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Firefighters Protest the City's Decision to Reduce Their Access to Ground Zero, Saying Themayor Is More Concerned About Removing Gold and Silver From the Rubble Than the Remains of Theirfallen Comrade

November 07, 2001
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In a wrenching scene that brought out into the open the pain, anger and grief that many New Yorkers affected thedevastation of September 11 still feel, angry firefighters fought with police at the World Trade Center site Fridayas they protested the city’s decision to reduce the number of their comrades searching for victims.

Eleven active firefighters and one retired captain were arrested and five police officers were injured when severalfracases broke out.

Firefighters are livid over the city’s decision to cut to 25 the number of FDNY rescuers at the scene at any onetime. They called the move a betrayal of the hundreds of their comrades believed buried in the wreckage.

Only 91 bodies have been recovered of the 343 firefighters listed as missing.

The confrontation erupted when marchers organized by fire unions were blocked from entering Ground Zero for a momentof silence for the firefighters lost Sept. 11. More than 1,000 protesters marched, according to the Uniformed FireOfficers Association. Firefighters say the Mayor is more concerned about removing gold and silver from the rubblethan the remains of their fallen comrades.

Guests:

  • Peter Gorman, President of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.
  • George Gursey, New York City fireman.

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