The occupation of City Hall Park by activists has been growing — as 400 demonstrators slept there overnight Wednesday into Thursday, organizers said.
That’s roughly four times the number of people there on Tuesday night.
Many go home after the “sleepover,” but on Thursday afternoon, there were still about 250 “Occupy City Hall” protesters — some in lawn chairs and sleeping bags, surrounded by a myriad of cardboard signs reading “Defund Police,” “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” — at City Hall Park and on the adjacent sidewalks throughout the day.
The activists have vowed to camp out through June 30, the day before the City Council’s deadline to approve the 2021 fiscal-year budget.
“We’re determined to fight and not to give up,” said one demonstrator, Winsome Pendergrass, 62, of Brownsville, Brooklyn, explaining that she’s “here for the long haul until we get what we’re demanding.”
“The billion dollars we are calling for, it can be shared equally between housing and education and health care — and for the people in the gay community who are being marginalized and used and discarded by society,” Pendergrass said.
Brooklyn resident Megan Candolfi, 28, added, “Everyone is here to make sure that the momentum keeps going. The goal in the end is complete abolition of the Police Department in general. Everyone wants to invest in community.”
Speaker Corey Johnson and other City Council leaders embraced the “Defund Police” movement this month, calling for $1 billion in cuts.
Mayor de Blasio has said that an unspecified amount of funding would be shifted from the NYPD to various youth groups and social services.
Hizzoner said the protestors are welcome to stay in the park as long as they don’t erect permanent structures.
A medical tent was disassembled by cops on Wednesday.
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