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De Blasio denounces Proud Boys’ Staten Island protest, says jury still out on Borelli

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 12/4/2020 Michael Gartland

Mayor de Blasio ‘fessed Friday to being unaware of the Proud Boys’ presence at a Staten Island rally earlier this week, but said elected officials should be condemning the hate group.

Hizzoner, who was speaking on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC call-in show, said he hadn’t been informed Proud Boys members took part in a protest outside Mac’s Public House, which was also attended by Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli.

a group of people standing in front of a store: A crowd of about 2000 demonstrators protest in front of Mac's Public House on Lincoln Avenue as Sheriff's deputies enforce the closing of the bar for violating covid restrictions, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News) © Jeff Bachner A crowd of about 2000 demonstrators protest in front of Mac's Public House on Lincoln Avenue as Sheriff's deputies enforce the closing of the bar for violating covid restrictions, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News)

A crowd of about 2000 demonstrators protest in front of Mac's Public House on Lincoln Avenue as Sheriff's deputies enforce the closing of the bar for violating covid restrictions, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News) (Jeff Bachner/)

The far-right, neo-fascist group has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Asked by one caller if Borelli would be censured for his involvement, de Blasio said he didn’t know the details of the situation.

“So I don’t want to speak about the councilman specifically,” de Blasio said. “You’re the first person actually to say to me that there may have been that presence at that gathering.”

a man wearing a suit and tie: Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli. © Provided by New York Daily News Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli.

Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli. (Barry Williams/)

On Tuesday, city sheriffs shut down the Staten Island bar for continuing to serve customers indoors after the state designated the East Shore neighborhood it’s located in as an orange zone, triggering an indoor dining and boozing ban.

Demonstrators converged on the bar Wednesday night to protest the move after the bar’s management declared the joint an “autonomous zone” and kept it open.

Borelli, who tweeted a selfie of himself with a painting of de Blasio engaging in sex with an apple, addressed the crowd at the event, but said he didn’t stay for long.

“The mayor is correct to denounce white supremacy in all its forms, and I stand with him on that,” he said.

He then added that he urged “caution” in how the media covers large events, “where everyone is responsible for everyone else’s actions in crowds of thousands.”

Bill de Blasio wearing a suit and tie: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio © Provided by New York Daily News NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (Luiz C. Ribeiro/)

“I’ve yet to hear any Democratic politician denounce Antifa in any way,” he said.

Unlike the Proud Boys, Antifa, or the anti-fascist movement, is not a centralized group.

“I will follow up to find out what happened there,” de Blasio said Friday. “I am concerned, and obviously the bigger point you’re raising is right ... Not dependent on party affiliation at all, everyone should be condemning what the Proud Boys stand for.”

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