You are reading

Several Protesters Opposed to Vaccine Mandates Arrested at Queens Center Mall

A man is arrested following a protest against vaccine requirements at the Queens Center Mall (Screenshot via Cara Castronuova on Rumble)

Dec. 17, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

Protests against showing proof of vaccination to enter bars and restaurants took place on two separate nights this week at the Queens Center Mall resulting in a number of arrests – videos of which have gone viral online.

Four protesters were cuffed by police Wednesday while six activists were arrested Tuesday following sit-down demonstrations inside restaurants at the mall, located at 90-15 Queens Blvd., police said. Two protesters were arrested on both nights.

A group of activists entered Applebee’s at around 9 p.m. Wednesday and sat down at a number of tables. They refused to leave when workers denied them service for not showing vaccination cards, according to police and video footage posted online.

The NYPD were then called to the restaurant and arrested four people for criminal trespassing after they refused police orders to leave the establishment, cops said.

A 48-year-old Corona man was among those arrested. The other individuals are from Brooklyn and Yonkers as well as a woman from the Bronx.

The Bronx woman, Josephine Valdez, 30, said she lost her job in the educational system because of her vaccination status and was now being denied the ability to eat.

“Can’t work, can’t eat… I want to eat, like the free American than I am,” she said while being cuffed.

A video of Valdez being arrested has generated nearly 400,000 views on Twitter.

Another video capturing the four protesters being led into an NYPD van has amassed around 2.5 million views on Twitter.

A group of protesters surrounded the back of the van and were seen shouting “shame on you” towards the police.

Some of the protesters said, prior to being arrested, that they were objecting to the mayor’s executive order that requires them to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter restaurants. Many of the demonstrators said the order discriminates against people with medical conditions, while others said it is unlawful.

The mayor’s office did not respond to a Queens Post request for comment pertaining to the incidents.

The arrests followed a similar demonstration Tuesday at the Cheesecake Factory, which is also located inside the mall, where a group of activists entered the establishment at around 7 p.m. They sat down at empty tables and asked to be served. A number of young children were with the group.

A number of protesters refused to leave when workers denied them service for not showing vaccination cards, video footage shows. A restaurant worker then called the police, the NYPD said.

Police responded and arrested six individuals on criminal trespassing charges after they refused several orders to vacate the eatery, police said.

A 37-year-old Ridgewood man along with a 36-year-old Glendale man were among those cuffed.

Two activists were arrested on both nights, including Mitchell Bosch, 42, from Brooklyn, who said he was a U.S. Army war veteran.

Bosch said he was taking a stand to protect people’s rights as Americans. He said he had put his life on the line for his fellow citizens serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I fought for this country in order to give everybody the opportunity for freedom,” Bosch said on video before being arrested

“We will not comply, medical freedom is not negotiable.”

Another protestor, who is African American, likened the demonstrations to sit-ins carried out by Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists in the 1960s who were protesting lunch counter segregation.

“It’s the same thing, it’s segregation all over again,” he said on a video posted online.

“As a black man I feel like I’m being pushed to the side and I don’t count unless I jump through the hoops of what the government tells me to do, and they are demanding that they invade my body autonomy.”

“This is not what America is about… we have had enough and we will stand up for our freedom before we lose it all.”

It is unclear if the groups were part of any particular organization. Some of the videos posted online contained a “Citizens Against Political Persecution INC”  (CAPP) watermark. The organization says it fights against the persecution of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government.

CAPP started an online fundraiser earlier this week to cover the legal defense costs of the arrested protesters. The group has generated more than $22,000 from nearly 280 donors.

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Brooklyn man who was cleared in the murder of 14-year-old girl, indicted for attempted murder of teen in Middle Village last July: DA

A Brooklyn man who had a murder conviction vacated by the Queens District Attorney’s Office in November 2022 was indicted in connection to a fatal shooting in Middle Village.

Shamel Capers, 24, of Herzl Street, was arraigned Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court on an indictment charging him with attempted murder and Dante Hunter, 25, of Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, was arraigned Monday on an indictment charging with murder and other crimes in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Joshua Taylor in Middle Village last July.

Construction workers rescued from trench collapse at South Ozone Park home Monday morning: FDNY

The FDNY rescued two construction workers who were injured during a trench collapse at a home in South Ozone Park Monday morning.

Multiple units, including Squad 288 from Maspeth and Engine 302 in Jamaica, began arriving on the scene minutes after receiving a call just after 11:36 a.m. of workers trapped in the collapse of a retaining wall at 133-28 150th St. Firefighters discovered the two men pinned at the knees from dirt and debris in a collapsed 20-by-40-foot section. A neighbor who witnessed the scene said other construction workers came to the aid of the two before the FDNY arrived on the scene.

John Adams HS assistant principal busted in alleged sexual abuse of 15-year-old student: NYPD

An administrator at John Adams High School in Ozone Park was arrested on campus Wednesday for allegedly stroking the inner thigh of a 15-year-old student on Monday and then showing pornographic images of himself to her the following day.

Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park responded to the scene after the student reported the incident to another John Adams High School administrator. Michael Budhu, 52, was then taken into custody.

Five Queens startups win $20,000 each in 2024 Tech + Innovation Challenge

May. 19, 2024 By Czarinna Andres

A diverse range of businesses, including a yoga studio, an olive oil distributor, a female health care provider, a sustainable mushroom farmer, and an AI-powered physical therapy service, have been named winners of the 2024 Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC). Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant to support their business operations.

City hosting walking tours at the new Arverne East Nature Preserve in the Rockaways on Sunday

This Sunday, May 19, the city is conducting walking tours of the newly opened Arverne East Nature Preserve in the Rockaways to showcase the 35-acre beachfront jewel developed on a formerly vacant illegal dumping ground on Beach 44th Street in Edgemere.

The tours, hosted by the Department of City Planning (DCP), NYC Parks, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will allow participants to explore the preserve’s diverse ecosystem. The large preserve is a component of the upcoming Arverne East housing development, which, when completed, will be one of the most environmentally conscious developments in the United States, achieving net zero and eliminating the need for fossil fuels on-site.