A New York City bar has defied the latest COVID-19 lockdown by declaring itself a Black Lives Matter-style “Autonomous Zone.”
The zone: Mac’s Public House in Grant City, Staten Island, on Nov. 20 posted signs on its windows saying, “!ATTENTION! We hereby declare this establishment an !!!AUTONOMOUS ZONE!!!”
- “We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY State,” the signs also said, referring to renewed coronavirus restrictions, including a ban on indoor dining, imposed Wednesday on parts of New York City.
- Mac’s signage recalled the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” a Black Lives Matter protest encampment that Seattle authorities allowed to occupy six blocks of the city for a month this summer.
The owners of Mac’s, Keith McAlarney and Danny Presti, said in a video posted online Friday that their bar had been hit with thousands of dollars in city and state fines and had its liquor license revoked.
- Presti called on other businesses to “learn your rights and take your stand” against “unconstitutional” mandates by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
- “We must declare independence from our tyrannical oppressors,” he said.
Presti and McAlarney did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether they were inspired by Seattle’s “CHAZ,” which was later rebranded, “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or “CHOP
A double standard? After seeing how opinion-makers evaluated the public health threat from Black Lives Matter protests versus from gatherings cherished by conservatives, some have concluded the standards depend on whether or not you have the right political views.