- Large groups of people, some without masks, packed Washington Square Park over Labour Day weekend for an outdoor party.
- More crowds gathered in the park this weekend for another round of outdoor partying, despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticising New York University administrators and New York police for not taking adequate action.
- Washington Square Park is surrounded by the campus of NYU, where administrators denied reports of the university’s students attending the scene but doubled down on their strict health guidelines.
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Crowds of people have packed New York City’s Washington Square Park in recent weekends, setting off concerns from authorities over the outdoor parties amid the city’s recovery from coronavirus.
Over Labour Day weekend, some pictures and videos posted to social media showed large groups of people gathering in the park, with many not social distancing and some without masks.
B Side Music and DJ PeeWee at Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, 9:13 PM, Saturday, September 5, 2020.
This is a multiple tweet thread
1/#BSideMusic #DJPeeWee #WashingtonSquarePark #GreenwichVillage #NewYorkCity #NewYork #nyc #ny #DJ #music pic.twitter.com/AaHOX5GIXM
— DataInput (@datainput) September 6, 2020
The park is surrounded by the campus of New York University, which has already suspended over 20 students for not complying with health guidelines implemented in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. NYU’s first day of school of the fall semester began on September 2 and offers both in-person and online courses.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticised NYU administrators and New York police for not taking “tough” action on the crowds seen gathered in the park.
“Frankly, NYU security didn’t do anything about it,” Cuomo said at a press conference last week, according to WABC-TV. “The local police didn’t do anything about it…You have a large gathering, many people without masks, going on for hours. What do you think is going to happen? We say we are New York tough. That is not tough by the NYU administrators, who as soon as they heard about it should have said stop it, send NYU security, break it down. It’s not tough by the NYC enforcement.”
Round 2 of Washington Square Park raves pic.twitter.com/XHKBYyvTPN
— Jae (@Jaelynngrace) September 12, 2020
An NYU spokesman replied in a statement that they “have yet to find any indications that the event was organised or DJ’ed by anyone affiliated with NYU” and “it is unclear how many of the participants in the event actually were affiliated with NYU.”
However, the spokesman added that the university has been “examining the videotape to see if any students were involved and can be identified” and if they identify students “they will be subject to sanction for violation” of the health guidelines in place.
After the initial outcry from authorities, photos and videos that circulated online show a second round of crowds partying in the park.
NBC New York reported that NYPD officers broke up the scene in the park around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday after a crowd had gathered for a party Friday night. Officers returned when more crowds appeared in the park Saturday night, which one attendee told CBS New York was a celebration after a Black Lives Matter protest.
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