In the midst of the New York City protests on Saturday, some SantaCon partygoers gave their two cents on the demonstrations.
The Millions March, which protested the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and others killed in the hands of police, garnered 60,000 participants, according to organizers. However, it also attracted opposition from some of those dressed in Santa Claus outfits while celebrating the annual event.
In one video posted by YouTube user Adam Johnson, several SantaCon participants are seen heckling the protesters. One is captured putting up his middle fingers, while another is heard saying, "put your hands up and listen to the officers." Many protesters stopped to listen to the young males, including one female who tells them, “stop talking.”
In another video, posted on YouTube by Julia Neusner, a group of rowdy SantaCon participants appear on a street corner dressed in festive attire. The person videotaping the group asks, “So do you guys not think that people have a right to be angry over what happened?”
One female responds, “No, I think it’s annoying,” also calling the protests an inconvenience.
“I think it’s been a month now. They should get over it,” she also says.
SantaCon, which was started in 1994 and donates its proceeds to charities, received a lot of opposition this year. Many establishments even refused to allow those dressed up to enter.
“SantaCon has respect and compassion for the hard-working municipal organizations of NYC, as well as for the important civil rights demonstrations currently shaping our city’s future,” the organization wrote on its website. “Thus, we are changing the format of this year’s SantaCon.”
A photo posted by TheDustyRebel (@dustyrebel) on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:02pm PST
Yet, not all SantaCon partakers were against the protesters. Some – like the men below – joined in to fight against the grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who was responsible for the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island in July.
Garner, 43, also unarmed, was placed in a chokehold after cops suspected him of selling untaxed cigarettes on the street.
“I can't breathe, I can’t breathe," he is heard saying during his arrest captured in video by a bystander.
Moments later, the father of six was unresponsive.
A photo posted by Stefanie Giglio (@stefaniegiglio) on Dec 12, 2014 at 12:54pm PST
— Mitch Swenson (@Mitch_Swenson) December 13, 2014