January 11, 2006

NYC Nightclub Bars Wheelchair User, Faces Protest

NYC wheelchair user Michael Harris has hired a lawyer after the Star nightclub in Manhattan refused to admit him on New Year's Eve.

"They basically told me they had a policy not to admit people in wheelchairs," Harris said. "They told me that if I didn't leave they would pick me up and take me out of my wheelchair and throw me into the street."

Harris did not stick around to see if the bouncers were serious about the threat, but he did return to the club a short while later with a handmade sign to protest his treatment.

This past weekend, Harris was back at the Upper West Side club to stage another protest, and this time he was joined by City Council members Gail Brewer (D-Manhattan) and Melissa Mark Viverito (D-Manhattan), as well as fellow disabled activists.

"This issue goes beyond the legality of the situation to the morality of it," said Lawrence Carter-Long of the Disabilities Network of NYC, of which Harris is a member. "If this was any other minority group, we as a society would never accept this kind of discrimination, so why should we accept it for someone in a wheelchair?"

Read story, Wheelchair user presses protest against club (Newsday)

Posted on January 11, 2006