Reopen NY Protest: Tailgate in the Square

Photojournalism

On December 19, Western New York residents gathered in the cold outside of Buffalo City Hall to demonstrate in favor of reopening businesses and easing Covid-related restrictions.

This attracted a group of counter-protesters who were worried that easing restrictions would lead to a rise in Covid deaths.

The two groups engaged in a scuffle before the rally started, and Buffalo Police officers kept the two groups separated for the rest of the event.

A handful of local politicians spoke, as did local business owner Robbie Dinero, who has been fined $10,000 for flouting Covid rules. He is fighting the fines in court and encourages other business owners to join him in civil disobedience.

Erie County Comptroller, Stefan Mychajliw speaks to the gathered demonstrators. Recently, Mychajliw has been feuding with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Poloncarz backs strict enforcement of business restrictions while Mychajliw favors more leniency.
Robbie Dinero, owner of the Athletes Unleashed gym in Orchard Park, addresses the crowd. The Erie County Health Department fined Dinero $10,000 for violating covid-related edicts. Dinero vows not to pay the fine and is going to court to dispute its validity.
Robbie Dinero, owner of the Athetes Unleashed gym in Orchard Park, addresses the crowd. The Erie County Health Department fined Dinero $10,000 for violating covid-related edicts. Dinero vows not to pay the fine and is going to court to dispute its validity.
Although they made a lot of noise with their megaphones, the counter-protestors were still a little camera shy. Despite wearing a mask, this guy used the sign to block his face when I went to take this picture.
Counter protesters to the “Open NY” demonstration are in the top left of the frame. A line of Buffalo police officers keeps the two groups separated.
This aerial photo gives an idea of the size of the crowd. Some people were protesting in opposition to the “Open NY” message. Those counter-protesters are grouped in the upper left of the frame.
Not everyone that day was demonstrating about virus politics. This happy maskless couple went to City Hall for a wedding day photoshoot.
Women singing Christmas carols

Serenade Our Seniors: A Covid-Coping Demonstration

Photojournalism

Perhaps the hardest part of 2020 has been the forced isolation that government officials have imposed on us. This isolation is even worse for old people in retirement homes

On Sunday December 13 a group called “Save Our Seniors,” alternately, “Serenade Our Seniors,” sang Christmas carols outside of the Absolut Care nursing home in East Aurora, NY. They wanted to alleviate some of the isolation felt by oldsters who have been confined away from their families in the nursing home for the past several months.

Although Christmas Caroling and Save Our Seniors are apolitical, many of the people in attendance engage in local conservative activism.