Ok I'm calming down, 10...9...8...ok...whew.
Here is a recap of what is going on.
October 18th the NY Times annouced that the Police had redifined what a parade is and that people would have to ask for a permit in order to have a "parade."
Manhattan: New Rules for Parade Permits
By AL BAKER
Published: October 18, 2006
The New York Times
After recent court rulings found the Police Department's parade regulations too vague, the department is moving to require parade permits for groups of 10 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who plan to travel more than two city blocks without complying with traffic laws. It is also pushing to require permits for groups of 30 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who obey traffic laws. The new rules are expected to be unveiled in a public notice today. The department will discuss them at a hearing on Nov. 27. Norman Siegel, a lawyer whose clients include bicyclists, said the new rules "raise serious civil liberties issues."
Here is my translation of what this is all about:
We the NYPD have been royally embarassed at our failed attempts to stop a peaceful, non-confrontational bike ride known as critical mass. We have tried every trick in the book...orange nets, violent arrests, stealing bikes, lying to people, using under cover cops, wasting tax resources with helicopters which end up spying on people making out on roofs. Faslifing video footage, dooring people, raming them with scooters...it just hasn't worked. Often times things have backfired like we crashed into each other on our scooters and the same people we are trying to arrest ended up being an EMT and helping our fallen officers. We have been investigated by the NYtimes, we have gotten thrown out of Federal court, thrown out of State court. We just can't get one over on these damn bike riders who have been doing this ride for 10 years without a problem. We were told that critical mass is a violent group who stops traffic and loves Sadam Hussien and ever since the Republican National Convention in 2004 we haven't been able to stop this damn thing which really doesn't break the law and hardly ties up trafffic any more than every day in Midtown when we shut down Time's square so Justin Timberlake can perform on MTV. So we are trying a 2nd attempt to define what a parade is...we think we finally got them this time and instead of having this agreed on by a wide range of the city council we are defining what the rules are and besides Christine Quinn likes it so...there.
So here we go again.
Here is what Christine Quinn said in response to the police taking upon themselves to decide what is legal and illegal:
STATEMENT BY SPEAKER CHRISTINE C. QUINN
Re: NYPD Parade Regulations
The New York City Police Department's proposed regulations for when and what activities will require parade permits are a substantial improvement over regulations proposed earlier.
We are very pleased that the NYPD was receptive to our suggestions for a practical approach to traffic and public safety issues.
New York City is a symbol of creativity and free expression for people around the world. It is difficult to balance the protection of civil liberties with the need for public order. We believe that the newly proposed rules have struck a better balance. We hope that the Police Department will carefully consider all the comments that they receive from individuals and groups during this public comment period. We hope too that the Police Department will be open to additional suggestions of ways to better balance the competing interests at stake.
Here is my translation of what Christine Quinn is saying:
"New York City is a symbol of creativity and free expression for people around the world. So I think it is perfectly ok for the NYPD to do what ever it thinks is best to stop one of the greatest events of creativity and free expression, like critical mass. I also think its ok for the NYPD to define the rules and not have it be decided on by the city council as a representative form of governance. After all the NYPD know best. I don't care what the evidence says or what the NY Times reports on. I will turn a blind eye, much like my mayor and never address the real issues of our civil liberties being flushed down the toliet. For example when he invites 5,000 republicans to have a party here, we will imprision 1,000 demonstators in a toxic bus depot for 48 hours and continue to wage war on free speech and free expression. Lets clog up the courts with arrests that get thrown out and confiscate bicycles and yes lets spend thousands of dollars to stop a monthly bike ride that goes on in 300 cities around the world. Now I hope Mayor Bloomberg will give me a raise."
Please go to: assemble for rights to learn more about what is going on.
Here is what Tod said on suckapants
This just in from Time's Up, the NYPD has given it another go redifining their unconstitutional parade law (the main crutch of their Critical Mass persecution). Unfortunately it seems to have appeased important early opponents, such as Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. Blurb from the NY Times below, more info at OnNYTurf and Razor Apple. Looks like the famous Halloween ride might be the last one before we return to the days of arresting hippies on bikes in NYC again. Sigh.
Oh, and PS. Apparently there is also a provision in the works to make it a crime to PROMOTE any such "illegal" activity. That's right, you are now no longer allowed to say what you want about what you want. But wait, I'm sure you knew that already. Anyone else see that movie V For Vendetta?
On Ny Turf