Bill de Blasio’s Anti-Trump Rally Impedes Traffic, Infuriating New Yorkers

'This is the most stupid protest I have ever seen in my life'

Bill de Blasio / AP
• January 20, 2017 12:07 pm


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio infuriated New Yorkers on Thursday night when he led a massive anti-Donald Trump protest in Columbus Circle.

There were several sand trucks lined up around the Trump International Hotel and Tower starting at 6 p.m., blocking all northbound traffic along Central Park for several hours as nearly 20,000 protesters participated in the event, the New York Post reported.

In addition to the protesters, there were several jumbotrons and a giant stage located at 60th street, further causing gridlock among pedestrians near the Columbus Circle subway stop.

De Blasio and celebrities attending the protest criticized Trump and told the crowd to disregard what happens in Washington, D.C. over the next four years of Trump's presidency. The protest was attended by big names like Alec Baldwin, Cher, Mark Ruffalo, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rosie Perez, Shailene Woodley, Robert De Niro, and Natalie Merchant.

Despite the star-studded event, there were several New Yorkers outraged by de Blasio because they believe the event was fueled by the mayor trying to get the political spotlight on himself, the Post reported.

"I'm appalled at what's happening here and I am angry at de Blasio," said Susan Miller, a local Trump supporter. "[The protest] is a vanity project. The money could be used on housing, veterans, cleaning up the city, etc."

Amir Shamli, a 39-year-old stylist at nearby Valery Joseph Salon, agreed–saying the demonstration was a "waste of time and money," on account of all the NYPD cops and sand trucks used to police the event.

"It's irresponsible of the mayor," he said. "This is the most stupid protest I have ever seen in my life. The money spent on security should be spent on people in the city who are homeless, don't have food … This protest isn't going to affect anything. This protest is bulls–t."

Tonya Loveday, 41, of the Upper East Side, angrily joked: "Oh yes, de Blasio started his campaign on November 9th."

Sam, 25, of Hell's Kitchen, added: "Obviously, de Blasio isn't a fan of Trump, so he is using this madness for political gains–a typical politician."

While De Blasio conceded that there would be a peaceful transfer of power from President Obama to Trump on Friday at the inauguration, the mayor indicated that the people would also have the power.

"Tomorrow there'll be a peaceful transfer of power. Tomorrow, Donald Trump will have power. But tomorrow you will have power as well!" de Blasio told the crowd. "Donald Trump may control the agenda in Washington, but we control our destiny as Americans."

"Tonight is an example of people coming together to make clear what we believe is the future of our country," de Blasio continued. "The country doesn't reside in Washington, D.C., it's every city and town in America where change is made. We're here tonight, and we should not let anyone define us just by what we're against. We want to be defined by what we are for."

New Yorkers are almost evenly divided on whether de Blasio's actions are in the best interest of the city, according to a Quinnipiac poll. Forty-six percent of respondents said they are against them, and 45 percent said they were in favor of them.

Since Trump was elected in November, there have been traffic issues in New York City, which has caused an uproar among residents, who have called on de Blasio to fix the problem.

"To the extent that you can avoid the immediate area around Trump Tower, that will make your own life easier, and everyone else's life easier," the mayor said at a press conference back in November.

De Blasio announced last month that he requested $35 million to cover security costs for Trump between Nov. 8 and Jan. 20, which is an average of $472,973 per day.