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USA: Hundreds rally outside bar after owner is arrested for resisting COVID restrictions03:34

USA: Hundreds rally outside bar after owner is arrested for resisting COVID restrictions

United States, New York City
December 3, 2020 at 08:24 GMT +00:00 · Published

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Mac's Public House, a Staten Island tavern, on Wednesday night, after authorities closed it down and arrested its co-owner, Danny Presti, for breaching coronavirus restrictions with a 'free-drinks' strategy.

Protesters were seen holding American flags and shouting chants against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Amid them, political figures including State Senator Andrew Lanza and Heshy Tischler, Brooklyn City Council candidate, took the stage to say a few words.

"We watched as looters burned down businesses in Manhattan and no one was arrested. There was no show of force. And yet, when someone is accused of serving someone a hamburger, and the government looters its businesses, the owner is arrested," said Lanza.

When authorities imposed curfews and restrictions restaurants and bars, which Mac's Public House resisted in protest, the tavern's liquor license was suspended. Co-owners Keith McAlarney and Danny Presti responded by serving food and alcohol 'for free' in exchange for a donation to help cover the business' bills.

This led police to arrest Presti and close the bar on Tuesday, prompting Wednesday's protests as, according to government officials, serving alcohol, even for free, is illegal without a state licence.

New York state registered over 8,900 new positive coronavirus cases on Wednesday alone. The United States has had nearly 14 million confirmed cases and over 273 thousand deaths with the virus according to Johns Hopkins University.

USA: Hundreds rally outside bar after owner is arrested for resisting COVID restrictions03:34
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Description

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Mac's Public House, a Staten Island tavern, on Wednesday night, after authorities closed it down and arrested its co-owner, Danny Presti, for breaching coronavirus restrictions with a 'free-drinks' strategy.

Protesters were seen holding American flags and shouting chants against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Amid them, political figures including State Senator Andrew Lanza and Heshy Tischler, Brooklyn City Council candidate, took the stage to say a few words.

"We watched as looters burned down businesses in Manhattan and no one was arrested. There was no show of force. And yet, when someone is accused of serving someone a hamburger, and the government looters its businesses, the owner is arrested," said Lanza.

When authorities imposed curfews and restrictions restaurants and bars, which Mac's Public House resisted in protest, the tavern's liquor license was suspended. Co-owners Keith McAlarney and Danny Presti responded by serving food and alcohol 'for free' in exchange for a donation to help cover the business' bills.

This led police to arrest Presti and close the bar on Tuesday, prompting Wednesday's protests as, according to government officials, serving alcohol, even for free, is illegal without a state licence.

New York state registered over 8,900 new positive coronavirus cases on Wednesday alone. The United States has had nearly 14 million confirmed cases and over 273 thousand deaths with the virus according to Johns Hopkins University.

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