Congresswoman, Others Arrested During Protest of LICH Shutdown

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Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez is among several protesters who were arrested Monday as they engaged in civil disobedience to stop Long Island College Hospital from closing. 

Several protesters, including members of the New York State Nurses Association, walked onto Atlantic Avenue blocking an entrance to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Velasquez says she and community members will continue to protest the move to close the medical facility, known as LICH, by its owner SUNY Downstate.

“We will continue to fight,” she said. “We will continue to be here today and tomorrow and every single day, until it is re-election time.”

Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who was arrested in July for engaging in civil disobedience at LICH, attended the Monday rally but left before any arrests were made. De Blasio said another hospital closing means more travelling for patients who need care.

“When it comes to healthcare, location, location, location. You have to have it near you,” he said. “When it comes to emergency care, it has to be near you.”

SUNY Downstate says it is losing money and needs to close LICH. Critics and unions are fighting in court to keep it open.