2004-07-02 / Community

Council To Mayor: Protect Protester’s Rights

By Chaunai McKnight

Council To Mayor: Protect Protester’s Rights

By Chaunai McKnight

The City Council voted overwhelmingly last week in favor of the right to demonstrate at Republican National Convention. The council voted on the issue because they believe the First Amendment should be protected in favor of New Yorkers who may want to demonstrate during the convention.

Deputy Majority Leader Bill Perkins said, "We felt strongly that the city Council needed to take a stand to ensure that demonstrators are allowed to exercise their rights to freedom of speech and association at the Republican National Convention".

Perkins also said "The police did not respect the rights of protectors during the February 15, 2003 anti-war demonstration, and we wanted to ensure that, with the RNC coming to town, the rights of protestors are protected."

The New York City Bill of Rights Defense Campaign (NYCBORDC), persuaded the Council to pass resolution 389-A. The campaign is comprised of hundreds of volunteers dedicated to educating New Yorkers and lawmakers. Resolution 389-A calls upon city officials to take a plethora of steps to ensure that the First Amendment rights are protected during the Republican National Convention.

It calls upon city officials to take prompt action on permit applications and announce a schedule by which decisions will be made regarding permit applications. A memorandum of the understanding was sent to Mayor Bloomberg on June 9, 2004. It was reviewed and signed by six people but the Mayor has yet to respond to it.


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