Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s New York engagement rocked by fiery protest

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MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry’s New York engagement has been rocked by a protest in the city.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently in New York City, marking their first public appearance since the birth of their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor in June. The couple’s visit to New York, which is their first visit to the city together, includes speaking at the Global Citizen Live event in Central Park on Saturday.

Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State, also joined the group at the skyscraper’s observatory.

While members of the press waited for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a protest broke out outside the One World Observatory.

The protests saw the group appealing to the mayor over debt forgiveness, as according to the group “NYC taxi drivers have been financially ruined by unpayable medallion debt as a direct result of city policy”.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry New York taxi protest

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s New York engagement rocked by protest (Image: Getty Images and Twitter / @NYTWA)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in NYC

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently in New York City for a series of engagements (Image: Getty Images)

The protest, held by New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) tweeted from their location outside the observatory claiming “the real news is happening outside”, while press were awaiting the appearance of the couple.

The protest saw representatives from the 25,000-member strong union of New York City’s professional drivers appealing to Mayor Bill De Blasio, as taxi drivers in the region are struggling under a “lifetime of unpayable debt as a direct result of city policy”.

They claim the NYC mayor wants to “bail out the bankers who own the debt & abandon the drivers to lifelong poverty”, but the alliance demands different action.

NYTWA protests in New York

The protests saw the group appealing to the mayor over debt forgiveness (Image: Twitter / @NYTWA)

Prince Harry and Meghan in New York

While Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited the One World Trade Center, a protest broke out outside (Image: Getty Images)

The union is calling for no more banker bailouts, and instead are seeking “real relief for drivers”.

The protesters claim that this means the “city is giving away millions in taxpayer money to these banks” but that NYC taxi drivers don’t benefit and “are getting nothing in return”.

At 1.01pm, they tweeted a video of protesters holding placards amid shouts of “fix the taxi crisis”.

NYTWA protests in New York

The union is seeking “real relief for drivers” in their appeal from the NYC mayor. (Image: Twitter / @NYTWA)

They also shared a series of images showing signs held by the protesters reading “Debt forgiveness now! Let drivers live” and “Respect the drivers” among other messages relating to their cause.

At 1.24pm, while the press awaited an opportunity to liaise with the Duke and Duchess, the group tweeted: “The real news is happening outside. Ask @NYCMayor why he’s ignoring our proposal and prefers to leave thousands of cabbies in life-long ruin?”

Meghan and Harry pictured with New York Mayor Bill De Blasio

Meghan and Harry pictured with New York Mayor Bill De Blasio (Image: Getty Images)

Elsewhere, on their Twitter page NYTWA is appealing for New Yorkers to call the Mayor’s office to aid them in their debt relief plea and the group relocated their efforts after they claimed their previous ones had been “blocked”.

At 3.56pm they said: “They moved the barricades and changed entrances to block us. Why don’t you see our humanity, @NYCMayor? You dine with royalty. Your cabbies are protesting for dignity. Help the cabbies @NYCMayor Let us live”.

Footage showed representatives shouting “we want union” and “help the cabbies”, and “we want action” while someone called out Mr De Blasio’s name.

Further information about the appeal can be found here.

No reports have been made to say that the protests directly affected Prince Harry and Meghan’s trip to New York though, with the duo still set to attend the 24-hour star-studded global TV event, which is hosted in NYC’s Central Park on Saturday.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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