On Saturday, facing widespread backlash for his hastily announced overseas trip, Mayor de Blasio delivered the keynote speech at a G20 protest in Germany about the role of cities in defying President Trump's agenda.
"My nation isn't broken, but my nation is going through an identity crisis," de Blasio told the Hamburg crowd. "It's on its way somewhere and I know it's somewhere good because I see what happens in the neighborhoods in my city … I see the process of change underway."
Earlier in the day, de Blasio cited New York's subway system as a metaphor, saying "it's not perfect, it's not necessarily the way you want to live to be the sardine in the sardine can, but what you notice is there is a working harmony." He also promised that American cities would work to uphold the Paris Agreement, and praised the bravery of police—a line that drew "sustained applause," according to his spokesperson Eric Philips.
Meanwhile in New York, police groups and rival politicians have fiercely criticized de Blasio for leaving town one day after the murder of Officer Miosotis Familia, who was fatally shot in an unprovoked attack on July 5th. De Blasio is expected to attend the slain cop's funeral on Tuesday, but was absent for her vigil on Saturday night.
“It seems the mayor hasn’t learned anything from the men and women who turned their backs on him in the past,” Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said, referring to the time that thousands of cops turned their back on the mayor during the funeral of Detective Wenjian Liu.
"No one in uniform is surprised by de Blasio’s show of disrespect," added Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) July 6, 2017
Republican mayoral hopeful Nicole Malliotakis also got in a few jabs, tweeting a photoshopped image of de Blasio over beer and bratwurst, and telling the Post that the mayor "has no business being in Germany protesting. He should be here doing the job he was elected to do.”
And even Donald Trump Jr. joined in on the mayor-bashing, accusing de Blasio of "protest[ing] against capitalism while the City's education, infrastructure etc rots under his 'progressive' stewardship!"
On Friday, de Blasio told WNYC that he'd accepted the rally's invitation because he felt it was "incumbent upon me as the leader of the biggest city in the country to set a tone" following the election of Donald Trump.
“We almost have Washington as an island at this point, unrepresentative of the views of the American people on many levels, and that’s going to take a different kind of politics to address,” de Blasio added in an interview with Bloomberg on Saturday.
The mayor is expected to return to New York on Sunday evening.