The MTA has banned “die-ins” and any other protest that involves people sitting or lying on the floor at Grand Central Terminal after protesters allegedly acted out physically towards MTA officers this week.
According to The New York Observer, the two separate attacks are to blame for the MTA’s decision. The protests for police transparency and racial justice gained national interest after it was announced that the grand jury didn’t plan to charge NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner. With hundreds of people taking part in the die-ins, they started to spread from New York’s highways to other places around the country.
Spokesman Aaron Donovan released a statement to the Observer about the MTA’s decision:
“We have been flexible since the protests began even though lying on the floor violates the rules on a matter of public concern,” he said. “We cannot and will not tolerate attacks on our police.”
Die-ins were also seen as a peaceful non-violent motion. Some demonstrators believe the ban is another way officials have played the protests to their advantage.
“This is really designed to kick the protesters out,” said Lucy Sun, a 25-year-old protest organizer. “Nothing unpeaceful was happening.”
The MTA says they will allow other protests to take place, just as long as they don’t pose a threat to officers or customers.
SOURCE: The New York Observer | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty