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Anti-vaccine protesters arrested in New York during organized ‘sit-in’ at Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s

Clara Longo de Freitas/iStock

Six men at a Cheesecake Factory and four people at an Applebee’s in a mall in Queens were arrested Tuesday evening during a “sit-in” to protest against indoor dining coronavirus vaccine mandates in New York City, according to multiple reports. 

A group of protesters entered the Cheesecake Factory and refused to show proof of vaccination when a restaurant employee asked them to do so, as mandated by the city, reported the local outlet The Queen’s Eagle

The men breezed past the host stand and seated themselves in violation of the mandate. They were asked to leave, and when they refused, the restaurant called the police.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) responded to the scene, and when police told the protesters to leave they refused, according to the Eagle. NYPD then arrested six of about 30 people who were in the group and charged them with criminal trespassing. 

One of the anti-vaccine protestors compared the NYPD to “Nazis,” and said, “we’re going to sue every last one of these motherf—ers,” while also comparing the vaccine mandate to historic “segregation.” 

People in the protest claimed that they were being “discriminated,” against, according to The Eagle.

One bartender reportedly said that he would serve them, but his superiors told him not to and an anti-vaccine protestor replied, “The Nazis were just following orders.” 

The protest was seemingly organized by an anti-vaccination group on Instagram called “New York Freedom Rally.” 

A flyer was put out to advertise another protest against vaccine mandates at The Cheesecake Factory Wednesday, as the restaurant followed orders that were put into place by New York City.

Senior Director of Public Relations for Cheesecake Factory Alethea Rowe said in a statement to Bloomberg, “This was an unfortunate incident. The company is simply complying with the local ordinance concerning Covid-19 vaccine requirements.”

Rowe added, “We would like to thank our restaurant managers and staff for remaining focused on providing our guests with delicious, memorable food, and would like to thank local law enforcement for their support during this time.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the indoor dining vaccine mandate in August. Its enforcement began the next month.
Tags APPLEBEE 'S Bill de Blasio New York The Cheesecake Factory Vaccine Vaccine hesitancy vaccine mandate

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