Promised anti-lockdown protests at City Hall and the state Capitol in Albany fizzled Friday, attracting sparse crowds amid rainy conditions in the Big Apple and upstate.
Roughly 100 demonstrators gathered in the drizzle near the east steps of the Capitol and then marched to the governor’s mansion a few blocks away to protest the stay-in-place orders that city and state officials say are essential to slowing the spread of coronavirus.
“I’m not a scientist, I can’t really say I know what the data is, I try to steer away from that, but all I know is the Constitution can’t be violated,” one of the protest’s organizers, Cara Castronuova, told The Post by phone.
“To take away our rights and now they know it’s so easy, look at how easy it was, they just used fear and propaganda, and I’m not saying there’s not a virus, but that doesn’t ever justify taking away civil liberties, it’s our First Amendment rights,” added the 40-year-old fitness trainer and boxing announcer from Long Island.
The state police said there were no arrests.
A similar rally at City Hall Park in downtown Manhattan lasted for less than an hour and attracted less than 20 people, police said.
“Rally to Free New York” at City Hall in Manhattan
The anti-lockdown activists were met by counter-protesters and cops who ordered the dispersal of both groups.
One officer told the tiny dueling demonstrations over a bullhorn that “gatherings are not permitted by the order of the governor.”
The NYPD did not immediately say if summonses were issued, which Mayor Bill de Blasio promised would happen if a large gathering assembled in violation of public safety measures.
“We’re not doing rallies at this point,” Hizzoner said. “They spread the disease and help to kill people. It’s unacceptable.”
The protests came as the number of deaths of patients who tested positive for coronavirus across the Empire State hit 18,610.
The state tally does not include deaths of patients who exhibited symptoms but couldn’t be checked for the disease because of testing shortages.