New York City is kicking free speech to the curb and acting like they are doing nothing wrong. Everyday I read in the paper about some new permit issue the city is dealing with. Every time the people want to get together and do something that is not a corporate private party for Paris Hilton or a Michael Bloomberg fundraising campaign then it’s trouble for the people of the city of New York. This all started back in February 15th 2003 when millions of people around the world got together and said…I don’t think invading Iraq is an appropriate response to a bunch of CIA trained Saudi Terrorists getting mad at there once friends the Bush family and blowing up the World Trade Center. Thousands of people rallied in New York City to try and avert an impending disaster which we are now mired in up to our foreheads in a far off place called Iraq. I don’t know if you’ve been checking the news lately between new former Nazi youth pope selections and if Michael Jackson got kids drunk on Jesus juice…but Iraq isn’t lookin too pretty with how many suicide bombings yesterday? Thousands were in the streets protesting in New York and all over the damn place…even in Antarctica. The police responded by doing what they do best…lying. Oh no. How can I diss America’s heroes? Easily, when they act like America’s zeros, which they have been doing since 911. Somehow the blowing up over their buddies in NYC on September 11th has become a nation wide attack on free speech and the constitutional right of free assembly. On February 15th they were just following orders when the lied to the public about where they could enter the rally site, near the UN. Lets not forget the insanity we went through just to get a place to assemble. The one area they sectioned off for the rally, they made it such a pain in the ass to get to and then told the media…well I guess people just don’t care about this demonstration. Meanwhile were walking around trying to figure out where to go, when cops were telling us…oh no you can only enter on 54th Street…go to 54th street…no no you can only enter on 55th street. That was closed…you get the picture. So people just stopped in the middle of the street…because there were so many damn people who wanted to say no to war. Then the police used barricades on us, pepper spray and my favorite horses. I thought with all the video footage from independent media people and those on the streets lucky enough to be in the right spot with cameras that the city would learn a valuable lesson. Let us have a rally and a march, which is supposed to be granted to us by this crusty old piece of paper written 200 years ago called the constitution. Nope. This is just an excuse for cops and the city to use their favorite words…Terrorism, 911, 911 911…can I call 911 when the cops are running me over with horses? Nope. So the New York Civil Liberties Union put out a 26 page color document which recorded all the abuses about Feb 15th and to no avail nothing became of it.. The right to speak with your feet just got more suppressed. Then we dealt with all that RNC stuff because our supposed Democratic mayor wanted to bring all his republican friends here for their little convention. Maybe he wanted to make a little money from those guys since they never gave us the 911 funds they were supposed to give out to fix up NYC. After all its not like we were the only city were planes flew into our buildings. In fact, the Nation magazine reported that New York was the 49th least funded state our of 50. Hmmmm. So the republicans came to town and once again we couldn’t get a permit for central park. The police are always screaming…get a permit. Get a permit. Then when you try and comply, even put in for it a year in advance…they drag there feet until the last minute and say…sorry we don’t want to damage the lawn and then blame you for being difficult. So we weren’t allowed to rally in central Park. Meanwhile the police were doing there best to round up anyone who even looked like they were going to march. The cops found a new friend in the orange plastic nets, movable barricades that they could just roll out like an unwelcoming red carpet and snatch up everyone, even if you were just going to the store to get Sushi. Oops. Just work it out in the courts later. Not only will we arrest you and hold you longer than 24 hours, we will stick you in a converted toxic bus depot just to make the civil law suits more interesting. Now I may be sounding like a big whiner here and you may be asking well where is the proof. Don’t take my word for it…check the news. The NYTimes released an article that 90 percent of the 1,800 people arrested during RNC were dismissed. Bu Bye. They were also found out to be lying to the courts about how these arrests took place and saying that people were much more violent then the police report said. They were so lacking in confedeience about the cases that they had to edit video footage to try and sway the judge but there was this pesky video team roaming the streets who had the same footage only unedited. Meanwhile the city has agreed to pay 150 dollars to all those who were arrested for and held longer than 24 hours. You are only supposed to be held 24 before arraignment. That’s not even talking about the civil suits that are coming down the pike for holding people in toxic conditions. This is totaling up to 89 million dollars against the city. How are we supposed to make money off RNC when in the long run we have to shell out all this money for false arrests and civil suits? Huh Mike Bloomberg? You tell us cause you are such a smart business man who is too busy in Germany trying to bribe the Olympic committee to hold a sporting event here 7 years from now. Bloomberg did respond to the charges and said…the city did nothing wrong. That’s odd cause the courts seemed to think so. Why are they giving people money to shut them up than? Meanwhile the hits just keep on coming as it gets closer to re-election time. The city is trying to stop critical mass, a 8 year old bike ride that has been happening the last Friday of every month. They are denying permits for May day celebrations even though groups have been doing events for 8 years and never had a problem. Take Blackkat for instance. They have had a May Day fest in Tompkins Square Park for years and now the city says sorry…can’t give you a permit…we are painting flowers. Huh? Apparently that festival is still going on only without a stage…gee thanks guys…I sure hope those flowers look good. Also there is no march scheduled for May Day out of Union Square…no surprise there. I guess asking for a permit a year ago wasn’t soon enough. Also the city is trying to get together a bill that would only allow 6 large gatherings in Central Park a year. 4 of those would go to the Sympony and the Opera, which leaves 2 chances to have a demonstration in that public place called Central Park. Maybe if Whole foods had a party to celebrate the opening of there 25 new stores that would be ok.
If you are at all troubled by this growing attack on free speech and civil liberties…if you fear NYC will be a giant mall within 2 years…it is time to take action.
Friday, April 29th at 6:00pm will be a speak out at Union Square South to talk about these issues and about the attack on critical mass. It is all related. We are losing our rights daily. Are we just going to elect Mayor Bloomberg again for 4 more years of development and his silence on attacks of our constitutional rights?
Come to the rally and then come to Critical Mass.