After facing a backlash for his decision to travel to Hamburg, Germany and speak at an anti-capitalist, protester-organized gathering on Friday outside the G-20 conference, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s facing re-election this year, defended his decision, arguing that it’s up to local officials like himself to speak up on issues like climate change now that President Donald Trump has taken the US out of the Paris Accord, Bloomberg reports.
De Blasio, who left NYC the day after NYPD officer Miosotis Familia was assassinated in the Bronx, didn’t publicly disclose his plans to appear as the keynote speaker at the anti-capitalist rally in Germany until just hours before his departure. He left the city as New Yorkers were struggling with a deteriorating subway system, a spike in crime, uncollected bulk trash, an increase in homelessness, and myriad other problems. He also skipped an NYPD swearing-in ceremony for 524 new NYPD recruits, further damaging his already strained relationship with the police.
Yet Hizzoner says it was all worth it to show the people of Germany that not all Americans are like Trump, according to Bloomberg:
“It’s a variation on the concept of voting with your feet,” de Blasio, a Democrat, said in an interview before speaking at the “Hamburg Shows Attitude” protest on Saturday. “While the national governments will probably only make limited progress, the rest of us don’t have that choice. If we make only limited progress we’ll only be going backwards.”
“We almost have Washington as an island at this point, unrepresentative of the views of the American people on many levels, and that’s going to take a different kind of politics to address,” de Blasio said.
Eric Phillips, de Blasio’s spokesman, said the mayor only agreed to go grandstand in Hamburg after making sure he would be able to attend Familia’s funeral, scheduled for July 11. He returns to New York on Sunday. De Blasio, who met Hamburg’s mayor on Friday, tried to spin the trip as a reconnaissance mission to learn more about Hamburg’s renewable energy and early-childhood education programs, though he also said it was also important to make sure people understand President Donald Trump’s views are not shared by all Americans.” Because apparently some within the G-20 have never watched CNN, and think that everyone in the US agrees with Trump?
I'm at the G20 to remind the world that on issues like equality, climate change and more, our cities — and their people — lead the way. pic.twitter.com/t2qyp7mRfy— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 8, 2017
The organizers of the rally where de Blasio, 56, was to speak distanced themselves from the violent clashes between protesters and police that have broken out at the G20.
Meanwhile, in a trolling of the Mayor, New York City’s Sergeants Benevolent Association kept up its criticism, tweeting that 160 police had been injured during the protests. “Whose side are you on, Mr. Mayor??” the group asked the
So far 160 police officers have injured by protesters at this year's G20 summit. Whose side are you on Mr. Mayor?? https://t.co/OB3nG7VByZ— SBA (@SBANYPD) July 7, 2017
Adding to the insults, De Blasio’s Republican challenger in November’s mayoral election, Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, posted an image on Twitter of de Blasio’s face photo-shopped onto a picture of a man in lederhosen sitting in front of tall glasses of beer and a plate stacked with sausage and sauerkraut.
“While #NYC ’s subways crumble, sex crimes increase double digits, litter on streets pile up & the number of street homeless soars... #G20,” Malliotakis wrote.
Meanwhile, Trump's trip to Germany - in which he established “personal relations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and achieving a “breakthrough” truce involving the southern de-escalation zone in Syria - appeared more successful, and actually prompted the G-20 to conclude that the 2-day meeting wasn't a waste, even though during his speech de Blasio voiced his 'doubts' that the world leaders could resolve important global issues at the G20 summit. You can watch more below: