Parade Without a Permit!


In 2006, multiple courts ruled the City’s assembly rules unconstitutional, and City Council was charged with fixing them. Instead of conducting public hearings and placing the matter into the hands of City Council, Speaker Quinn abdicated her responsibilities and allowed the NYPD to write these rules behind closed doors.

In February 2007, she rubberstamped the new rules into effect. Suddenly, it became illegal for 50 or more people to gather and process through New York City -- unless they request and are given prior permission from the police.

I've been a political activist since I was young, so I spent a dozen or more years being told that someday I would "grow up" and leave these silly politics behind and also being reminded that no matter how bad it was here we were more free than those living under Communism.

One of the things I was told over and over again that made us free was our right to protest. The right to public assembly was always referred to when people wanted to remind me why I should shut up and be happy I was not living under a more repressive State.

Well folks, that right no longer exists for us in New York City. The police, with an after-the-fact rubber-stamp by our elected officials, have decided to "re-interpret" the law. In the opinion of the NYPD the Constitution does not provide for legal assembly and protest if the State does not approve your protest (which to me seems counter to the very concept of protest -- protests don't get permits, concerts get permits).

Any public gathering of 50 people or more is now a crime here in NYC! This saturday people are getting together to raise their voices about it.