Tensions boil over at rally to keep competitive admissions in NYC schools

A angry scuffle broke out at a rally backing competitive school admissions Friday after an opposing group interrupted the event.

Roughly 80 supporters of screened schools — many of them South and East Asian — gathered near City Hall to demand that the DOE maintain accelerated academic programs.

The action was organized by PLACE NYC, or Parent-Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum & Education.

During podium addresses, about 20 counter-protesters jostled to the front of the crowd while two of them tried to unfurl a banner in front of the speakers.

That attempt was met with immediate resistance, setting off several minutes of shouting before the volume subsided and the speakers resumed.

A startled trio of City Council members who showed up in solidarity with the rally hosts — Robert Cornegy, Ben Kallos, and Andrew Gounardes — all witnessed the fracas firsthand.

“They tried to push their way in,” said Karlin Chan, a PLACE supporter. “You don’t crash into someone else’s rally. Everybody’s standing, then all of a sudden they’re charging through the crowd, trying to raise their banner behind the speaker podium.”

Tensions rose once again after one of the protesters attempted to physically block the podium as an 11-year-old Bangladeshi girl tried to address the crowd.


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