Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio Arrested During Hospital Protest
NEW YORK — Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio was among those arrested Wednesday during a protest outside of a Midtown SUNY campus over the possible closure of the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, officials confirmed.
The public advocate's office said de Blasio was charged with disorderly conduct.
The protest was part of a continuing debate over the future of the teaching hospital in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, which the state university system is considering selling.
The protest Wednesday was organized, in part, by the health care workers union 1199 SEIU, which has endorsed de Blasio for mayor. Organizers are upset over SUNY's decision to reroute ambulances away from the Long Island College Hospital.
“We are going to lose a vital community hospital in a matter of weeks unless something changes," de Blasio said in a statement released after his arrest. "The governor must act to save LICH, and SUNY Downstate must stop its end run around a judge’s direct order and commit to keeping this hospital up and running."
Earlier this week, the mayoral candidate attended a rally in Cobble Hill to protest the possible closing, where he called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene.