2004-07-09 / Front Page

Beach Access Protest Rally Set For Tuesday

Beach Access Protest Rally Set For Tuesday

A protest that promises to be a massive demonstration against restrictive beach and boardwalk rules will take place at Beach 116 Street and the Boardwalk at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13.Democratic District Leader Lew Simon, reported early in the week that he has all the necessary permits and that he expects a large crowd on hand to protest the growing number of summonses issued by police and parks enforcement officers.

As a prelude to the protest, Simon's second in as many summers, he will also host a town hall meeting with Norman Siegel, a noted Manhattan civil rights attorney, at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, on Friday, July 9 at 7:45 p.m.

Siegel, the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told The Wave that he is "upset, troubled and concerned," by the news of beach and boardwalk enforcement in Rockaway and has agreed to investigate what he said appears to be a city-wide double standard with regard to enforcement.

Siegel is eager to "meet with people, hear their grievances and look at their summonses," he said.

Last year's "Take Back The Beach" rally, held on July 9, drew about 1,500 angry residents to Beach 116 Street. Some of them held signs that read "Ticket Beach" while others followed Simon, who chanted "Whose beach? Our Beach!"

The day after that rally, City Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr.'s office was flooded with calls, but the councilman said he needed to hear from a majority of people and not the outspoken few who took issue with enforcement of a long list of beach restrictions. No changes to the rules have been made.

"I think we have to be more organized this time," said Norman Silverman, who plans to attend the rally.

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