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[P]
Does a NY Supreme Court judge say that the Central Park lawn is more important than free speech?

By marinel in Op-Ed
Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 08:19:18 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Here is the coverage in The New York Times and the New York Law Journal about the denial of United for Peace and Justice's Sunday rally in Central Park (United for Peace and Justice v. Bloomberg, 111893/04), and here is what NY Supreme Court1 Justice Silbermann said:

[...] the evidence established that the department's determination was based on entirely content-neutral factors, to wit: that the Great Lawn2 was not an appropriate venue for a demonstration of this magnitude. [...] The Parks Department appropriately applied content-neutral regulations while leaving plaintiff with a reasonable alternate site.


Maybe the judge is right, in saying that the August 10th change of mind and August 18th court filing against the city is too late. Maybe, she's right in saying that the West Side Hwy alternative proposed by the city was appropriate.

According to UPJ's version of events3 and their reasoning for ultimately rejecting the West Side Hwy alternative, the matter is not as simple as the judge's decision might suggest, and, after all, expediency and convenience should never trump the US Constitution even though a precedent has been set before.

Maybe the permit to assemble in Central Park means nothing since people will gather there after the march anyway. I would argue that with the permit they can set up a stage, speakers, first aid stations, police protection, etc. Without the permit, no stage, no speakers, the police will mostr likely harass the protesters, etc.

All said, to me, this decision still says that in NYC, the quality of the Central Park lawn is more important than free speech (and let's not forget the $18m spent on it).

As to the magnitude of the demonstration, 250,000 people (stated in the permit application) would be easily accommodated by the Great Lawn2,4. For example, in 1982, the No Nukes rally drew 750,000 protesters (or at least 500,000 according to NYPD estimates), and, as recently as 1995, the pope drew 250,000 fans to that same lawn.

According to the city attorney, Jonathan Pines, the Great Lawn2's 55 acres can't accommodate that many people, and it takes months and months to prepare. Well, the organizers applied in 2003, and the 55 acres would pack the 250,000 protesters in 2ftx3ft areas per person (if you set aside 25% of the Great Lawn for passageways and stages). Does that sound unreasonable to you?

In the end, as someone rightly points out below, why should we care if "jackass college kids and wannabe anarchists" don't get to share their view with the rest of us? We already know their view, right? Well, there is some truth to his charge, yet, by the same token, why do the DNC and the RNC happen? But we know their views too, right?

It all comes down to free speech and the right to assemble, and those that have the money get their way and disrupt a whole town for a week, and those that don't have money don't even get the right to assemble in a park on a Sunday afternoon.

------

1 NY Supreme Courts are the lowest courts in the NY state court hierarchy (at the state level).
2 The Great Lawn is a central portion of Central Park (between 80th St and 86th St). See map.
3 UPJ's version of events (from the court filing):

June 4, 2003: Plaintiffs first application for a special events permit is submitted to the Parks Department. The application indicates plaintiff wishes to hold a rally on the Great Lawn for approximately 250,000 participants, on Sunday, August 29, 2004. The application does not provide for a rain date.

December 31,2003: Plaintiff is notified by the Parks Department that decisions on applications for special event permits associated with the Republican National Convention "are being reserved until a date closer to the convention so that realistic decisions can be made concerning the number and nature of competing events."

March 26,2004: Representatives of the police department and United for Peace and Justice (hereinafter "UPJ") meet to discuss possible routes for the march proposed by plaintiff. No agreement is reached, and representatives of UPJ and the police department do not meet again until May 26, 2004, two months later.

April 26, 2004: The Parks Department informs plaintiff that its special events permit application has been denied, due to the size of the proposed event and the likely severe damage to the lawns of Central Park.

May 6,2004: Plaintiff files an administrative appeal to the denial of Its application for an August 2gth rally on the Great Lawn.

May 17,2004: The Parks Department denies plaintiffs appeal on the ground that plaintiff 8 May 6,2004 letter "did not present any additional information addressing the ground for the denial."

May 26,2004: UPJ and the police department meet for the second time. Again, no agreement is reached regarding plaintiffs proposal for a rally on the Great Lawn.

May 27,2004: UPJ is informed by the police department of an alternate route for the march, as well as a rally on West Street, instead of in Central Park.

June 28,2004: UPJ responds to the police department's proposal and makes an alternative proposal which is rejected by the police department,

July 2,2004: Representatives of the police department and UPJ hold another meeting. No agreement is reached with regard to the site for the march and rally.

July 9,2004: Representatives of UPJ and the police department visit the proposed West Street site.

July 14, 2004: New York Police Department coordinator for the Republican National Convention, Chief John McManus, writes to UPJ requesting a decision about the proposed West Street rally site by Friday, July 16th.

July 16, 2004: Representatives of UPJ and the police department meet again. No resolution is reached with regard to the proposed West Street site.

July 21,2004: UPJ agrees to a march no further north than 34th Street, followed by a rally on West Street.

August 3,2004: Representatives of UPJ and the police department convene a meeting to discuss operational details of the march and rally.

August 10,2004: UPJ informs the police department by letter that it will not proceed with the West Street rally, and submits a new application for a special events permit to the Parks Department seeking not only use of the Great Lawn, but the North Meadow and the East Meadow of Central Park, for a rally of approximately 215,000 people. Plaintiff proposes that 75,000 people be directed to the Great Lawn, 100,000 people be re-directed to the North Meadow, and 40,000 be sent to the East Meadow.

August 16,2004: Representatives of UPJ and the police department meet to continue negotiations regarding the march and rally sites.

August 17,2004: Counsel for UPJ advise counsel for the City of New York of UPJ's intention to file suit.

August 18,2004: UPJ commences this action seeking a preliminary injunction directing defendants to grant plaintiffs August 10,2004 special events permit.

4 I should also mention that the National Council of Arab Americans and the anti-war Answer Coalition got denied a permit for 750,000 protesters for Saturday. I agree with that decision, since that would have given each protester only 2 sq.ft. of space (more than adequate for a standing-only rally though).

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Poll
Do the rally organizers have the law on their side?
o Yes. 38%
o No. 30%
o I don't know. 30%

Votes: 49
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o The New York Times
o New York Law Journal
o United for Peace and Justice
o United for Peace and Justice v. Bloomberg, 111893/04
o reasoning for ultimately rejecting the West Side Hwy alternative
o a precedent has been set before
o quality of the Central Park lawn is more important than free speech
o No Nukes rally drew 750,000 protesters
o pope drew 250,000 fans
o can't accommodate that many people, and it takes months and months to prepare
o NY state court hierarchy
o map
o National Council of Arab Americans
o Answer Coalition
o denied a permit for 750,000 protesters for Saturday
o Also by marinel


Display: Sort:
Does a NY Supreme Court judge say that the Central Park lawn is more important than free speech? | 142 comments (97 topical, 45 editorial, 1 hidden)
Stop trying to depress me. (2.44 / 9) (#7)
by killmepleez on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:39:24 PM EST

I already struggle just to make it through each absurd and meaningless day. I've finally learned to live without delusions of life, liberty, and whatever else we're allegedly supposed to be getting out of some fragile piece of paper our "forefathers" signed several hundred years ago. Please stop sharing these types of stories. Civil liberties and self-determination are over [and have been over for a loooong time], okay?

