Apparent members of the so-called Proud Boys, designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were among those who showed up on Wednesday to make a commotion about a Staten Island bar whose pattern of COVID-19 violations had forced a closure.
The total number of largely maskless people who decided to risk it all during a pandemic outside Mac's Public House was in the hundreds, per a Washington Post report filed early Thursday. The gathering hit one day after local deputies busted the establishment for offering food and drinks to customers indoors beyond the 10 p.m. cutoff made mandatory by the city. According to the Post, Mac's had been allowing people to pay $40 to eat inside beyond that curfew time.
And on Tuesday, Danny Presti—the co-owner of the bar—was arrested for obstructing governmental administration. While Mac's is not the only establishment in the Trump-favoring region to have embarked on a campaign of rejecting pandemic safety measures and related mandates, the bar—thanks to developments like a co-owner’s arrest and Wednesday night’s protest—has become something of a staple in headlines this week.
In addition to requests on Twitter for police to become more involved with intervening on the Staten Island gathering, notably comparing the response to how protesters who gather (with far more masks) in support of social justice are treated, the Proud Boys were also mentioned in a New York Post report.
Per the Post, chants were heard outside Mac’s including "Proud Boys in the house" and "I am a proud Western Chauvinist."
Staten Island reported its highest daily increase in COVID-19 numbers since mid-April on Wednesday. Hospitalizations in the borough are also on the rise. Nationwide, the numbers are also far from comforting, with Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health leaders strongly cautioning against any loosening of pandemic guidelines for the holiday season.