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Protesters interrupt diners eating at Manhattan’s Balthazar restaurant and break one of its windows

Protesters disturbed diners at a Manhattan restaurant on Thursday night and broke windows of the restaurant’s outdoor dining setup before vandalizing a police vehicle.

Six plexiglass windows of Balthazar were smashed in their outdoor dining room around 9:40pm.

A photo posted by the NYPD also shows damage the protesters did to a cop car in the area.

A complaint was filed with the NYPD. There have been no arrests so far, but an investigation into the vandalism is ongoing.

‘Tonight, in Lower Manhattan demonstrators purposely caused property damage to a local restaurant by breaking several windows while patrons were eating dinner. Small businesses need our support, vandalism is not the answer especially during these trying times,’ the NYPD posted on Twitter.

‘Protestors [sic] also purposely damaged a police vehicle during their vandalism.’

No injuries were reported from the vandalism. 

NYPD posted a photo of the damage protesters wreaked on a police car near the protest

NYPD posted a photo of the damage protesters wreaked on a police car near the protest

NYPD posted a photo of the damage protesters wreaked on a police car near the protest

Video from the protest at Balthazar on Spring Street shows a group of protesters gathered around a speaker identified in a tweet as Qween Jean.

‘After Qween Jean swiftly demands Spring Street diners’ attention for an important message about NYC’s black and brown communities, she concludes, “Have a good evening,” and the group sweeps onward,’ reads a tweet from NYC Protest Updates.

‘Police trailing on parallel roads / mostly put [sic] of sight.’ 

Balthazar in New York City was the site of a protest on Thursday night as diners were eating

Balthazar in New York City was the site of a protest on Thursday night as diners were eating

Balthazar in New York City was the site of a protest on Thursday night as diners were eating

A video after the protest showed the restaurant’s outdoor structure with broken windows

In the video, Qween Jean speaks about the attention needed to be paid to New York City’s under-served communities.

‘…because so many back and brown indigenous community members are often left out,’ Qween Jean says as the video begins.

‘They are often neglected, left out, unhoused, without any food, without medication, without medical care, without mental health access.

‘And so we’re here with a message because we believe that Black Lives Matter, we believe in the liberation of our community, and the liberation of the people of this community.

The speaker in the protest is identified as Qween Jean (Instagram pictured)

The speaker in the protest is identified as Qween Jean (Instagram pictured)

The speaker in the protest is identified as Qween Jean (Instagram pictured)

‘And so what we’re here to say is that we need the community support – it takes communal effort to get communal power.’

Qween Jean repeats the phrase ‘communal effort for communal power’ several times, before saying that they need to be ‘swift.’

‘But before we leave, we want to let the patrons know – that’s right – they can not ignore us any longer. You cannot ignore the community of New York, because this community… is powerful.

Qween Jean references the awkwardness and uncomfortable nature of the protest before diving into the struggles of New Yorkers, particularly during the pandemic.

‘So when we leave from this place, please understand that you have a responsibility. It is your duty to fight for this community, not just when it’s appropriate, not just when it’s convenient, not just when it’s respectable.’

Qween Jean then leads a ‘Black Lives Matter’ cheer with the other protesters.

On their Instagram page, Qween Jean’s occupation is listed as costume designer in New York City. 

Balthazar only recently reopened after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic

Balthazar only recently reopened after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic

Balthazar only recently reopened after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic

DailyMail.com has attempted to reach out to Qween Jean for comment on the origin of the protest, as well as the choice of venue for the protest.

Balthazar is a French brassiere in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, first opened in 1997.

The restaurant only reopened in the past two weeks after being closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Protests have gripped New York City since the murder of George Floyd last year

Protests have gripped New York City since the murder of George Floyd last year

Protests have gripped New York City since the murder of George Floyd last year

Pictured: Protests in March as the trial for Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin began

Pictured: Protests in March as the trial for Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin began

Pictured: Protests in March as the trial for Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin began

According to the New York Post, there was a line out the door for the restaurant’s reopening night.

More than 5,000 restaurants in the city have closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering impact on the industry.

Protests in New York City have become a daily ritual in the months since George Floyd’s murder.

Black Lives Matter protests took place in New York City in June (Juneteenth protest shown)

Black Lives Matter protests took place in New York City in June (Juneteenth protest shown)

Black Lives Matter protests took place in New York City in June (Juneteenth protest shown)

The protests did briefly force the city to have a curfew, which was lifted after a week

The protests did briefly force the city to have a curfew, which was lifted after a week

The protests did briefly force the city to have a curfew, which was lifted after a week

Most of the protests, which are part of the larger Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, have been peaceful, though there were sporadic cases of violence and looting in the early days of the protests.

That resulted in the city being placed under curfew for a week in June.

Other protests to recently rock New York City include protests of anti-Asian discrimination and violence, as well as protests about rent payments during the pandemic. 


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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