NYCLU Questions Mayor's Plan to Close Streets During the Republican National Convention

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
June 25, 2004 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — The New York Civil Liberties Union today expressed concern about the city’s sweeping plan to shut down a wide range of streets during the Republican National Convention in August.

“We’re concerned these rules were promulgated without one single permit being issued and we’re worried they may restrict protest activity,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “The Mayor does not get to rewrite the First Amendment just because the Republican convention is coming to town.”

Lieberman said it appears that individuals who live or work well beyond the Convention’s activities will see their lives curtailed beyond what is necessary.

The Mayor’s Traffic Plan as released leaves many unanswered questions, including:

  • How will the plan impede those who want to march?
  • What impact will it have on protest for which no permit is necessary?
  • What restrictions are being planned for people who live or work in the area?
  • What happens to requests for a demonstration in Central Park?

The NYCLU said it would object to any plan that involves searching individuals who wish to protest, absent any specific concern or suspicion. Protesters both for or against the convention should be heard and welcomed along with the convention delegates. The right to protest is an integral part of the political process, the NYCLU said.

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