This story was originally published on 6/6/19 by THE CITY. (By: Claudia Irizarry Aponte)
A Brooklyn restaurant owner said her staff was blindsided when a Polish nationalist politician showed up with 100 followers Wednesday — spurring a backlash that may force her to permanently close.
“There was someone there who shouldn’t be and no one was expecting,” the woman, who asked not to be identified by name, told THE CITY through tears. “I don’t have nothing [to do] with this, I didn’t do anything… I don’t even agree with this.”
“We are not evil,” she added. “We didn’t do anything to bring this guy.”
Robert Winnicki, leader of the National Movement (Ruch Narodowy), a nationalist Polish political party, spoke at French Epi in Greenpoint after being barred from nearby St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.
The restaurant’s manager, Jolanta Filip, said she received a reservation for 15 Wednesday night. Filip and her mother were the only two people working when a huge crowd rolled in to the small restaurant.
“In a matter of 15 minutes, we had a full house,” she said. “We weren’t prepared for this mass of people.”
Filip said she called the owner, who told her to eject Winnicki and his supporters. But the crowd — which threw out two journalists from THE CITY — wouldn’t leave.
“We are not a platform for anything,” added Filip, a single mother of three who was hoping to buy the restaurant from the recently widowed owner. Continue reading