New York City’s infamous Times Square street performer, the “Naked Cowboy,” was shouted down and run off by protesters during a demonstration Tuesday at City Hall.
The activists accused the artist — whose given name is Robert Burck — of “antagonizing them,” but Burck says he was just trying to lighten up the mood at the gathering.
What are the details?
The New York Post reported that Burck showed up outside City Hall in the afternoon “where hundreds of demonstrators have vowed to dig in unless the next budget includes a $1 billion funding cut to the NYPD.”
Protesters yelled at Burck, telling him he was not welcome, with one reminding the tighty-whitey-clad guitarist that he “supported Donald Trump.” Others accused a black man accompanying Burck of being an “Uncle Tom.”
Burck, 49, told the group, “I’m not trying to antagonize,” but he was cut by off an activist who argued, “You are antagonizing!”
In the end, the mob won, and Burck left as demonstrators followed to make sure he stayed away from their protest.
The Naked Cowboy told The Post, “It could’ve been something positive. I thought I was coming down here literally [to] spice up the entertainment.”
He noted that he even removed the pro-Trump stickers from his guitar before approaching the group, so as not to provoke trouble.
“It’ll be a free country until they get a hold of it,” Burck added. “They’re throwing me out when I’m doing the exact same thing they are.”
The protest outside City Hall has been dubbed the “Occupy City Hall” movement, and the demonstrators have been holding a sit-in there for a week demanding action on “defunding” the NYPD, Fox News reported. The deadline for the NYPD budget, which is about $6 billion, is Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, activists clashed with police and two people were arrested.
WPIX-TV reported that demonstrators covered the Surrogate’s Courthouse with “anti-police graffiti” overnight. Messages such as “Euthanize Swine” and “we’re taking what we deserve” could be seen spray-painted on the building.