Central New York, Politics, Syracuse

“Pence Go Away!”: Protesters Gather As Vice President Visits Syracuse

By Alana Seldon SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – A visit from Vice President Mike Pence to the Salt City on Tuesday was not met with a friendly welcome by protesters lined long Solar Street across from the Embassy Suites hotel and Destiny USA.

Nearly 300 Central New Yorkers gathered to protest as a motorcade escorted Mike Pence to the hotel where he was scheduled to attend Republican Congressman John Katko’s re-election campaign fundraiser.

Pence attended as a favor in return after Katko voted in support of President Trump’s recent tax cuts and jobs act bill late last year. While that was one of the biggest issues that sparked protests on Tuesday, signs read “Families Belong Together” as many rallied against the current immigration policies of the country, including separating kids from their parents of illegal status at the border.

Colgate University professor, Nagesh Rao came to the U.S. from India in 1992 and said he considers the controversial separation policy like “putting children in concentration camps.”

Shame on Katko” and CNY Solidarity Coalition volunteer, Jonah Minkoff-Zern expressed those were his sentiments exactly. He said, “today was a perfect example of John Katko not being our representative, he steps on the little people of Central New York and he should care about the people who live here, not his big donors in Mike Pence.”

Among the protesters were local politicians who said they took pride in standing with their people and community. Juanita Perez-Williams and Dana Balter will face off in the Democratic primary for the 24 Congressional District next Tuesday. Both said no matter the results, they are looking forward to booting Katko out of Washington in November.