful Protest Winds Through the Neighborhood After Curfew, With Police Nearby

The protest on West End Avenue and 71st. Photo by Xan Raskin.

Several hundred people — likely well over 1,000 — defied the citywide curfew in a march through the Upper West Side on Tuesday night, winding peacefully through the streets and chanting. Police officers followed the crowd, but there was little conflict like there has been seen in other parts of the city on other nights.

Photo by Alex Israel at 83rd Street.

West Side Rag’s Joy Bergmann was documenting the protest. The marchers took a circuitous route. They wound up Broadway from Columbus Circle to Lincoln Center, then north [against traffic, what little there was] on Columbus, back over to Broadway via 67th Street, up to 72nd and onto Amsterdam, north to 83rd, back over to Broadway to 86th, over to West End Avenue, south on West End all the way to 62nd or so. It then went through Hell’s Kitchen and back to Times Square, where a large crowd of NYPD in riot gear blocked the protestors, forcing them to walk east to 6th Avenue before turning south.

Photo by Michael McDowell in Times Square.

Traffic had been blocked below 96th Street as part of the curfew.

Police often trailed the protesters but did not make mass arrests in the neighborhood.

Officials have expressed concerns that the protests could lead to the spread of Covid-19. Some of the protesters, though not all, were wearing face coverings. Police had riot helmets with plastic face guards, though the shields were not always down over their faces.

The protest gathered near the Trump International Hotel on 60th and Central Park West.

NEWS | 60 comments | permalink
    1. Big Earl says:

      We spend months quarantined in our apartments so that everyone can then go out and ruin any headway we made through extreme sacrifices only to protest with thousands of others crowded right next to each other. Not a mention of social distancing. I guess the pandemic is over? Nope, instead in a few weeks we should see a huge spike in new covid-19 cases killing hundreds if not thousands.

      • EC says:

        It’s important to bear in mind that while quarantine is a sacrifice it is also a luxury for many. People working in hospitals and grocery stores as well as the staffs of many of our buildings have been taking public transportation and heading to work throughout this entire crisis. Meanwhile, many people have been in cramped conditions in their own homes unable to isolate from roommates or family members who are ill or are essential workers at greater risk of being ill. So a number of folks protesting may never have felt the quarantine made them any safer.

    2. sam says:

      They all should have been arrested for violating the curfew. Laws are the same for everyone. There are plenty of laws and regulations that I do not like, will I be allowed to break them as well? They could have marched at noon! This is the first step to anarchy, looting and rioting that we saw before. You disrespect the law in small things, and then graduate to larger things.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Nope, laws apply to some, not others. Everyone got the 8pm curfew notice on their phones twice yesterday. Small business owners who want to open their stores so they can feed their family? Verboten! Same business owners who wish to protest this? Verboten! Hassidic Jews wish to be part of a funeral in their neighborhood? Verboten! NYC dwellers who wish to go to the beach and swim? Verboten! But this? Hundreds, if not thousands of people marching (social distancing? Ha! Mask wearing? How many are, 25%? 50%?), literally breaking the curfew set down by the Mayor? Allowed! Why? Oh…

        • stevieboy says:

          Go on, UWSHebrew…why? tell us why?

          Tells us what you really think. Nobody here is going to dox you since we are all anonymous anyway. Give us a glimpse into the critical mind of a MAGA supporter.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            How about you offer your thoughts on why, it’s an open question to everyone 😀

          • UWSHebrew says:

            Your reply re the Constitution and your oath taking of it is a transparent attempt at “winning” your issue with me, by inferring you’re more patriotic than I could ever claim to be. Fail. Bottom line is you are siding with people who are breaking a curfew that is meant to protect us all, including police officers. See, the normal, logical thing to do is have a protest in the afternoon, with it wrapping up an hour before the curfew. But no, the protest purposefully starts when the curfew starts, to show “defiance to the system”. Which provides cover for those who wish to harm property and person, and takes away much needed enforcement manpower to focus on criminal activity instead of escorting protestors. I wonder what a NYPD officer who has been struck in the head with a brick or a bottle by looters would think of your braggadocious twice-oath taking, yet you support those who, intentionally or not, brought him physical harm? What would his wife think of your statement, or his children? You and others “pick and choose” obedience to the law when it suits your liberal sensibilities (WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HYSTERICS OF SOCIAL DISTANCING / MASK WEARING? IS COVID-19 OVER?), is pure hypocrisy.

            • stevieboy says:

              Yeah, I thought so.

              Also, I notice you didn’t address Gen. Mattis’ comments. Do you think he is a weak, hypocritical left-winger too?

