The MTA will heavily enforce rules concerning protests at Grand Central station, following two arrests Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports.
The change comes a day after a #BlackLivesMatter group completed a 24-hour action against police violence at the terminal. During that demonstration, MTA officers arrested activist and reverend Billy Talen (pictured center) and Philadelphia resident Marc Train.
“We cannot and we will not tolerate attacks on our police,” commented MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.
According to the Authority, the two men became aggressive toward the officers, prompting their arrests. In response, the MTA will enforce rules against die-ins. Protestors have repeatedly used the tactic — which involves lying on the ground to honor dead police victims — at Grand Central.
Tuesday’s confrontation came after demonstrators laid signs on the terminal floor with victims’ names on them. MTA officers attempted to remove them early yesterday afternoon.
“A group laid placards all over the floor of the main concourse, and we can’t allow that kind of obstruction for our customers,” Donovan added.
According to Savitri Durkee, fellow activist and Talen’s partner, the Reverend was not resisting officers during his arrest.
She also decried the MTA’s decision to ban die-ins.
“I believe a performative act like a die-in is protected by the First Amendment,” she said.
No word yet as to whether Talen and Train have been released.
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