The New York Primary is nigh.
The Democratic Debate looms, and New Yorkers have found themselves in the middle of the country’s political craziness.
And whether you love him or hate him, the baggage brought by Donald Trump is about to impact the Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street, by Grand Central Terminal.
The Donald, if you haven't noticed, has been saying a lot of offensive things about women, Hispanics, and Muslims.
He has thrown the Republican side of the race into complete turmoil, and his rallies have become flashpoints for violence-- encouraged by the Candidate himself --egging on his followers and promising to pay their legal fees if arrested.
The pushback on Trump has been enormous. Protests against him have been popping up more frequently throughout the nation, and this afternoon, there will be one in front of the Grand Hyatt next to Grand Central.
The Hyatt is hosting the New York State Republican Gala this evening, and as Trump will attend, this is where the protest against him will take place.
On Facebook, there are dozens of different events, but the most prominent one is simply called Protest Donald Trump at the NY State Republican Gala, sponsored by a group Come Together Against Hate.
Here’s the statement made by the group:
“We have listened for long enough. Now it is time to come together against hate. It is time to stand on the shoulders of those who built our city, and come together as New Yorkers and say, 'Mr. Trump - you do not speak for us; you do not represent us and we will not let your bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, racism and hatred go unanswered anymore.'
Since June, we have listened to Donald Trump attack women, Mexicans, Muslims, the disabled, and anyone who didn't support Making America Hate Again. We have listened to Mr. Trump encourage his supporters to 'knock the hell' out of protestors offering to pay their legal fees and suggest that he’d like to 'punch (a protestor) in the face.'
We have listened to him disparage his fellow republican candidates, denigrate the democratic candidates, belittle the press and deprecate all who disagree with him. On this day we will come together, and say no to his thirst for hatred, and violence. Music & Rally at 4PM. SE corner of 42nd St & 7th Ave. March to the Grand Hyatt steps off at 5:30PM.”
So what does this mean for New Yorkers? At the very worst (and we very much hope it doesn’t come to this) perhaps some violence and arrests.
To be clear, the protest itself has repeatedly called for a peaceful demonstration against Trump’s rhetoric.
But with over 1.4 thousand people promising attendance just on that one Event page, it’s hard to imagine a group that won’t be tough to police.
Especially considering the Green Zone currently available at the Hyatt for protestors does not seem to be near large enough to contain the people planning to attend. Even if only a fraction of those saying they will attend the protest actually show, that's still a couple hundred people.
The Facebook event also posted screenshots of those planning to protest the protestors. Groups such as Bikers For Trump have promised a presence and some Trump supporters have even implied violence. One is shown wearing a Nazi soldier’s uniform. So... there’s that.
The NYPD already has personnel on scene, and the area around the Hyatt is cordoned off with crowd control fences. If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were getting ready for New Years.
Ultimately, we all hope that nothing really comes of this, despite the implied threats against the protestors. In most cases, online threats are much ado about nothing, and with luck, that will remain the case here.
Regardless of all of this though, New Yorkers can be sure of one thing: traffic will be a disaster.
This will all be happening right next to Grand Central, right in the middle of rush hour. If you can make alternate travel plans or just want to wait it out for a few hours, we strongly recommend you do so.
Democracy is a messy, imperfect process, but it’s still the best form of governance we know of. Part of that big messy process, one of the most important and beautiful parts, is our right as Americans to have our say.
Donald Trump is certainly exercising his right to do so, and those who oppose him have just as much right to answer him back.
So, heads up New Yorkers! Donald Trump has inspired protests against him, and there will be a pretty big one in Midtown today.
If you can avoid the area, then do so. If you’re going to go take a look and/or participate, that’s your right. Just please be careful either way. Text @dumptrumpnyc to 23559 to receive important on the ground updates about this protest.[Feature Image Courtesy TheVillager.com]