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NYC Mayor Eric Adams Appears Live On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”

NYC Mayor Eric Adams appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the ongoing protests at Columbia University and the city’s budget negotiations. He emphasized the importance of balancing the right to protest with maintaining peace, and stated that the university has not requested direct assistance from the police. Mayor Adams also expressed confidence that the city will reach an agreement on the budget with the City Council Speaker.

Mika Brzezinski: Joining us now, New York City mayor, Eric Adams. Mr. Mayor, thank you for being on this morning. A lot to talk to you about. I know you have some things you want to bring to the table, but I first want to ask you about the protests on the campus of Columbia University. 

From the city’s point of view, what the Police Department is doing, and are there any discussions with the university as to how to handle this in the days and weeks to come?

Mayor Eric Adams: Yes, we are. We have been communicating with all of the presidents, actually, NYU, FIT, and a few other smaller areas as well. They have been extremely collaborative as we find that balance, the balance, the right to protest, but at the same time, make sure it’s done in a peaceful manner. What I think is important for the protesters to do is also the police themselves to use some of the hatred, I think, disgusting terminology, because protesting for peace should not call for the destruction of any other groups. 

But also I believe this is a larger problem that many of us are missing. One of the most important analogies in sports is how good is your farm team? How good is the next layer of your professional team? When you have 18 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds that are not extremely proud of this country, that’s a frightening message of what is coming up in the rear. I think you’re seeing this play out not only on the college campuses, but I’m seeing some concerning things I’m seeing across the city and across America when it comes down to some of the things our young people are going through.

Jonathan Lemire: Mr. Mayor, staying on the protests, as just noted, Columbia has made clear they’re not going to ask the NYPD to clear campus. We know that some of the protests are outside the campus walls. In fact, some of those are non-students. These are outsiders. Those are where we’re seeing some of the more incendiary language and perhaps more disturbing behavior. What’s the approach to those activists?

Mayor Adams: First of all, Columbia [is] not asking for assistance and other schools not asking for assistance, that’s with an asterisk. They do want assistance of the Police Department. They would like for us to be on the outside. They would like for us to be at the entry points where they’re finding a large number of people who are on the grounds, don’t attend the schools at all. I’ve been saying this for a while. There’s a lot of outside agitators. 

Our goal is to make sure that the students who want to attend school can get there safely and make sure that we don’t allow those who are outside on the grounds or on the ground doing anything that’s going to bring about danger.

Reverend Al Sharpton: Mr. Mayor, we talked about this on Politics Nation. I want to elaborate and have you respond. A lot of the original protest was to deal with what is going on in Gaza in terms of innocent people being killed, children being killed, famine is being projected by some or possible famine, which I certainly agree with and most people do, including a lot of people in Israel agree that Netanyahu has been way out of line on this. 

Then it seemed that there was sort of a hijacking of the message by some of the outsiders that came in. Having a collective leadership, there was no student leadership, so to speak, to find that wanted to get into a quarrel. They lose the message. You and I go back 33 years ago when I started National Action Network because some people that I was working with started anti-white rhetoric. We said, no no no. We’re anti what’s going on, we went to Harlem and started National Action Network. 

The hijacking of the message is important to me that I want you to address because I think we get lost in this that many of these students are standing up for the human rights of people in Gaza just as we are standing up for the human rights of the innocent people killed on October 7 in Israel. It’s not either or. It’s you must be for the humanitarian aid of both. 

The last point on that, is if you’re going to protest, which we protested together. I’m still leading protests on DEI. You expect in a nonviolent way to keep order. If you are going to be penalized, you accept it. I’ve done 90 days in jail. I did three months in jail one time. 45 days, I’ve been arrested 30 times. You expect you’re going to pay a price if you come out of the King tradition. It doesn’t make the price right. You don’t act like somebody is doing something wrong to enforce whatever the standards are.

Mayor Adams: Well said. You put a lot there based on not only your analysis of what’s happening now, but based on your history. As a person who has protested and watched you protest, we protest on many different settings. You’re expecting whatever comes with it. 

At the same time, we have constantly witnessed the hijacking of the message. There are people who look at issues, righteous issues across the country, and they move in with their own agenda. We saw that during the Black Lives Matters march. We saw that during some of the early marches for Arthur Miller, for Randolph Evans. You could go on and on. 

Reverend Sharpton: George Floyd. 

Mayor Adams: George Floyd. you saw people coming in. That is a concern here. A righteous concern should not come to what we’re seeing of celebrating Hamas. Many people didn’t see actually what happened on those videos at a peace rally. The people who are rallying when Hamas came in to murder, those people were rallying near the border because they wanted to say we should dance together one day. We went after those who are calling for peace and they harmed them. Then I see individuals who don’t really fully understand this conversation, but they’re just going with the tone and the narrative of it.

Lemire: Mr. Mayor, let’s turn to the city’s budget. Always an important moment every year. Better than expected tax revenue, more money coming in than your administration had initially projected, but still some tough decisions ahead. 

How do you balance priorities here in terms of we know, of course, the influx of migrants that have strained city resources, more policing in different areas, including towards the subway. Same time, I know you’ve been libraries have closed on Sundays, an issue that has really stirred up a lot of people. Walk us through how you’re trying to piece that together.

Mayor Adams: First, New York’s wake up stirred up. You maintain a discipline. It’s all part of the process. We’re going to land a plane, we’re going to be able to shake hands with both the speaker and the City Hall. 

Here’s what’s important. Public safety, prerequisite to prosperity. No matter what New Yorker you talk to, they want to be safe. That is why we must have a Police Department that’s well-trained and can carry out that responsibility. The success is not only due to the fact we have better than expected tax receipts. 

It’s because we manage a humanitarian crisis. Over 65 percent of those who we cycle out of our care are now self-sustaining. They have moved on with the next step of their dream. Instead of having 180, 191,000 migrants and asylum seekers in our care, we were able to move on to the next level. 

Then we had to deal with some fear… cliffs, financial cliffs under the previous administration. We had permanent programs in place that we were using temporary dollars. The independent financial experts, they looked at how we managed the crisis of Covid and migrants and asylum seekers. They said this administration deserved to have their bond rating increased because of how well they’ve made these tough decisions. 

Lemire: Can the library cuts be undone? 

Mayor Adams: We’re going to sit down with the speaker and her team. We all know the importance of libraries. This is part of this negotiation process. I said, before people start saying how terrible things are, let us finish the process. Let’s not get ahead of the process. We sure we’re going to do as we always have done. That’s make sure we have that budget on time.

Brzezinski: All right, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, thank you so much for coming on the show this morning. We appreciate it.

April 29, 2024 New York City Hall

AI: Some critics argued that Mayor Adams’ responses lacked specifics and failed to directly address the underlying issues driving the Columbia protests. Others felt he was overly defensive and did not demonstrate a clear plan for resolving the tensions between the university and student protesters. There were also concerns that the mayor’s focus on maintaining order overshadowed the protesters’ legitimate grievances and right to free expression.
Critics also observe that these protests resemble Kremlin-inspired “student unrest” in the US during the Vietnam War, when funds spent on this by the USSR led to the withdrawal of US allies from South Vietnam to the military coalition of the USSR, China, and North Vietnamese communists. In this case, the focus is on diverting attention from Russia’s crimes in Ukraine – instead of protests outside the Russian embassy against the killing of children in Ukraine, resources and propaganda are directed towards a war against a US ally, the state of Israel, fighting against Hamas terrorists hiding behind innocent civilians.

Source: Midtown Tribune newsNYC.gov
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