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.
At Applebee’s in queens center mall were multiple protesters against the mandates were arrested for doing a sit in at a restaurant that was for the vax only. #NYC #NYPD #wednesdaythought pic.twitter.com/IqqGP2D8SY
— Leeroy Johnson (@LeeroyPress) December 16, 2021
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.
And still nobody can give an answer as to why the most vaccinated city is having the highest cases. More people are getting sick who are vaccinated, and transmitting it. It’s worse now than it was before the vaccines. So, why? Everyone who states ” just get it” or “do it for those around you”…in actuality you are doing worse for those around you and yourself. Nonsensical.
Feeding your family? Right to eat? These people can eat just fine in jail. Get vaccinated, folks. It’s about more than just you. Protect yourself and those around you.
Lock them up
Actually, bench warmer makes a very logical point. How is that misinformation? It’s facts. Why is the most vaccinated city coming down with many cases and getting sick? How is this right winged? I’m liberal, and agree mandates are wrong.
I guess some protestors went to Applebee’s on a date night, but didn’t get that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake afterwards. 😔
My son who tends to go out a lot tells me that a lot of these places especially the small private owned restaurants and bars are not checking vaccination proof.
What a bunch of idiots. How do we break this brain-washed right-wing fever?
Please get vaxxed & boosted, people, to protect yourself, your family and your loved ones.
Why is a city as NYC with the most vaccinated population in the USA have the highest cases? Why are states with the lowest cases are the ones not following mandates?
I still can’t get a simple answer to these questions
Bench warmer – You’re posting misinformation and idiocy. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Because the vaccine does not prevent infection and was never supposed to. It stops severe illness and hospitalization, and is incredibly effective at it. Why can you bozos never understand that basic simple concept?
They are doing gods work!
There is no such thing as an invisible god in your image. It’s all myths and fairytales. Thou shalt not lie.
These guys are heroic
The asking for your papers has gotten out of hand
I am vaccinated but oppose discrimination by the nervous nellies
Your definition of “hero” is ridiculous. Requesting to see your “papers” is a small price to pay to assure people aren’t turned away from an emergency room because it’s overrun with Covid patients.
I’m also vaccinated but to force people and it is “ force” because there isn’t any other option when you have to decide between your human right to your own body or feeding your family ,
It’s wrong ! And I don’t understand why many do not understand this
Mandates are wrong and dangerous and it effects us all
Mandates like… thou shalt not kill, you mean!
Pretty good mandate for me.