NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Several pastors and a New York City councilman have been arrested at a protest against the city’s plans to evict worship services from school buildings.
Seven demonstrators, including Councilman Fernando Cabrera, were charged with trespass Thursday.
“We were praying and we sang a song,” Cabrera told 1010 WINS. “The event took like 2 minutes and we were arrested — which is a lot shorter than the Occupy Wall Street people had the opportunity to stand.”
Police said the group refused to move from the entrance to the city’s Law Department in Manhattan.
“Now I have to go home and explain to my grandson, who was scared for his granddaddy, why I was arrested,” Cabrera said. “I have to explain to him about civil disobedience and about just cause.”
The city has told about 60 churches they must stop holding worship services in public schools after Feb. 12. It argues separation of church and state and cites a court decision.
In addition, the city Housing Authority says it’s reviewing its policy on renting space to outside groups, including five churches.
An attorney representing some of the churches says about 25 people, mostly pastors, took part in the demonstration.
“We’re standing firm, we’re not going to waiver on this, we’re not going to go away,” Cabrera said.
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