Housing Justice For All, a coalition of 70 housing advocacy groups in New York State, organized statewide marches against the expiration of a universal eviction moratorium. Advocates also say the new measures being implemented don’t go far enough to protect tenants. In New York City, demonstrators gathered on Oct. 1 in Foley Square across from the New York County Supreme Court.
Nazifa Tasneem, of Queens Village, echoed the crowd’s focus on Gov. Andrew Cuomo. On Sept. 28, Cuomo issued a new moratorium on residential evictions extending to Jan. 1. Housing Justice For All, however, believes there are serious gaps that will not protect all New Yorkers and demands the governor use his influence to push additional legislation.
The crowd of roughly 300 people gathered in Foley Square at 11 a.m. with kick off speeches from organizers. By 11:49 a.m., demonstrators began marching down Reade Street toward City Hall.
Protestors snaked through the intersection of W. Broadway and Warren Street. Bongo drums and chants of “Cancel Rent Now!” drew onlookers from a downtown workweek crowd.
Those at the front of the march led demonstrators in chants in both English and Spanish – “Cuomo! Listen!” “Cuomo! Escucha!” – as they headed down Warren Street, approaching City Hall by 12:12 p.m.
The march ended with an act of civil disobedience. Organizers sat on discarded furniture mimicking a living room outside City Hall, with crowds demanding, “This is our house!” By 12:45 p.m., the New York Police Department began to arrest around 20 demonstrators who did not comply with the order to disperse.