Trending

Anti-vaxxers storm a New York Cheesecake Factory in protest that ends in six arrests

Business Insider US

Cheesecake Factory has called a law firm worker who applied for a job two years ago amid an industry-wide labor shortage.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
  • A group of anti-vaxxers protested at a New York City Cheesecake Factory, refusing to comply with its Covid-19 vaccine policy.
  • Restaurant management asked the protestors for proof of vaccination or otherwise leave, in compliance with a city mandate.
  • Police responded to the incident, where six individuals were arrested for criminal trespassing.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

An anti-vaccination protest in a New York Cheesecake Factory ended with six arrests and threats of further action from the anti-vax group.

A group of people who oppose Covid-19 vaccinations and mandates entered the Cheesecake Factory in Queens on Tuesday night, declining to show proof of vaccination and refusing to leave when asked to the restaurant and police, an NYPD spokesperson told Insider.

New York City requires proof of vaccination for the coronavirus to enter and patronise dining establishments, gyms, and other indoor businesses. Vaccine and mask mandates have been a controversial issue in the US during the coronavirus pandemic, with opponents saying it infringes on their personal freedoms. Meantime, enforcement of mask and vaccine regulations are often left to retail and hospitality workers. 

 

Footage of Tuesday's incident, obtained and tweeted by an organisation called Patriot Takes, showed the protesters walking past the host stand and seating themselves at multiple tables, as well as instances of individuals arguing with Cheesecake Factory employees and police officers. According to the videos' description, the protestors had "skipped the line" of policy-abiding patrons.

Six protestors were arrested for criminal trespassing, the NYPD spokesperson told Insider. It is unclear how they will plead. In a video, one of the anti-vaxxers compared the police to Nazis, with another threatening to sue the police.

The group behind Tuesday's anti-vax protest could not be reached for comment. Following the arrests, members of the group were seen chanting for the police to release those arrested, with some of the group heading to the precinct to continue protesting. According to a flyer circulating on Twitter, the group intended to protest at the Cheesecake Factory location and police precinct again on Wednesday.

 

"This was an unfortunate incident," Alethea Rowe, Cheesecake Factory senior director of public relations, said in a statement. "The company is simply complying with the local ordinance concerning Covid-19 vaccine requirements."

During the pandemic, front-line workers in the retail and food service industry have continued to deal with angry customers over laws and company policies that are most times out of their control. 

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.


Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.