Your protests will help you feel righteous, but nothing will change; nothing stops. The problem isn't a lack of "public awareness" or media visibility. The problem is people, and the collective busy busy busyness of a herd of over six billion people has passed beyond any people-instituted remedy system.

I don't want to hear a running commentary every three meters as we go sliding down this slippery slope to goodthink. Let's have one more round of drinks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
I tell you this: (none / 1) (#8)
by LilDebbie on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:43:57 PM EST

no eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Ah-HAH! (none / 0) (#79)
by AzTex on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 10:57:01 PM EST

LilDebbie,
Not only do you not shit in a bucket, but you also must have access to a radio from Texas.
I rest my case.

solipsism: I'm always here. But you sometimes go away.
** AzTex **

[ Parent ]
Proof positive? (none / 0) (#127)
by LilDebbie on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 03:22:07 PM EST

Nah, I read it in a book (okay, so I do have it on CD, but it's JIM!).

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Stop reading the Op-ed Politics story queue then (none / 0) (#48)
by marinel on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 01:33:19 PM EST

The problem is yours, budy. If you don't want to get depressed than watch MTV, birds, beach volleyball or something lighter, and do NOT read op-ed politics stories in the k5 queue. It's as if you're poking your eye out and then whining about how the manufacturer made needles too sharp for your taste.
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
[ Parent ]
You don't know what you are talking about. (2.00 / 3) (#80)
by edg176 on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 01:14:11 AM EST

Civil rights haven't been over for a long time. They've only just started. Voting rights for blacks? The end of interracial marriage bans? Gay rights? Women's rights? Now on the other hand, complete unfettered action for rich white elites, now that has been over for a while. Or at least, the acceptance of that fact as acceptable in polite society. Yes, absolutely we are losing our hard fought for liberties. Yes, absolutely it's all going to Hell faster than I ever thought possible. And I don't know that the chances are good that we can stop it. But what we've gained is something for which decent, thinking, feeling people should be willing to fight. So spare me your under-informed pose of cynicism. If you're going to be a cynic, at least be informed of the history.

[ Parent ]
If you worship identity politics (none / 0) (#98)
by killmepleez on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 08:31:27 PM EST

instead of civil rights and self-determination for all persons, then yes, you're right.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
Okay... (none / 0) (#107)
by edg176 on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 12:09:05 AM EST

I'm not sure what you mean by "identity politics." Could you claify?

[ Parent ]
IP (none / 0) (#121)
by killmepleez on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 11:37:02 AM EST

I'm being lazy today but your question deserves a response, so I'm linking to far more eloquent and complete critiques than anything I'm willing to muster on a Monday morning. I will at least to say that I am at heart a humanist and a universalist [and a 70/30 constructionist -- a position which makes me as unpopular in the gay community [the self-image of this community being a desperate Leave it To Beaver normalizing fiction produced expressly by the dominance of Identity Politics over the last three decades] as homosexuals were in "polite society" forty years ago], and therefore identity politics is like vinegar to my baking soda, to use an awkward chemical simile.

  • How Political is the Personal?: Identity Politics, Feminism and Social Change
  • Social Construction and the Transformation of Identity Politics
  • Universalism, Justice and Identity Politics: From Political Correctness to Constitutional Law
  • Identity politics

    Additionally, you could read Andrew Sullivan's Virtually Normal for a well-done mainstream overview, although of course biased towards his own particular thesis [as is virtually everything all of us write, normally], of the clash between Essentialism and Constructionism. Or just go read Foucault yourself.

    Here's the gist of the problem, taken from the first link:

    "Out of this situation there emerged what has been called identity politics, a politics that stresses strong collective group identities as the basis of political analysis and action. As political engagement with the society as a whole was increasingly perceived to have produced insufficient progress or solutions, and in the absence of a compelling model of a society worth struggling for, many progressives retreated into a focus on their own "self" and into specific cultural and ideological identity groups which made rights, status, and privilege claims on the basis of a victimized identity. These groups included ethnic minorities such as African-Americans, Asian- Americans, Native Americans, religious groups, lesbian women and gay men, deaf and other disabled people. The desire to gain sympathy on the basis of a tarnished identity was sometimes taken to absurd lengths, as for example when privileged white men pronounced themselves victims based on their alleged oppression by women and especially by feminists. Indeed in the last decade there has been an explosion of groups vying with one another for social recognition of their oppression and respect for it. This has been especially exaggerated on college campuses where young people have divided into any number of separate identity groups.

    Identity politics is centered on the idea that activism involves groups' turning inward and stressing separatism, strong collective identities, and political goals focused on psychological and personal self-esteem. Jeffrey Escofier, writing about the gay movement, defines identity politics in the following fashion:

    'The politics of identity is a kind of cultural politics. It relies on the development of a culture that is able to create new and affirmative conceptions of the self, to articulate collective identities, and to forge a sense of group loyalty. Identity politics - very much like nationalism - requires the development of rigid definitions of the boundaries between those who have particular collective identities and those who do not.'

    Many progressive activists today have come to base their political analysis on collectively and often ideologically constructed identities which are seen as immutable and all-encompassing. These identities, for many, provide a retreat where they can feel "comfortable" and "safe" from the assaults and insults of the rest of the society. Today it is the case that many of those who profess a radical critique of society nonetheless do not feel able, as activists in the 60s and 70s did, to engage people outside their own self-defined group - either to press for improvement in their disadvantaged status or to join in coalition. Identity politics defines groups as so different from one another, with the gap dividing them so wide and unbridgeable, that interaction is purposeless. Not only is it assumed that working together will inevitably fail to bring progressive change that would benefit any particular group. In addition, identity groups discourage political contact because of their concern that the psychological injury and personal discomfort they believe such contact inevitably entails will harm individuals' self-esteem and erode their identity.

    Identity politics thus is zero-sum: what helps one group is thought inevitably to harm another; what benefits them must hurt me. It is a politics of despair. In the name of advancing the interests of one's own group, it rejects attempts to educate, pressure, or change the society as a whole, thus accepting the status quo and revealing its essentially conservative nature. Identity politics advocates a retreat into the protection of the self based on the celebration of group identity. It is a politics of defeat and demoralization, of pessimism and selfishness. By seizing as much as possible for one's self and group, it exposes its complete disregard for the whole from which it has separated - for the rest of the society. Identity politics thus rejects the search for a just and comprehensive solution to social problems."



    __
    "I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
    --from "J
    [ Parent ]
  • Obey Big Brother (none / 0) (#131)
    by John Asscroft on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 12:01:35 PM EST

    You are happy and free. You're free to have opinions, you're free to criticize your government (as long as you don't do it in public with other people who have the same opinion, in which case you're protesting without a permit and will be arrested, but why protest?), your government mostly leaves you alone. Oh sure, you're powerless to change how your government works or what it does, but who would want to do that anyhow except some kinda scruffy commies like the cops are always beating down during those "protest" things?

    So you go about your daily life working for some corporation whose CEO is on a first-name basis with some government official and you sometimes wonder why your life gets a little bit harder every year, why the roads and bridges and schools seem a bit shabbier every year, but mostly you don't wonder. After all, it takes all your energy merely to keep ahead of your creditors.

    George Orwell was wrong. The iron fist of the State is not the way to rule a people. A velvet glove works just as well. You can be controlled in what you think, what you feel, what you know, what you do, all without anybody forcing you to think or feel or know or do.

    Welcome to 1984+20, where you obey Big Brother -- and like it.

    -- The A.G.'s Inner Penguin
    We must destroy freedom to save it from the terrorists who want to destroy freedom. Else the terrorists have won.
    [ Parent ]

    These protests are so retarded anyway (2.20 / 20) (#10)
    by duffbeer703 on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 05:47:04 PM EST

    Nobody, and I mean nobody pays any heed to them whatsoever anyway.

    Other than waste even more money on security and cleaning up after jackass college kids and wannabe anarchists, this protest will accomplish nothing.

    We know that you:

    - Are against the war in Iraq
    - Are against Bush & the republicans
    - etc.

    Screaming about it in the street is redundant.

    The other problem is that even if you have 500,000 people protest, everybody these days are protesting different things. Before I was knocked unconscious by a glass bottle thrown by a pack of idiots trashing a Starbucks in Seattle, I saw people protesting about everything from world trade to owls.

    Find a more effective way to communicate.

    Call the waahmbulance (1.00 / 5) (#29)
    by felixrayman on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 02:12:55 AM EST

    These protests are so retarded anyway...Nobody, and I mean nobody pays any heed to them whatsoever anyway.
    ...
    Before I was knocked unconscious by a glass bottle thrown by a pack of idiots trashing a Starbucks in Seattle

    I think I see what your major malfunction is...

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]

    Yeah (none / 0) (#33)
    by Grognard on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 08:30:01 AM EST

    I think I see what your major malfunction is...

    Anyone who would have a problem with that is obviously a fascist.  What gives him the right to walk around peacefully?

    [ Parent ]

    Moron (none / 0) (#58)
    by felixrayman on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 03:54:34 PM EST

    It's not about rights, it's about common sense. Walk around in a violent protest while paying it no heed whatsoever and what the fuck do you think is going to happen?

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]
    Nice knee jerk (none / 0) (#93)
    by Grognard on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 01:33:21 PM EST

    but two things come to mind:  first, where did he say that he was walking into an area where a violent protest was going on (he could well have been trying to get out)?  Second, if he, in fact, did do something stupid, since when does that excuse someone else's crime?

    [ Parent ]
    Nice cunt mouth (none / 0) (#109)
    by felixrayman on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 03:24:34 AM EST

    Nice not understanding the fucking post you are replying to.

    Notice me not excusing anyone's crime? Notice you saying I excused someone's crime? Notice how you are a fucktard?

    Notice what retardo said:

    Before I was knocked unconscious by a glass bottle thrown by a pack of idiots trashing a Starbucks in Seattle, I saw people protesting about everything from world trade to owls.

    Yet he paid no "heed to them whatsoever anyway". Then shit, as it often does, happened.

    Duck and cover, morons. You have every right to stagger drunkenly through E. St. Louis with hundred dollar bills hanging out of your pockets,  much as you have every right to trot stupidly blissfully unaware yet smugly disapproving through herds of Seattle anarchists. Some rights are best left unexercised.

    You might want to open your fucking eyes to the shit that is going on around you. Then again, you might want to claim that no one pays attention to aforementioned shit, as the bottles fly.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]

    Such cogent reasoning (none / 0) (#111)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 07:01:46 AM EST

    how could I not be convinced?

    BTW - might want to check the old blood pressure there, junior...looks to be a tad high.

    [ Parent ]

    -1, already discussed on the Daily Show (1.10 / 10) (#12)
    by Reiko the Hello Kitty Fetishist on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:15:38 PM EST

    And it was funny that time. Which is more than I can say for this article.

    But what do I know? I just buy worthless plastic crap because it's cute.
    the thing that bugs me about this (2.50 / 12) (#15)
    by aphrael on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 06:57:26 PM EST

    is that the great lawn is periodically used for FREE CONCERTS. If concerts don't damage the lawn ....

    Permits/Fees (2.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Alannon on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 09:29:33 PM EST

    When there's a free concert there, almost certainly it is either:
    1. Being sponsored by a large company that has gotten permits and has paid fees to the city.  Therefore, they are taking on the responsibility for the damage and costs.
    2. Being sponsored by the city, and the city itself is taking responsibility for the damage and costs.


    [ Parent ]
    Just because the concert is free to the attendees (none / 0) (#108)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 01:41:06 AM EST

    doesn't mean someone hasn't lined up cold hard cash to restore the park afterwards.

    I've never known a weasel to lie to me, whore himself out for money or pretend that the weasel competing with him is hungrier than he is. Goddamn it, w
    [ Parent ]
    Why is this even an issue? (2.42 / 14) (#18)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:03:01 PM EST

    Previous court cases have already established there is no "right" to protest wherever you want, even if it is public property.

    To quote briefly:

    The privilege of a citizen of the United States to use the streets and parks for communication of views on national questions may be regulated in the interest of all; it is not absolute, but relative, and must be exercised in subordination to the general comfort and convenience, and in consonance with peace and [466 U.S. 814>>] good order; but it must not, in the guise of regulation, be abridged or denied."

    ...it is clear that "the First Amendment does not guarantee access to government property simply because it is owned or controlled by the government." United States Postal Service [104 S.Ct. 2134>>] v. Greenburgh Civic Assns., 453 U.S. 114, 129, 101 S.Ct. 2676, 2685, 69 L.Ed.2d 517 (1981).



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    Well (1.07 / 13) (#19)
    by marx on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 08:46:28 PM EST

    You think it's ok to torture people to death. So why is your opinion on this relevant? It's like if Pol Pot would join an argument on vegetarianism.

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    Rather unfair (none / 0) (#36)
    by GenerationY on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 09:25:21 AM EST

    but you made me laugh.

    [ Parent ]
    Why... (none / 0) (#102)
    by Zerotime on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 01:22:48 AM EST

    ...do morals have to have anything to do with one's diet?

    ---
    "I live by the river
    With my mother, in a house
    She washes, I cook
    And we never go out."

    [ Parent ]
    Morals (none / 0) (#104)
    by marx on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 08:57:00 AM EST

    Because eating meat means you have to kill living animals/people?

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    Not what I meant. (none / 1) (#114)
    by Zerotime on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:47:52 AM EST

    Being a hardline communist despot doesn't stop you from being a vegetarian any more than wearing hemp clothing stops you from being a stockbroker.

    ---
    "I live by the river
    With my mother, in a house
    She washes, I cook
    And we never go out."

    [ Parent ]
    That's really unfair. (none / 0) (#129)
    by RyoCokey on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 04:35:08 PM EST

    I certainly don't support torturing people to death on property you don't own.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    Dork (2.50 / 4) (#20)
    by Peahippo on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 10:30:52 PM EST

    [...] but it must not, in the guise of regulation, be abridged or denied.

    This is is EXACTLY what's happening here. Quoting legal code doesn't do away with the facts in this case. A park where free concerts are held, is exactly qualified as a site for a demonstration. Alternative sites don't enter into the argument; the site stated was wanted, hence the matter should have proceeded therefrom. There was plenty of time and notice.

    Permits and other such claptrap are just the tools of political control. Since eternal vigilance is obviously dead, things have become too restrictive. Like poster "killmepleez" has noted, we just have to wait until the real liberty-burning temperature is reached.


    [ Parent ]
    Bullshit (1.33 / 3) (#21)
    by duffbeer703 on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:29:13 PM EST

    A concert is completely different than an agitated protest with an unknown and unmanageable number of attendees. Particularly when another big event is consuming the attention of the police.

    Judging by the rowdiness and disrespect for property that previous protests "organized" by multiple radical groups against things like the WTO, NYC was completely within its rights to keep a protest out of the park.

    These groups ARE being allowed to march on the streets, so their voices are being heard. Those voices are simply not allowed in a park that is not designed to safely handle that type of crowd.

    America has always attempted to balance the need for public assembly and expression with the need for order and security on the public's property. That's why we've spent so much money building huge public plazas around state capitols and Washington, DC.
     

    [ Parent ]

    Are You Fucking Deaf? (2.40 / 5) (#23)
    by Peahippo on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:54:02 PM EST

    Can you even hear yourself talk after reading what I wrote?

    Differentiating between concerts and protests is a political choice, hence is wrong.

    Deciding police presence has primacy over public rights of protest, is wrong.

    The US Constitution specifically recognizes that the people have the right to peacefully assemble. And god damn it, the people want to assemble in that fucking park, not to be herded along some thoroughfare, or put in some other place not to their desire. Is this so hard to get through to your doltish mind? Liberty means to be free from restriction; don't you want liberty?

    The people's right to assemble is the thing that is being squashed. Lawyer points that are being raised here by you, and by the city administration, are irrelevant. The right of assembly should have primacy, but the fascist thugs behind the administration desks aren't letting it happen.

    Hence, as explained here, we could end up with a repeat of the Chicago 1968 events. The thugs may not "let" it happen, but the people surely may do so. You're on notice, Ace.


    [ Parent ]
    No, but you are fucking stupid. (2.00 / 8) (#25)
    by duffbeer703 on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 12:05:36 AM EST

    What part of "peacefully assemble" don't you understand?

    It is impossible to have half a million agitated people peacefully assemble without considering the venue and security.

    You're obviously too stupid to fathom this, so why don't you go have half a million people march through whatever shitstain of a city you live in? We don't need you in NYC.

    [ Parent ]

    No one is stopping them from assembling (2.66 / 3) (#38)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 09:39:08 AM EST

    but the right to assembly apparently doesn't include the right to a PA system or to build a stage.

    I've never known a weasel to lie to me, whore himself out for money or pretend that the weasel competing with him is hungrier than he is. Goddamn it, w
    [ Parent ]
    Dumbass (none / 0) (#83)
    by felixrayman on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 02:12:55 AM EST

    I guess they had the rock concerts there without a PA system or a stage?

    No?

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]

    I'm the dumbass? (none / 0) (#97)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 08:04:49 PM EST

    You're saying they had rock concerts there without bothering to get a permit?

    get a clue. The permit is for the right, among other things to draw power, set up a stage and use a PA system.

    I've never known a weasel to lie to me, whore himself out for money or pretend that the weasel competing with him is hungrier than he is. Goddamn it, w
    [ Parent ]

    The people's right to assemble (none / 0) (#130)
    by tgibbs on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:32:41 PM EST

    The people's right to assemble is the thing that is being squashed

    It doesn't seem to me that the "people's right to assemble" implies a right to assemble anywhere they choose. So long as there is some reasonable place for them to assemble, their right to assemble is intact. Similarly, the right of free speech does not imply the right to make a speech anywhere you choose, it is simply a protection against penalized for what you say.

    Restrictions on protest sites may be unreasonable and unjust, but so long as they are not so restrictive as to effectively make protest impossible, they are not a violation of anybody's Constitutional rights

    [ Parent ]

    Hmm (2.00 / 5) (#28)
    by felixrayman on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 02:10:47 AM EST

    A concert is completely different than an agitated protest with an unknown and unmanageable number of attendees.

    Apparently, you've never been to a rock concert in your life.

    America has always attempted to balance the need for public assembly and expression with the need for order and security on the public's property

    Apparently you've never read a history book in your life.

    That's why we've spent so much money building huge public plazas around state capitols and Washington, DC.

    I thought it was just to provide a buffer zone from the housing projects.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]

    huh? (3.00 / 3) (#53)
    by aphrael on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 02:15:20 PM EST

    Those voices are simply not allowed in a park that is not designed to safely handle that type of crowd.

    This is one of the most bizarre things i've read here in some time. Central Park can certainly handle that *size* crowd, and it's handled that *type* of crowd before. Arguably it's better designed for that type of crowd than a busy public street which has to be closed for the occasion.

    [ Parent ]

    You have it part right (none / 1) (#40)
    by LO313 on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 10:01:16 AM EST

    The park maybe used for free concerts but there is still liability taken by the producers of the concert for damage. If this was the KKK wanting to protest outside the national convention for the NAACP, would you feel the same? And don't say, "Of course I would! Its freedom of speech!" Because your a liar. No one would want to see that except nutballs. Unless your a nutball. I do think many government orgs go overboard with limiting peoples rights, especially free speech. But when the common good of the rest of the citizens of the community in question is at risk then that's what a community has to do.

    [ Parent ]
    Um (none / 1) (#52)
    by aphrael on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 02:13:45 PM EST

    Why does believing that the KKK has every right to protest make one a nutball?

    [ Parent ]
    Yup (none / 1) (#82)
    by felixrayman on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 02:11:33 AM EST

    If this was the KKK wanting to protest outside the national convention for the NAACP, would you feel the same?

    Yes. Or even in, say, Skokie.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]

    Sure why not? (none / 0) (#124)
    by ckaminski on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 02:05:03 PM EST

    It's a far stretch to turn hate-speech into hate-action.  And AFAIK, hate speech is still legal in this country (USA).

    I hate Bush the Warmonger.
    I hate Kerry the truant Senator.

    :-P


    [ Parent ]

    The full quote implies the reverse of your point: (none / 1) (#42)
    by marinel on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 10:37:28 AM EST

    From your own quoted source (my emphasis in bold):
    They fail to demonstrate the existence of a traditional right of access respecting such items as utility poles for purposes of their communication comparable to that recognized for public streets and parks, and it is clear that "the First Amendment does not guarantee access to government property simply because it is owned or controlled by the government." United States Postal Service [104 S.Ct. 2134>>] v. Greenburgh Civic Assns., 453 U.S. 114, 129, 101 S.Ct. 2676, 2685, 69 L.Ed.2d 517 (1981).

    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]
    No, as you'll see in Clark v. Community (none / 0) (#47)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 12:24:17 PM EST

    the Committee for Creative Non Violence took legal action against the U.S. Park Service for imposing a ban on camping in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Park Service, accepting their argument that to allow camping would impose excessive wear and tear on the park, thereby reducing the aesthetic value of the park for visitors who pay for its maintenance through their taxes.

    There's no special exemption just because it's a public street or park. The highlighted part just states that utility polls and signs aren't considered a reasonable use of 1st amendment speech on public property regardless of whether the interests of the public are harmed.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    Do you realize what you're saying? (3.00 / 3) (#60)
    by marinel on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 04:01:14 PM EST

    [...] to allow camping would impose excessive wear and tear on the park, thereby reducing the aesthetic value of the park for visitors who pay for its maintenance through their taxes.
    So, aesthetic values are higher than the right to assembly? Or as long as public money is spent in preserving a certain aesthetic to a public facility, then any wear and tear on that facility could preclude people from using that facility?

    It sounds like a specious argument to me and I don't give a rat's ass even if US Supreme Court Chief Justice Burger promulgated such an asinine argument.

    All said, I don't see how one can equate sleeping in tents across on the Mall (lots of wear and tear) with having a rally in Central Park (no different than previous concerts or religious gatherings), even though I agree with people's constitutional rights to set up camp on the Mall if they want to.

    In the end, I would dump public facility aesthetics any day if it comes in conflict with people's right to free speech and assembly, but I'm probably out of the mainstream in that regard.
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

    A summary of my position (1.50 / 2) (#122)
    by RyoCokey on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 11:45:22 AM EST

    It is "the people"'s property, and they can put such restrictions on it as they see fit. If they find that the beauty of the location is more valuable than the right of a subset of "the people" to protest, I see that as a legitimate conclusion.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    Except, (none / 1) (#125)
    by ckaminski on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 02:08:03 PM EST

    that the owners of said property, the Taxpayers, were never asked for their opinion.

    While I will concede the absurdity of attempting to gain such opinion via referendum or vote, abrogating control of public spaces to some universal "Park Service" which by definition has loyalty to incumbent Administrations, is only somewhat less absurd, certainly when they're not subject to civilian oversight.

    [ Parent ]

    We lost that battle decades ago. (none / 0) (#128)
    by RyoCokey on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 04:33:35 PM EST

    I imagine that the city could vote itself a more direct administration of public lands, if they felt it necessary. However, I think in that case, the local people would almost always vote against assembly, given the inconvenience it represents.

    My solution, of course, would be to have as little public land as practically possible. Although even with such a Libertarian property distribution, the land in question would probably still be part of the remaining public domain.



    The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
    [
    Parent ]
    No what he is saying (none / 0) (#133)
    by CENGEL3 on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 01:59:10 PM EST

    Is that when dealing with public property it is appropriate to consider the conflicting intrests of ALL the public...not just the interests of a particular vocal subset of the public.

    Why should the interests of a group of people who want to use the Great Lawn trump the interests of the people who want to use it to play soccer that day or lay out in the sun or have a picnic with thier family?

    If I want to use the Great Lawn for my freedom of expression by digging up the entire lawn in trenches resembling a cycladic spiral does that trump the right of everyone else who wants to use that space as well?

    It is appropriate for the government to consider the competeing intrests of ALL the public when determining what sort of activity is allowed to take place in a particular public space. Is the City prehaps being overly protective of rest of the publics interests in preserving the park from damage and paying too little shrift to the protesters right to use the park in this case? Prehaps, that's a judgement call.

    But what most certainly is NOT happening is that the protesters right to Freedom of political expression is NOT being DENIED. They HAVE been given an alternate venue where thier protest can be staged and have even been allowed to stage a march in the streets (closing those streets to use by the rest of the public).

    No cases of true denial of expression are, for instance, the gentleman who was denied permission to erect a burning cross ON HIS OWN PROPERTY... simply because it might possibly be in public view and therefore OFFEND some-one. That is a gentleman who really did have his 1st Ammendment rights trampled all over..... and yet I'm sure K5 would be deafeningly silent as to his case.

    [ Parent ]

    it's a shame (2.50 / 8) (#22)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 26, 2004 at 11:37:29 PM EST

    i'm not saying that the justices were correct, nor am i saying the protest group was wrong, i'm just saying it's a shame that if the group spearheading the protest effort had acted sooner, the permit probably would have been granted:

    Anti-GOP umbrella group United for Peace and Justice was denied a permit to rally on the park's Great Lawn in May after the city argued a large gathering could destroy the grass.

    The protesters initially caved to city demands to hold the rally on the West Side Highway, but backed out of the deal and sued last week to use the park.

    The group is "guilty of inexcusable and inequitable delay," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann wrote in her decision.

    Silbermann hinted the protesters could have won their battle to use the park - which has hosted huge rock concerts in the past - if they had sued immediately, in time for security arrangements to be made.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/225933p-193990c.html

    as it is, the protest will probably go through, except smaller and more rowdy because it's illegal

    so what could have been a huge glorious protest will instead be a raucous affair many will dismiss simply because of petty bureacratic legal wrangling


    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    Notice city's stalling tactics and UPJ's optimism (3.00 / 3) (#37)
    by marinel on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 09:25:48 AM EST

  • June 2003: UPJ applied for permit.
  • April 26, 2004: The Parks Department denies permit, due to the size of the proposed event and the likely severe damage to the lawns of Central Park.

    Now that sounds to me like they should have sued then, yet, the fools believed they can convince the city to give them the permit, until the police gave them the alternative site:

  • May 27, 2004: UPJ is informed by the police dept of the West Side Hwy alternative.

    Again, UPJ could have sued, but decided to negotiate further. Finally, they accepted the alternative site on July 21, and then changed their mind on August 10.

    It seems to me that, indeed, they could have injected their lawyers earlier in the process (as early as April 26), yet they were optimists/foolish to hope that they would get what they wanted from a Republican administration.

    I have to admit that the city was bullshitting pretty good about lawn damage (see previous concerts in the park) and/or size of the event (see 1995's pope mass), managing to put these UPJ fools in a bad light in the end.
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

  • Lawn damage (2.33 / 3) (#94)
    by cdguru on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 02:59:21 PM EST

    In Chicago it is common for groups that want to use the parks to have to post a bond or otherwise guarantee they are paying for cleanup and repairs. Some concerts have required this, where the history has been of lots and lots of damage.

    I believe both a KKK and some kind of neo-nazi rally were required to post such bonds and one backed out saying this was preventing them from having their meeting. I am sure when the Pope was in NYC someone was following behind writing out checks - to cover whatever.

    Chicago may have a special sensitivity to this since 1968 when they did not require such bonds and Grant Park was basically trashed - I think they replaced just about every blade of grass and every bush that was there. Fires were set, benches and picnic tables destroyed, signs torn down. I suspect NYC is bracing for the same kind of thing this year and they would like somebody else to pay for it.

    Can you really blame them? This is going to be an incredibly violent week.

    [ Parent ]

    The Problem (none / 0) (#126)
    by smegma hauler on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 02:29:47 PM EST

    Group A: Protestors.
    Group B: People who agree with the protestors, but who aren't protestors.

    A respects A.
    A respects B.
    B does not respect A.
    B respects B.

    There's a lot more B than A.

    [ Parent ]

    I would bet (2.66 / 15) (#30)
    by john flipping kerry on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 03:34:09 AM EST

    That if the organizers agreed to a bond or to some kind of liability for the protest, which was more than enough to cover the damage potential, then they could have their protest. The problem is with past histories of such protests. The anarchists always want to smash windows and burn police cars. All of which does no good for their cause.

    The trouble is the guys organizing the protests are just too unaccountable. Get Soros to back it with cash and I bet you could protest anywhere.

    Why should public assembly require $$$? (2.00 / 6) (#44)
    by marinel on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 10:51:34 AM EST

    You seem to imply that without lots of $$$, the people's right to assembly can kiss its ass good-bye in this country, right?

    You also seem to imply that the organizers are somehow responsible for the actions of all the participants, whether they are linked or not.

    I believe that each man is responsible for his own actions, and the organizers are only responsible for themselves unless they incite people to cause damage (which I don't believe is the case). Would you agree?
    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]

    bah. (2.75 / 4) (#45)
    by pheurton on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 11:47:51 AM EST

    No one said they had no right to assemble, in fact they were given a place to assemble without a bond, they just didn't like it. I don’t want my park (i live in NYC) destroyed by these people and don’t want my tax dollars going to fix the mess they cause. I don’t believe the organizers are going to incite people to cause damage, but if you march 250,000 people through central park stuff is going to happen, accidental or not, and someone needs to be responsible for it.

    [ Parent ]
    The Pope's mass some years back (2.60 / 5) (#70)
    by LrdChaos on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 07:02:20 PM EST

    You don't like political protestors. Suppose I didn't like religious people. Back in 1995, the Pope held a mass for 250,000 people on the Great Lawn. Suppose I didn't want my tax dollars going to fix the 'accidental' damage that is necessarily caused by such an event, because I didn't like the group.
    So what? What one person wants in all this is irrelevant. Holding any significant event on the Great Lawn is going to result in damage, but should this mean that no events can be held there because of it? Or do certain persons/groups receive special considerations?

    [ Parent ]
    The Difference (3.00 / 2) (#96)
    by pheurton on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 07:18:11 PM EST

    There is a very large difference between 1995 and now. There was 18 million restoration of the great lawn that took place from 1996-1998, any destruction that took place as result of the mass didn't matter since the restoration was already scheduled. i don't want any large gatherings there be it religious, political or otherwise.

    [ Parent ]
    Marauding interlopers and water buffaloes (none / 0) (#139)
    by xigxag on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 11:37:40 PM EST

    Yes.  That is really an important point that non-NYC residents don't understand.  The Great Lawn, which looked rather crappy before, was restored to absolutely beautiful condition.  A huge standing crowd would possibly ruin that in one afternoon, especially if it rained.  This would be for a one time event at a location not even near the RNC site.  

    Further, the organizers were offered an alternate site, closer to the RNC, which they accepted, then changed their minds about.

    This entire topic is disingenuous because it suggests there were only two options:  rally in the  Lawn or no rally at all.  NYC has enough potential locations, just not all so aesthetically pleasing and ripe for vandalism.

    I happen to very much support the political goals of the protesters, but this Great Lawn affair was a bad idea from the start and I'm glad it fell through.

    [ Parent ]

    So what you're saying is... (none / 1) (#115)
    by Sleepy on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:19:23 AM EST

    ...that freedom is not a concept that you are in any way interested in paying for?

    See, this is why the rest of the world doesn't believe you guys when you say that you are "freedom loving".



    [ Parent ]
    There is a huge difference (none / 0) (#117)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:46:54 AM EST

    between supporting freedom and subsidizing others.  If I don't want the government to subsidize political commercials (by any group), does that mean I'm against free expression?

    Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly means that you play by the same rules regardless of the content, not that there are no rules.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm sorry... (none / 1) (#118)
    by Sleepy on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 10:29:13 AM EST

    ...were we talking about subsidizing politcal commercials? We weren't, were we? We were talking about letting a large group of protesters freely assemble.

    Anyway, the answer to your question is yes. If your ability to speak out is dependent on how much money you've got, then that is not freedom of expression for everyone. (Yes, I'm aware that the corollary of this is that we in fact do not have real freedom of expression anywhere in the world. Which is, in fact, the case.)

    I realize I'm really oversimplifying matters here, but the notion of denying people the ability to protest because you don't want to pay for repairing a lawn sounds quite bizarre coming out of a country that's ready to stage an all-out invasion of another country stating that "freedom demands sacrifices". How is it that freedom can be worth the lives of thousands of people, but not the cost of a stupid lawn? Just looking for a little consistency here. Why, oh why, is freedom not worth that lawn? Explain it to me, because I really don't get it.



    [ Parent ]
    They are allowed to assemble (none / 1) (#120)
    by Grognard on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 10:57:16 AM EST

    just not at their preferred location - big difference.  The problem with over-simplification is that molehills start looking like mountains.

    [ Parent ]
    not that simple (none / 1) (#134)
    by skavookie on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 02:58:19 PM EST

    This is not just a matter of UPJ not getting teh site they want. The site specified by the city is not a reasonable alternative, and thus the protesters are not being unreasonable in objecting to it.

    There are serious problems with the alternative site the city proposed. First of all, a protest is meant to be seen. There's no point to free speech if nobody can hear you. The alternative location the city specified is remote and out of the way. Second, and more importantly, the proposed site is not safe. So given a choice between a site where the health of the lawn is at risk and a site where the health of the protesters is at risk, the city prefers the site that risks the health of the protesters. But then, it's already clear that those in charge don't value human life, so I guess this is to be expected.

    [ Parent ]

    Two things (none / 0) (#135)
    by Grognard on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 03:34:01 PM EST

    First: If NYC's intent was to prevent the protest from being seen, why allow marching through the streets?

    Second:  The group's "medics" deemed the site unsafe - no mention of these "medics'" qualifications.  Do you really want to suggest that there's a vast conspiracy in the city's government to risk legal liability just to shut down some protesters?

    But then, it's already clear that those in charge don't value human life, so I guess this is to be expected.

    right...

    [ Parent ]

    Classical Conflict (1.20 / 5) (#46)
    by anaesthetica on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 12:00:57 PM EST

    This is kind of a classic problem in classical liberalism. One person's exercise of rights extends only so far as it does not damage someone else's exercise of their rights. The most widely cited case of this is yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, where your right to free speech endangers others' right to life. In this case, the protesters' right to assemble enganders the health of the park, a public property paid for by public money. I suspect that the justices applied the logic of the classical case to the current case: the protesters absolutely have a right to make their voices heard, just not where they are almost guaranteed to cause expensive damage to a public good.

    —I'm the little engine that didn't.
    k5: our trolls go to eleven
    [A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


    [ Parent ]
    Call my cynical, but... (2.40 / 5) (#77)
    by pb on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 10:36:35 PM EST

    place them on a deserted stretch of highway instead of a traditional place for large public gatherings, and it starts to sound more like this: the protesters absolutely have a right to make their voices heard, just not where they are almost guaranteed to [have their voices heard].
    ---
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]
    Classical Idiot (1.44 / 9) (#81)
    by felixrayman on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 02:04:27 AM EST

    No, that would only endanger jackasses that were too fucking stupid to look around and notice, "Hey, wait a minute, there's no fire, I'm gonna stick around and see if the kid ever gets to the end of My Fucking Pet Goat".

    As for the health of the park...It's fucking New York City shithead. Jesus Fucking Christ. This is not old growth fucking forest we're talking about here. They have rock concerts there all the fucking time but when it comes to actual political speech all of the sudden it's "Well....we don't want to mess up the lawn". Who are you, my fucking grandpa?

    Fuck that. More speech, less lawn. This is a classical problem in you being a classical motherfucking classic dumbass.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]

    Ugh (2.25 / 4) (#100)
    by anaesthetica on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 09:35:59 PM EST

    If you read my comment again felixrayman, you'll see that I wasn't offering my opinion on whether or not the protesters should be able to congregate in Central Park or not.  What I was doing is trying to offer an explanation of what conflict the justices might have been fundamentally struggling with.  You didn't really comment on that distinction, except to say "more speech, less lawn."

    The ad hominem invective from you is really quite unnecessary.  I wasn't defending the justices decision, and their decision does not reflect my opinion.  You seem to have taken this issue so personally that any post not crying out how unjust/hitleresque/gestapo/fascist/whatever this decision is has become some sort of personal attack against you.  Grow up.

    You make a good point about the rock concerts, etc., and things like that should have been brought up by the lawyers defending the right to protest.

    —I'm the little engine that didn't.
    k5: our trolls go to eleven
    [A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


    [ Parent ]
    You bore me [n/t] (none / 1) (#103)
    by felixrayman on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 02:46:31 AM EST



    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]
    Rock Concerts are not a good point. (none / 0) (#105)
    by pheurton on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 09:39:46 AM EST

    the rock concerts that are held in central park are not held on the great lawn. The are held in a special place called the "central park summer stage". see that way they can have concerts in a small contained area that will prevent damage to the rest of the park. when gath brooks played his free show in '97 it was not done on the great lawn, it was done in an area called North Meadow.

    [ Parent ]
    i have been involved in many protests (2.00 / 4) (#90)
    by wobblie on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 08:21:55 AM EST

    And yes, some younger kids do engage in property destruction. Most of the time it is caused by provocateurs.

    [ Parent ]
    Simply amazing (none / 1) (#116)
    by Sleepy on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:24:37 AM EST

    You're actually saying that the freedom to assemble is dependent on how much money you've got, and you don't see a problem with that.

    I'm speechless.



    [ Parent ]
    you mean that (none / 0) (#138)
    by vivelame on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 02:01:42 PM EST

    you hadn't figured that out by now?

    And on a side note, I guess your speechlessness speaks (ahah i'm so clever) volume about your income bracket. :-)

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]

    I'm going to New York from (1.03 / 26) (#34)
    by noogie on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 08:45:41 AM EST

    November 16th - 21st. If any K5ers want to meet up, they should go and get a fucking life. Why would I want to meet up with some fucking low-life pimply geek?


    *** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
    You misspelled bear: you probably meant beer (n/t) (1.50 / 4) (#35)
    by marinel on Fri Aug 27, 2004 at 09:08:19 AM EST


    --
    Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
    [ Parent ]
    -1, Don't be a conspiracy twit. (2.00 / 9) (#85)
    by kaboom108 on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 03:43:53 AM EST

    The city of New York told them they couldnt use central park, suggested an alternative. The organizers ACCEPTED the alternative. Now, when they have an opportunity to make a big stink and try to make it look like their rights are being trampeled, the alternative isn't good enough. Now they demand Central Park even though they were already told they couldn't use it, and there is no time to make proper arrangements for it. The court properly bitchslapped them down, because their demand is completely unreasonable. Furthermore, does anyone give a crap about these protestors? I sure don't. They dont accomplish anything, noone cares if a bunch of dirty hippies goes and whines at the Republican convention. The Republicans sure don't care, the type of people who go to party conventions aren't exactly the swing vote. I suggest the protestors give up and go do some real good and support voter registration and "get out the vote" campaigns for their party of choice. Although small, that has a hell of a lot more chance of getting votes then any amount and placard waving. If there was any justice, New York would just throw up its hands and say if you can't have Central Park, and the perfectly fine alternative isn't good enough, we'll give you a new site, and rope them all up and drop them somewhere along the highway in New Jersey with a couple tv cameras that aren't actually connected to anything.

    yes, down with whining and protets (none / 1) (#95)
    by speek on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 04:44:45 PM EST

    Furthermore, does anyone give a crap about these protestors? I sure don't.

    As a nation we will continue to reap what we sow. More restrictions, more permit and licensing schemes, more deference to business interests, less to freedoms, increasing tolerance of restrictive government policies, and new witchhunts against and discrediting of the non-patriotic. 100 years ago, the US government went too far and crossed over the line. Now, we've completely forgotten why we shouldn't be thankful for it.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    What happened in 1904? (nt) (none / 0) (#101)
    by Zerotime on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 12:44:00 AM EST



    ---
    "I live by the river
    With my mother, in a house
    She washes, I cook
    And we never go out."

    [ Parent ]
    ok (none / 1) (#106)
    by speek on Sun Aug 29, 2004 at 12:03:58 PM EST

    100 years was just a nice round number I chose to reflect a lot of things that culminated around then. Many had their origins in the 19th century. In my own opinion, the Civil War being won by the north is a huge turning point for the expansion of the power of the US federal government.

    In 1913, the income tax amendment was created.
    By 1918 (and starting in 1852), all states had passed compulsory schooling laws.
    From here:

    Because of the lack of uniformity in child-labor standards established in the various states, a condition that placed industries in states with relatively high standards in a disadvantageous competitive position, the U.S. Congress, in 1916, passed a law that set a national minimum age of 14 in industries producing nonagricultural goods for interstate commerce or for export. In 1918, however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that the legislation was an unconstitutional infringement on personal freedom. The following year, the Congress tried another strategy to establish protection for child workers through taxation of employers. But in 1922 the Child Labor Tax Law, as it was known, was ruled unconstitutional for being overtly "prohibitory and regulatory." In 1924 both houses of Congress passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, empowering Congress to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under 18 years of age. The number of state legislatures that ratified the proposed amendment was 28, or 8 less than the 36 then required.

    Thus forcibly defining anyone under 18 as a child.

    Prohibition amendment, passed in 1917. Although prohibition of alcohol has been overturned, it spread to other drugs and has been more effectively institutionalized as "the drug war".

    Agricultural Adjustment act of 1933 established farm subsidies - explicity paying farmers to grow less.

