About 200 people, mostly small business owners, opposed Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio during the Staten Island rally calling for an end to the closure of COVID-19 and returning to work.
“Stand up for them! Don’t lie down for them! Who will stand with me, who will swing their door on Monday and say,” I will come in? You want me? Come to me I feed my men, I feed my family. I pay my bills and I will not let you stop me, ‘”Staten Island business owner and veteran activist Steve Margarella shouted at the cheering crowds.
De Blasio, Margarella told the crowd, “has been wearing our boots in the throat” for the past four years. He called Cuomo as “Il Duce,” which was Mussolini’s nickname.
Margarella, owner of the Asphalt and concrete paving company Margarella, organized the rally.
“This is more about civil rights – respecting our Constitution and maintaining personal security in the meantime,” Margarella told The Post. “COVID is very serious. Everyone must respect the rights and security of others. That has nothing to do with me going back to work. It can all be done safely. “
Margarella said she did not know whether her 43-year business could be reopened when Cuomo finally gave OK.
The Showplace Entertainment Center parking lot on Staten Island was filled with cars and motorbikes, many waving American flags while songs from Motley Crue and Billy Idol roared over the loudspeakers before the afternoon kick-off.
“We want everything to be open so we can work,” said a sign company owner who did not want to give his name. “80,000 died so far. If we put another 80,000 in the six months needed to make the vaccine, at least we will have our country. [The 80,000 people] will go down as an American hero. “
There was a lot of anger on the Staten Island show, but the demonstration had nothing in common with pro-Trump’s wild, anti-COVID protests at Commack, L.I. Thursday where protesters chased and verbally threatened 12 Long Island reporter Kevin Vesey.
Margarella said Facebook was demoted to promote demonstrations – which only made her more angry.
“This is a real problem,” Margarella said. “I understand they are private entities, they can do this legally. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but my desire to challenge Democratic authorities violates the standards of their community. What I want to do is tell the truth to the power.”
Leticia Remauro, owner of The Von Agency, an SI-based PR agency, came to the rally because she doesn’t have a job now because her client has closed. Remauro and his family got COVID and recovered.
“This is not about money,” Remauro said. “It’s about freedom, independence, the First Amendment. Caring for your neighbors means making sure they eat. People don’t eat. Business owners provide services, they create jobs. “