This afternoon, at the Stated meeting of the New York City Council, Picture the Homeless members and allies disrupted the meeting in three coordinated waves, resulting in the chamber being cleared and the meeting being temporarily adjourned.
"We shut down the City Council," said Picture the Homeless member Andres Perez, as he exited the building to raucous chanting. "They ejected everbody."
Council Members including Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams were seen joining in the protesters’ chant of "CALENDAR INTRO 48," reflecting the need for a hearing for this popular bill.
"This is what I’m talking about," said Wanda Imasuen of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, who participated in the action. "We need to have action – real action – we can’t just keep on having meetings and talking to these people and never get anywhere. These electeds aren’t listening and we’ve got to take it to the streets. Every organization should be out here with us, in the streets."
"We didn’t expect to shut them down," said PTH Housing Campaign leader Genghis Khalid Muhammad, one of the disruptors. "We expected to get their attention, but we didn’t think it would bring everything to a standstill. So I guess we really did get their attention. They can no longer ignore Intro 48, and they’ve got to calendar it. Right now they’re thinking to themselves, "these people are not going to give up! what is Picture the Homeless going to do next?" That’s what we want them to be thinking. Because they only way to stop us is to calendar Intro 48, and put it to a vote, and pass the bill. If they don’t want to keep on seeing us, they know what they have to do."
This video was shot during the ejection of the second wave of demonstrators, as they’re being forcibly led out following Council Speaker Quinn’s order to "clear the back of the chamber." After they’ve been ejected, Quinn can be heard on the video making a joke – "We’ve confirmed that we have good acoustics."
… and this other video was shot outside, during and immediately after the Council meeting was shut down, by director Matthia Baptiste and cinematographer Joslyn Duncan.