Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with New York Police Department’s Strategic Response Group on Monday night, Sept. 8, as high-profile attendees celebrated the 75th annual Met Gala just steps away — ironically themed around “American independence.”
According to the Daily Mail, a flyer circulating the demonstration detailed that the protest was organized by an “autonomous group of NYC abolitionists who believe that policing does not protect and serve communities.”
“The NYPD has a total financial allocation of $11 billion per year,” the flyer highlighted. “This money goes towards racist policing that destroys Black and brown communities while people who are struggling do not get the resources they need. CARE, not COPS, is the answer.”
Dozens of NYPD officers repeatedly told protesters to “Move back!” and demonstrators responded by chanting “Black Lives Matter” and the name of Mike Rosado, a 24-year-old Bronx-resident who was fatally shot by police officers in August, according to PIX11.
One user tweeted, and provided commentary on the hypocrisy of the high-profile guests who attended the Met’s fashion-forward event:
“Just a thought: if you are privileged enough to be at the #MetGala, you most definitely are part of the ‘rich,’ so if you actually wanted to protest it and not be a hypocrite, you should’ve stood outside and protested with a sign rather than go and enjoy it.”
The tweet seemed to be a shot at U.S. (D-NY) Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who controversially wore the words “Tax The Rich” on the back of her gown at this year’s gala — where individual tickets to attend were $30,000-$35,000 a pop.
Ocasio-Cortez attended the event with the designer of her dress, Brother Vellies founder and creator of the 15 Percent Pledge, Aurora James. In a Vogue interview about the night’s festivities and Ocasio-Cortez’s ensemble, James told the outlet, “We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given. We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture and push the country forward.”
“Fashion is changing, America is changing,” she added. “And as far as this theme goes, I think Alexandria and I are a great embodiment of the language fashion needs to consider adding to the general lexicon as we work towards a more sustainable, inclusive and empowered future.”
Multiple protestors were arrested outside of the gala on Monday. Jezebel shared that later that evening, “protesters reportedly moved their demonstration to outside the NYPD’s 28th precinct, where some of their fellow demonstrators were still being detained as of around 9 p.m. local time.”
It’s unclear how many protestors were arrested in total.