              I thought Trump hired all the best people?!

              What a joke you all have made of yourselves. See, you in November.

            • anon says:

              Mattis also lauded Elizabeth Holmes’ fraud in the Bad Blood story. He has hopped conveniently on the liberal gravy train. Thx UWSHebrew you make great points. Blessings all.

            • Marianne says:

              UWSHebrew thank you for your posts- I’m totally with you!!!

        • Observer says:

          UWSHebrew, you’re right – the law applies to some and not to others. That is the entire message of the protests.

          May you have the same outrage for other violations of law.

          • Ethics matter says:

            Yet again, UWSHebrew shows his MAGA true colors here. Color me bored. What a waste of my eye muscles. To the rest of you, I love you.

        • Bob says:

          New York City had 5% of it’s population leave during the first 3 months of coronvirus. People and businesses will leave even faster now.
          Let’s face it: “The calls for mass peaceful marching without any regard for social-
          distancing have rendered a continued lockdown at this point ludicrous.”
          “Riots also produce a clear disincentive for business owners to locate their operations in riot-prone areas,” he said. “Who in their right mind builds a factory someplace where
          they fear there is some reasonable risk that it will be burnt to the ground? Riots are bad for property values, as people do not want to live in those areas and many property owners are hesitant to rebuild or repair in the aftermath.”
          Small businesses employ close to 60 million people, or almost half of the entire U.S.
          workforce, according to the Small Business Administration.
          You will have no working people to tax, which will result reduced fire, police, trash pickup and other services. Working people leaving the city will increase because of terrible living conditions. Eventually there will be only poor people who don’t work and love rioting left with the rats. Enjoy the future!!!!!!

      • Ryan says:

        Rosa Parks broke the law too.

        • Jen says:

          This is a good example of peaceful dignified protest. Don’t compare it with what is going on now.

          • Bob says:

            You think the people who yelled the N word at Rosa Parks believed her to be “dignified?” Really? And is that really your standard: Peaceful civil disobedience is allowed only if you’re wearing a suit? Come on.

          • AM says:

            Cry me a fuckin’ river, all of you posting in this comment section. Cry me a biiiig fuckin’ river about all of your “concerns” about Covid and not about black people dying at the hands of police.

            None of you actually give a shit about your fellow man or care to learn about why they’re protesting, or why they’re rioting or why you should separate the two.

            Shame on you all. Keep hiding in your UWS apartments, clutching your pearls and wringing your hands.

            • MAD says:

              Reply to AM. I don’t have any pearls to clutch and my husband is in a high risk group. Please don’t denigrate those who are at risk and don’t conflate the issues. Both are serious.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              “care to learn about why they’re protesting, or why they’re rioting or why you should separate the two.”. By you stating that there is a reason for rioting, makes everything else you state, cancelled. THERE IS NO REASON FOR RIOTING. NONE. End of story, end of your verbal admonitions.

            • C M says:

              UWSHebrew: “By you stating that there is a reason for rioting, makes everything else you state, cancelled. THERE IS NO REASON FOR RIOTING. NONE. End of story, end of your verbal admonitions.”

              By stating that there is no reason for rioting you have illustrated your empathy for others is CANCELED; NON-EXISTENT; everything else you say is purely self-centered, end of story, end of your value in this discussion.

          • Rb says:

            Excuse me Jen, but were you at the protest yesterday or just typing away from the comfort of your cushy UWS home? I was there and I did come home at 8pm but nearly everyone was respectful, wearing masks and “dignified”. I know it’s easy to see the outliers that aren’t protesters but actually taking advantage of the situation but don’t confuse the two.

            • james says:

              That’s just not true. My neighbor got punched in the mouth for telling protesters that they should not be violating the curfew. Some definition of peace!

          • EricaC says:

            Jen, the vast majority of these protests, including the one described here, are peaceful. They may not be upper crust enough to satisfy all, but they are peaceful.

            • Jen says:

              “Upper crust” for me? Some serious twisting on my post. This is not the first time your twist other people comments.

            • RB says:

              Thanks James for your example given I saw THOUSANDS yesterday protesting peacefully. I get it, this neighborhood is more upset by Fairway closing or that a grocery store has run out of chicken liver based on the number of comments on both of those “issues’ that I’ve seen recently.

          • Chris says:

            Have not seen a peaceful protest yet would you walk out in one with you family in tow.
            Also what if they burn your car or loot your apartment still ok?

