Thousands of New York City police, firefighters, and other employees protested the city’s vaccine mandate during a march across Brooklyn Bridge on Monday.
Independent photographer Leeroy Johnson recorded the protest and shared footage on Twitter showing demonstrators marching across the bridge, some shouting, “F–k Joe Biden.”
NYPD said on Twitter that “all Manhattan bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge are currently blocked.”
Some demonstrators displayed a “Communism is here” banner.
After the march across the Brooklyn Bridge, protesters gathered at City Hall Park.
The protest comes days after NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said employees still unvaccinated by Nov. 1 would be put on unpaid leave.
On Thursday, de Blasio said, “It’s time now. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, you’ll be put on unpaid leave. Well, the vast majority of human beings go to work to get paid. And also, I think for a lot of our first responders, there’s a calling. They believe in the work, they care about the work. Those two factors I think are going to cause the vast majority to get vaccinated.”
De Blasio said 46,000 of the city’s employees were unvaccinated. He announced $500 incentive payments for each unvaccinated employee to receive the vaccine by Friday.
NYC’s Police Benevolent Association announced on Monday that it had filed a lawsuit in the state’s Supreme Court to overturn the city’s vaccine mandate.
“We will also be filing a request for a temporary restraining order asking the court to bar the City and the NYPD from implementing the mandate while our suit is pending,” the union said.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said on Wednesday, “From the beginning of the de Blasio administration‘s haphazard vaccine rollout, we have fought to make the vaccine available to every member who chooses it, while also protecting their right to make that personal medical decision in consultation with their own doctor,” adding, “Now that the city has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we will proceed with legal action to protect our members’ rights,” he said in a statement.