Congresswoman Velázquez Arrested at LICH Rally

August 5, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

NEW YORK—Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and seven others were arrested following a rally to save the embattled Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Brooklyn.

LICH is facing closure due to financial woes.

Chanting, “What is this about? Patient care!” Velázquez led a group of about 150 protesters half a block on Hicks Street to Atlantic Avenue, just outside the hospital.

As the group reached the intersection, Velázquez and seven others, including her aid Dan Wiley and former LICH patients, moved to the center of the intersection, blocking all traffic.

The main body of protesters remained on the footpath, chanting, “Fight, fight, fight. Health care is a right.”

The standoff lasted about eight minutes, as traffic piled up on Atlantic Avenue. The eight protesters were arrested just after noon, cuffed with white plastic zip ties, and loaded into a van.

The NYPD was warned that Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez planned to be arrested. Close to a dozen police officers stood in front of the protesters. One officer used a loudspeaker to read the protesters their rights.