            • Rb says:

              Chris, your bias is showing. I was at 2 protests today in additional to the one on Tuesday. All peaceful. Stop trying to find validation to justify your bias. It’s really sad to see people post here after seeing only the negative content out there and then generalizing a whole group based on that. Oh wait, what does that sound like? Hmmmmmm….

    3. Jen says:

      Were there the consequences for violating the curfew? If not, what is the purpose of it? Peaceful or not are not applicable to this case – the law is broken without consequences.

      • Abdul Sayeed says:

        I think the purpose of the curfew should be obvious; there should be nothing mysterious about it. The imposition of a curfew is to allow the police to arrest people who they suspect are about to break OTHER LAWS, in particular laws against breaking, entering, and robbing (looting) BEFORE these people commit, or are likely to commit, such vandalism. Indeed, the imposition of a curfew is essential to allowing these peaceful and absolutely essential protests to continue unpolluted by the violence of opportunists.

    4. Peddie J says:

      Was cheered to see mutual respect by the NYPD and protesters as the group went by my building on WEA.

    5. Sad says:

      The UWS is going to suffer for years to come from 3 different factors.

      1. because of covid and some companies permanently moving to a WFH model proximity to midtown is less important.

      2. Retail was already suffering big time but after the double whammy of covid / riots it will never recover to anything recognizable from the past.

      3. It’s proximity to the upper Manhattan neighborhoods is now an issue again as it will always be a point of egress / regress for protests and riots. Even if a 3rd of the people involved are from out of state they will start and retreat to these locations moving them right through UWS.

      Even if the riots die down for now and we have a few good months the next time anything like this happens, and it will, it will be the same story all over again and escalate each time over the previous riots.

      I’m glad I’m just renting and can leave.

      • Erica says:

        @ sad – don’t let the door kick you in the butt on the way out

        I’m appalled by the comments on this post. Black people have suffered for hundreds of years. Show some compassion, be be an ally. You don’t have to be out protesting to do it, you can join the NAACP, or buy from black owned businesses, or just actually LISTEN to the heartbreak and injustices they experience every single day because of the color of skin. And mainly get over yourselves.

      • Jeff says:

        The UWS has long been an epicenter of protests in the city. There were BLM marches after Eric Garner’s killing in 2014 and many of the major rallies (Women’s March, climate change, gun violence) have started near 72nd & Broadway or CPW.

        I’ve lived at 72nd & Broadway since 2011 and consider myself fortunate to be near so much important activism. And as with last night’s protest, these events on the UWS have been peaceful, certainly nothing resembling riots.

      • Chicken Little says:

        The sky is falling !!
        “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” (Dante…NO, not deBlasio’s son)

    6. Woody says:

      I feel bad for the police. They are risking their lives. I hope none of them catch Covid from these lawbreakers.

    7. Jane says:

      Thanks for undoing months’ of quarantine. All for some woke points. Disgusting.

    8. MAD says:

      I’m very worried about a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, especially since the new indicators are so good! I don’t want to be shut up inside for another three months. And regarding the curfew — why can’t I go out for a solo walk at 8:30 p.m. if I want to? Would I get arrested? The law should be the same for all.

      • Linda says:

        Last night from 7-8:30 I was out walking from WEA up and over to FDB back along Riverside Park and north side of CP, along Columbus,Amsterdam,and Broadway to 97th and over to WEA.Police, broadcasting cruisers and people out without police stopping or questioning. No problems at all. Take your walk.

    9. Xtina says:

      I suggest some of the commenters educate themselves on why it’s more important than ever for people to protest. It’s nice for non-essential workers to wring their hands about infection rates while staying home, while POC have been on the front lines all along with no available choice to quarantine or not.

    10. Shattered says:

      Il Violino, on Columbus, which was closed for 2 months due to Covid and just reopened 2 weeks ago, is now boarded up.

      NYC is dead. All so some white suburban kids can virtue signal their wokeness.

      Nice job!

    11. LMH says:

      There is no mention that a police officer was injured at Columbus and 67 street by the crowds (after curfew). Much of this news coverage is glossing over these minor incidents. Or that down in Chelsea, bricks were being hurled at the police from roof tops.

    12. Jo says:

      Have you ever felt disliked for no apparent reason? How wrong or bad did it feel? That’s how it feels every day for many of your fellow Americans – for absolutely no reason but because of the color of their skin.

      It makes me sad to see these comments that come from a place of fear rather than understanding.

      It is understandable that there’s fear of COVID19. Don’t get me wrong, I am scared too. But when people are being discriminated against, harrassed, or killed every day just because of the color of their skin… a global pandemic is going to take a back seat. Not to mention that not everyone can afford the luxury of quarantine.