    Federal Reserve act of 1913.

    In most people's opinions, these are all good things (except, perhaps, prohibition). The civil war ended slavery and led, eventually, to equal rights for black people. Centralized banking ended cycles of boom and depression (maybe, but most people believe this, it seems). Child labor laws ended outrageous treatment of children by ruthless employers. Agricultural subsidies keep farmers in business during hard times, thus ensuring the survival of agriculture in the United States. And without income tax, the government would not have had the power to do these things. Without schooling, people would be uneducated and illiterate (the ignorant and patently false view), or people would be unruly and over-individualistic and more loyal to family than to state, impeding the growth and power of mass society and big business (the more informed and probably correct view).

    But, all these represent a tradeoff of freedom for security and stability. A tradeoff we have not stopped making as a nation - actually, we seem to have accelerated the pace since. State's rights are basically a thing of the past. Power has been consolidated at the federal level, and we seem to be headed for a socialist state, where entrenched business is protected by licensing schemes, intellectual property laws, liability laws, and an overactive court system; where the working class is maintained by a debilitating welfare system, a stupifying education system, and numerous family-destroying factors.

    Are you a wild animal, lusting for freedom at the expense of danger, or are you tame, eager for the safety and security of the cage?

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    Neither. (none / 1) (#113)
    by Zerotime on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:45:25 AM EST

    I'm not actually an American, and thus fairly ignorant of the country's history.

    But, ooh, explanation! 3!

    ---
    "I live by the river
    With my mother, in a house
    She washes, I cook
    And we never go out."

    [ Parent ]

    neither (none / 0) (#123)
    by speek on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 01:17:34 PM EST

    There may be choices in between, but I think it's a continuous gradient. I'm not sure there's a real alternative.

    --
    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    You're right (1.17 / 17) (#86)
    by SanSeveroPrince on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 04:33:43 AM EST

    But I somehow really cannot bring myself to care. Sorry. -1.

    ----

    Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


    thanks for shitting all over kuro5hin (1.11 / 9) (#87)
    by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 05:15:03 AM EST

    you're an asshole

    The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

    [ Parent ]
    Now you're puzzling me. (1.50 / 4) (#89)
    by SanSeveroPrince on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 07:01:28 AM EST

    How am I shitting all over K5 by voting down a dull, uninteresting article that cannot hold my interest?

    Being an asshole, I give birth to hundreds of you a day.

    ----

    Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


    [ Parent ]
    hundreds of him? (3.00 / 2) (#91)
    by pyramid termite on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 09:00:10 AM EST

    i'd see a doctor about that ... sounds like a serious health problem


    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]

    Scale (2.25 / 4) (#92)
    by SanSeveroPrince on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 10:57:12 AM EST

    Just scaling it up. I'm roughly 1.85 by 95kg... that's pretty hefty for an asshole. Considering that your normal asshole is what, 1, 1.5 cm across undilated, and it can produce up to 2kg of shit daily, the rest is just a matter of scale, really.

    ----

    Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


    [ Parent ]
    Thanks (1.10 / 10) (#88)
    by Wallas A Hockpock on Sat Aug 28, 2004 at 05:25:45 AM EST

    After reading your submission and the comment threads it generated I voted to dump it. I also decided not to throw my vote away on Nader as a protest and to Vote for Bush.

    Thanks


    honestly... (none / 0) (#112)
    by buzban on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:36:01 AM EST

    what's so much worse (for the grass, or NYC) about this activity than, say, the huge Dave Matthews Band concert a while back, or the large crowds that come to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama? Come on now...
    DJ here in Philadelphia recently pointed out what a shame it is that the KKK is given free reign...opps, rein in Valley Forge this past weekend...but you and I almost can't go and make a stink about the RNC if we wanted to. *sheesh*

    Strange (3.00 / 2) (#132)
    by CENGEL3 on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 01:23:45 PM EST

    I didn't realize it was impossible to exercize free speech from the West Side highway location.

    There is a HUGE difference between being denied the right to exercize your 1st Ammendment Rights and being denied your prefered choice of venue to do so.

    Central Park is a shared public resource. It is not inappropriate for the Parks Department to take into consideration the interests of the REST of the public (in addition to the protesters) in deciding what sort of usage is appropriate for the Great Lawn.

    The right to Free Speech is not equivalent to the right to MONOPOLIZE a public resource at a place and time of your choosing.

    If the protesters had not been granted ANY venue or they had been denied a permit for an event that could not possibly be seen as disruptive (i.e. 1,000 protesters scheduled to attend) or even denied the right to stage a protest in a private venue with permission of the owner.... THEN I would be outraged...... as it is you are manufacturing a mountain out of a molehill.


    i totally agree with you. (none / 0) (#137)
    by vivelame on Wed Sep 01, 2004 at 01:57:30 PM EST

    And i think that in the future, an appropriate place for a "free speech zone" should be set up, say, in Diego Garcia, or Guantanamo, or maybe in the Nevada desert.
    This way, very few people will be bothered by protesters MONOPOLIZING public ressources.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    Oh Please! (none / 0) (#140)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 12:54:15 PM EST

    The West Side Hwy is HARDLY Diego Garcia. It's not like the City told the protesters they had to go to Staten Island or anything like that.

    [ Parent ]
    and what exactly in (none / 0) (#141)
    by vivelame on Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 03:46:55 PM EST

    There is a HUGE difference between being denied the right to exercize your 1st Ammendment Rights and being denied your prefered choice of venue to do so.

    Central Park is a shared public resource. It is not inappropriate for the Parks Department to take into consideration the interests of the REST of the public (in addition to the protesters) in deciding what sort of usage is appropriate for the Great Lawn.

    The right to Free Speech is not equivalent to the right to MONOPOLIZE a public resource at a place and time of your choosing.

    If the protesters had not been granted ANY venue or they had been denied a permit for an event that could not possibly be seen as disruptive (i.e. 1,000 protesters scheduled to attend) or even denied the right to stage a protest in a private venue with permission of the owner.... THEN I would be outraged...... as it is you are manufacturing a mountain out of a molehill.


    would prevent NYC authorities from doing just what i described? Any meaningful safeguard to add?
    Some nuance, maybe?

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    The same thing (none / 0) (#142)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Sep 03, 2004 at 10:42:24 AM EST

    That allows an NYPD officer to fire his sidearm to protect his life but prevents him from indiscriminately spraying a crowd with bullets just because somebody looked at him funny. The Courts are charged with interpreting the law and determining what is REASONABLE adherence to the law and what is not. We trust the justice system to perform this duty in ALL other cases. This is no exception.

    [ Parent ]
    Well... (none / 0) (#136)
    by Master on Tue Aug 31, 2004 at 04:17:33 PM EST

    Of course. The central park lawn is real. Free speech isn't. They have to keep the illusion of free speech alive sure, but not at the cost of property or other peoples convenience.
    ~Obey Your Master
    Does a NY Supreme Court judge say that the Central Park lawn is more important than free speech? | 142 comments (97 topical, 45 editorial, 1 hidden)
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