Liberating a C train landed him in cuffs.
Yates McKee, 40, an adjunct art history professor at Pratt Institute and the New School, was arrested Friday after he allegedly slapped a sticker promoting the protest group Decolonize This Place on the train as it rumbled toward the Whitney Museum of American Art in the West Village on Friday, cops and members of the group said.
Protesters jumped on the Manhattan-bound train from different points along the route taking over at least two train cars, where they put up flowers and colorful banners claiming that the train had been liberated.
They then disseminated information to straphangers, encouraging them to join them on their protest march from the 14th St. station to the Whitney, where they demanded museum vice chairman Warren Kanders step down because his company, Safariland, manufactures tear gas allegedly used against undocumented immigrants at the U.S. border.
“This was week eight of our protest and it has been escalating week by week as we try to convince the Whitney to do the right thing,” said Amin Husain, one of the co-founder’s of Decolonize This Place. “We had 14 different groups jump on the same train car from Euclid Ave. to Chinatown so instead of people just being bored on the train, they heard about ‘Swipe it Forward’ and how fascism and racism pits everyone against each other.”
The NYPD had at least three uniformed officers on the train, according to videos taken during the liberation.
Husain said a few plain clothes cops were also on the train, and claimed to have seen McKee slap a sticker on a subway car wall.
Cops immediately arrested McKee, charging him with making graffiti and criminal mischief. He was also charged with 57 counts of criminal possession of graffiti instruments — one for each of the 54 stickers found on him, as well as some markers, officials said.