      Systemic racial injustice happens EVERY DAY to People of Color, and disproportionally so toward Black Americans. Recent events highlight the worst of it. Don’t you think it’s something worth fighting for?

      I encourage everyone who is upset with the “lawbreakers” to do a bit of reading about systemic racism (look up redlining and implicit bias) and the history of police in America. Quite a bit of its early history is tied closely to being “slave patrol.”

      Laws and the ways in which laws are enforced are not the same for everyone. If you need evidence, just look at the recent quarantine protests versus the ones recently.

      Imagine if you were walking down a busy street and a police officer yelled “STOP! POLICE!” behind you: Would you freeze and turn around? If you’re thinking “of course not, it wouldn’t be me.” Count your blessings, that’s what privilege looks like.

    13. MGriff says:

      Can you please share the details of today’s (Wednesday) protests?

    14. Paul Fischer says:

      we are cool on the west side ,we protest peacefully and still get our message out Go neighbors

    15. poc-uwsider says:

      American revolutionaries broke the law. French revolutionaries broke the law. Haitian slaves broke the law. The history of social progress is literally a pile of violent events, because people react to a prior violence that oppresses them. Those concerned with broken windows or broken curfew laws MORE than the lives of free men and women are those that defend the violent status quo, like the Imperial British, the French Kings, or the French plantation owners. You are on the wrong side of history.

      • Nevets K says:

        Thank you for your observation.
        So true.
        And the change being created in front of us, like life itself, is not distilled. That distillation will be accomplished by the future writers of this moment’s history. And, fortunately for some of the West Side Rag’s contributors , in their historical accounts these writers will probably leave out complaints about “protestors breaking curfew.”
        Though – something for them to worry about – there is no guarantee.

    16. Carol schecter says:

      This is about not all people being treated equally. I hate the looting,the destruction, the hatred that is evident. Yes,stores are being destroyed and looted . Lives are being lost every day. Blacks are tired of always being fearful. When will this stop?

    17. Gretchen says:

      Great coverage and thanks for all the spot-on videos. Kudos to Joy Bergmann for being bravely on the scene.

    18. James Brummel says:

      Hard to believe some of the comments here. Yes, they are breaking the curfew. I think the penalty is a fine. It’s civil disobedience, not a riot.

    19. UWSer says:

      The protests rightly express outrage at the crisis of police brutality in this country. I wish we could all be as angered by racism and injustice as we are by broken curfews.

    20. Dom says:

      What a shame. We actually had Covid under control. Second wave, here we come.

      • Westsiderunner says:

        Yeah, you can thank the racist cops responsible for regular stream of snuff films that we get to watch on the nightly news and the complicit politicians who have diminished, demeaned and denigrated those that peacefully protested up until this point. Elect an arsonist and expect flames.

        • VOTE HIM OUT !!!!! says:

          Re: “Elect an arsonist and expect flames.”

          Of course, before this nightmare the slogan was: “Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus”.

          Unfortunately, this is a time for tears, not chuckles.

    21. Ben David says:

      Curfews do not work if they are not enforced equally. If outraged protestors truly wanted justice, they would respect the curfew so that the NYPD can focus on criminal looters who are destroying businesses and communities, burning property, including many businesses owned by people of color. Look what they did in the Bronx to minority store owners.

    22. Bob Lamm says:

      Thanks, Ms. Bergmann, for this great report, especially the videos. Remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and all the others. Solidarity with all the wonderful protesters. Solidarity with everyone here who has supported them. Black Lives Matter.

    23. Chris says:

      Why does this keep saying peaceful? So is looting and property damage peaceful in this city now?

    24. mkmuws says:

      Lots of big mouths with little minds. Coming from Texas and now a New Yorker of almost 20 years, I am more and more regularly shocked at the lack of education and antiquated thinking here.
      Racism has been a disgusting scourge my entire life, and while we all could try to do a lot more to change diseased minds, sounding like you don’t even know it’s a problem is insane. Sounding like you don’t know what protest means, when so many of you are clearly old enough to have lived through or learned about the 60s at a minimum, is insane.
      Protest is civil disobedience. Of course I want these protesters to be as careful as possible because we are all suffering various degrees of this pandemic. But that has nothing to do with the curfew, and breaking it is protest by definition. The cops seem to have a better idea of that than most people on this board. Why don’t you look to them as an example of honoring protest.
      Meanwhile Cuomo made a great recommendation today, protesters please get tested. You are at so much additional risk now, it affects you and it affects everyone. Stay safe, keep up the fight.