New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has flown to Hamburg, Germany to protest the meeting of President Donald Trump with other world leaders at Friday’s G20 summit.
His decision to skip off comes one day after a police officer was murdered in the Bronx, and it also meant he missed a swearing in ceremony for 524 new NYPD recruits in order to catch his flight.
A statement from City Hall confirmed de Blasio “will attend several events surrounding the G20 Summit, including Saturday’s Hamburg Zeigt Haltung rally.”
The rally, which translates into “Hamburg Shows Attitude,” is in protest against a range of world leaders descending on the city, which includes Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Images from the first rally show around 12,000 people, many of whom are far-left militants, turning violent with police being forced to use water cannons and tear gas to control the crowd. One banner held up read: “G20 WELCOME TO HELL.”
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 6, 2017
New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who will run as the Republican candidate against de Blasio in November’s mayoral election, slammed the mayor for prioritizing his opposal to the Trump administration over more pressing issues back home.
“Unbelievable. Instead of jet-setting around the world, he should be here doing his job,” Malliotakis said. “A police officer was murdered, street homelessness has skyrocketed and people continue to get delayed on the trains.”
Referring to the NYPD swearing-in ceremony, Malliotakis said: “Of course I would have been there. The mayor should be embarrassed by the way he has treated the men and women of our police department.”
The cost of de Blasio’s visit is being covered by the organizers of the rally, mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips said, who is also accompanying him on the trip.
The decision to fly to Hamburg will likely increase pressure on de Blasio, after a New York City Police officer was murdered Wednesday after being shot in the head while sat in her vehicle, in what authorities described as an “unprovoked attack.”
A report this week by the Department of Homeless Services also found that the homeless population in New York City increased by nearly 40 percent in 2017, rising from 2,794 in February 2016 to 3,892 in February 2017.