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Congresswoman, Others Arrested During Protest of LICH Shutdown

Monday, August 05, 2013

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.

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Comments [2]

Pete Sikora from Cobble Hill

Kudos to Representative Velazquez and others who got arrested to send a message to Governor Cuomo. Please Governor Cuomo, stop closing our hospital! Instead, do your job: put everybody around a table and restructure it. SUNY, under your leadership, is a bunch of incompetent thugs. They have run LICH, which should be making money, into the ground! And Downstate is next. Interfaith needs saving too! You are causing a real crisis in Brooklyn by allowing these closing - people have already died. Every day we hear more horror stories. Please help, instead of endangering our health.

Aug. 05 2013 05:35 PM
tl from brooklyn

nobody is forcing SUNY to keep LICH. nobody wants SUNY to keep LICH. we want them gone. BUT We want them to keep LICH open to hand it over to a new operator in a smooth transition - the same way they got to take it over. SUNY is costing the taxpayers by spending millions a month on their efforts to keep the hospital empty. Theyre spending 4x more millions than they spent on LICH when it was full of patients & fully functioning. It is more cost effective to let the patients come in & let the hospital function while working to give it up to a new operator.

Aug. 05 2013 05:02 PM

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