'Open Up!': Protesters Rally Against COVID-19 Restrictions Following Bar Owner's Arrest in Staten Island, New York

Demonstrators rallied against lockdown restrictions in Staten Island, New York, on December 2, protesting outside Mac’s Public House following the detainment of bar owner Danny Presti a day prior.

Presti had been detained reportedly in response to defying state and city orders restricting indoor dining amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mac’s had declared itself an autonomous zone on November 20. “In the event of a shutdown, we will continue to stay open,” the pub wrote on Facebook. “We will still wear masks, take the same safety precautions we’ve had in place, maintain daily cleanings and work in a responsible manner to the best of our abilities. What we will not be doing is living in fear.”

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo had announced an Orange Warning Zone for Staten Island on November 23, prohibiting indoor dining.

Footage taken by Joe Calderera shows a large gathering outside the bar, with protesters chanting “open up” and “U.S.A.” Credit: Joe Calderera via Storyful