More than 80,000 people have signed an online petition until this Wednesday asking for the removal of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in an initiative that was created last year but has gained momentum after the riots and vandalism experienced in the city during several days of protests against racial injustice.
The petition on the Change.org platform is called “Impeach De Blasio” and seeks 150,000 signatures, twice as many as on Tuesday, when the most critical citizens of the Democratic politician came en masse to sign the document and from one day to the next have added some 20,000 supporters, giving it new relevance, according to local media.
The mayor of New York on Tuesday decreed a curfew until Sunday after riots between protesters and police and looting of stores on Sunday and Monday, with hundreds of arrests, which followed the peaceful protests over the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He had been heavily criticized for his handling of the conflict by both the White House and the state governor, Andrew Cuomo.
Although several thousand people ignored the curfew last night, the demonstrations remained contained and undisturbed beyond some robberies and isolated incidents, with police action that made fewer arrests than the previous days but more effective and with the collaboration of demonstrators who stopped the rioters.
The petition to remove De Blasio has become, however, a springboard for those who want to show their frustration with the mayor and are leaving comments such as “he is tearing the city apart”, “get this professional gangster out of New York” or “he stopped a peaceful Jewish funeral but allows thousands to gather to loot”.
The initiative does not mention race riots, since it was written last year, something that becomes clear when you read that De Blasio “plans” to run in the Democratic primary – he just withdrew – and claims that “we can’t have him as an alderman for the next two years”.
De Blasio, mayor of New York since 2014, was re-elected in 2017 and ends his term in 2021.