Thousands of People Participated on the Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City.
Photos: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
By Kurt Wheelock
NEW YORK – Security for the annual Halloween parade was stepped up as it fell on the one year anniversary of the terror truck attack which claimed eight lives and injured a dozen on the west side of Lower Manhattan.
“We will have deployed thousands of plainclothes as well as uniformed members of the service,” NY Police Department Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said. “As well as our Critical Response Command, our Strategic Response Group, K-9, aviation, as well as Emergency Service Unit will be deployed.”
On October 31, 2017, 30-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented truck onto a downtown bike lane beside the Hudson river, in the deadliest terror attack that struck New York city since 9/11/01. Saipov was later fingered as a sympathizer of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group. That attack happened just hours before the 2017 Halloween parade, which in New York style was nevertheless held as scheduled albeit amid tight security.
At a memorial service held on Wednesday morning at the site of the 2017 attack, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio memorialized the victims of the incident along with their family and friends. “For the families, (this) is a pain that will never go away,” he said.
Saipov has yet to go on trial.
Near the parade route, however, there were some cancellations. “Bill de Blasio today requested that NYU postpone and reschedule the classroom appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos for public safety reasons in light of the nearby Halloween parades and [New York Police Department] assessments of risk,” NYU spokesman John Beckman said in a statement. “Given the importance of close coordination between NYU’s Public Safety personnel and the NYPD to ensuring safety, the university agreed to the postponement.”
Yiannopoulos, the former senior editor of Breitbart News, replied that “the entire city of New York is terrified of one gay man stepping out of line and calling out the Left as the intolerant, censorious crybabies they are. And they just proved it, by censoring me again. I couldn’t ask for more conclusive proof: The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, today demanded my talk at NYU be canceled (‘rescheduled’ in their euphemistic language) and the President of NYU has complied. So. It’s not happening.”
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan had said the department would send a “very large detail” to NYU in hopes of preventing another brawl like the one that broke out during a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McCinnins at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan.
“The NYPD can and would handle anything. But needlessly having this immediately adjacent to one of the biggest NYC events all year doesn’t make a lot of sense,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted. “NYU is smart to reschedule it for a different day.”
“One year ago, we endured the worst terror attack in New York City since 9/11 in terms of loss of life,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said. “The truck terror attack on the West Side Highway proved only to steel us against any person or organization that threatens us with violence.”
The parade is the city’s first large-scale event since last week’s series of package bombs and the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue massacre that left 11 people dead, on which UN Secretary General spoke earlier on Halloween at Manhattan’s Park East Synagogue. In Brooklyn Heights on Garden Place neighbors say swastikas were drawn in chalk in the middle of the night before Halloween. By early morning homeowners had washed them away. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating And so this year’s Halloween parade went off.