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NYPD Right to Assemble Hearing this morning 11/27/06

In this message:
A.) A schedule of events
B.) Mass arrest phone number
C.) Assemble For Rights Coalition (A4R) summary blurb & links
D.) Assemble For Rights press release
E.) NYC Bar Assoc. condemns “dramatic
restrictions”on speech, also unconstitutional NYPD lawmaking;
F.) Transportation Alternatives call to action
G.) UFPJ call to action
H.) NYPD’s new public assembly law

Below is what Sunday and Monday events I can find, responding to draconian new NYPD “rules” substantially restricting political assembly and political speech in NYC. Please post add’l events at nyprotest event listings http://tinyurl.com/awnva . Report errors.

Today Sunday, 3pm until 7pm:
Prop-making at Time’s Up! Space, 49 East Houston
nr. Mulberry, Baxter & Lafayette Streets
(D, F to B`way-Lafayette; #6 to Bleecker; R to Prince)

Monday, 10:00 a.m. sharp:
Still We Ride bike ride to the rallies and
hearing, from Union Square (N, R, W, 4, 5, 6, L
to 14th St.-Union Sq.; F, V to 14th St. (at 6 Ave.);

Monday, 10:00 a.m.:
Assemble For Rights *press conference and rally*
at One Police Plaza (just east of 1 Centre St.
Municipal Bldg., nr. Centre and Chambers Streets)

Monday 11:00 a.m. (until 2:00 pm)
Main rally outside 1 Police Plaza hearing, for
people not going inside. (by A4R but promoted by UFPJ and other groups)

Monday 11:00 a.m. (until 2:00 pm)
NYPD hearing and public testimony about draconian proposed NYPD rules regarding political assembly and speech in NYC. Inside One Police Plaza (which again is just east of 1 Centre St. Municipal Bldg., nr. Centre and Chambers Streets). Building usually requires I.D. although city hearings usually do not. Note that several senior cops told a reliable source that you may sign up same morning to testify at the hearing, even if you have not mailed in notice in advance. ……..

B.) NLG mass arrest phone # & voice mail: 212-679-6018

C.) Summary of new law regarding public speech and protest, imposed by NYPD since October 18, 2006:

1) Groups of 10 or more bicyclists or pedestrians who plan to travel more than two city blocks without complying with traffic laws will require a permit or be subject to arrest.

2) Groups of 30 or more bicyclists or vehicles which obey traffic laws will also require a permit or be subject to arrest.

D.) Press Release for 10 a.m. Monday press conference:

Press Conference and Rally Nov27th at Police Public Hearing
Wed, 2006-11-22 11:05 | Submitted by Admin on Wed, 2006-11-22 11:05.

Ray Kelly Restrictions on Political Speech in the Public Spaces

WHAT: Rally to voice opposition to recent New
York Police Department proposals that would restrict public gatherings

WHO: Assemble for Rights NYC

DATE: Monday, November 27, 2006

TIME: 10AM to 11AM

WHERE: NYPD Headquarters, One Police Plaza

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has again proposed undue and constitutionally questionable limits on political speech in New York City. The proposal represents a narrow retreat from a similar proposition that NYPD withdrew two months ago
after vociferous opposition from members of the City Council and the public.

The current proposal, which would prohibit public gatherings of as few as ten people who do not first apply for and obtain a permit from the police, will be the subject of public hearings at Police Headquarters on November 27th from 11am to 2pm.

Opposition to the proposal is lead by Assemble for Rights NYC, a coalition joined in this quest by City Council members Rose Mendez, Charles Barron, Letitia James, and Alan Gerson. Assemble for Rights represents a diversity of groups which support free speech or which directly use peaceful assembly either for political speech or recreation. The Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, United for Peace and
Justice, Housing Works, the Five Boro Bike Club, the New York City Bicycle Coalition, and the Birth Control Project are among the members of the coalition. (See www.assembleforrightsnyc.org for additional members.)

The public hearing is being held only because it is required by the city charter before the police can implement such rules. In an attempt to minimize public input the hearing is being held the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the middle of the work day.

Assemble for Rights NYC has denounced the Police hearing as a mockery of the democratic process, and will be holding a rally outside of One Police Plaza during the hearing to allow members of the public to gather and express their opposition to
Police rulemaking without being forced to endure the indignity of asking the Police Commissioner to reconsider his own proposal from within NYPD headquarters.

City Council member Rosie Mendez stated, “New Yorkers should not have to compromise their right to free assembly for the sake of preserving the ‘public peace.’” and has stated her intention to attend the Police hearings. The prospect of
elected representatives being forced to lobby the Police Commissioner as to how the law should be written has raised serious questions about the unchecked power of the NYPD.

The Assemble For Rights Coalition believes that only the New York City Council, as the elected legislative representatives of the people, have the authority to make laws affecting fundamental rights.  Assemble for Rights Director, Mark Taylor stated,
“The most shocking thing about this is the City Council is letting the NYPD write the new parade permitting rules. Particularly because this is an area that deals with civil liberties, this is an area we need the New York City Police to be enforcing the rules, not to be writing the law.”

Members of Assemble For Rights NYC coalition will be available for comments before and after the hearing. ……

E.) Bar Association of the City of New York condemns unconstitutional NYPD lawmaking and substantial restriction of free speech. Statement at http://tinyurl.com/ybhcfg

F.) Transportation Alternatives letter to cyclists:

From: “TA E-Bulletin” <feedback@…>
Date: November 20, 2006 1:48:32 PM PST
Subject: T.A. E-Bulletin: Save Your Right to Bike in NYC

The NYPD’s proposed changes to city permit rules would subject groups of pedestrians and bicyclists “proceeding together” (above) to arrest if one person breaks any traffic rule, law or regulation.

Special Action Alert:
The NYPD is Trying to Take Away Your Right to Ride
Take Action to Preserve Your Freedom to Ride a Bike in New York City

The Police Department is unilaterally proposing to change the City’s parade permit rules (PDF) and under these new rules, the NYPD will have the power to stop any ten or more cyclists “proceeding together” if one of them breaks any traffic rules, law or regulation.

Simply put, this means that you can be arrested for the conduct of others. If you are riding around Central Park, or on any city street, and find yourself with a group of cyclists, affiliated or not, and one cyclist rides through a red light, doesn’t have a bell or rolls outside of a bike lane, a police officer could stop the entire group and arrest everyone for parading without a permit.

The Police Department is also proposing that every bike ride with thirty or more cyclists must apply for a parade permit and an NYPD-approved route. If the ride does not obtain a permit or people stray from the police-approved route, even if they are obeying all laws, every rider will be subject to arrest.

Under these new rules, bicycle clubs, youth groups, health organizations and community and civic groups, even you and your friends, will have to obtain NYPD clearance for every single bike ride. It means these law abiding citizens will have to obtain parade permits for all of their group bike rides or that they will have to turn people away and cap their events at thirty people.

How can we stop these proposed rules?

1. Contact City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Speaker Quinn needs to hear that you oppose the NYPD’s proposed parade permit rules.

Tell her that these proposed changes will:

~ Affect millions of New Yorkers each year;
~ Make it difficult for New Yorkers to participate in thousands of formal and informal
tours and bike rides, routine training bike rides, field trips, site seeing tours,
historical, cultural, environmental and neighborhood tours and more;
~ Greatly discourage physical activity, exercise, educational trips and tourism;

~ Force many to forego biking altogether and result in more traffic, more air and noise
pollution, more subway crowding and a lower quality of life.

2. Take five minutes to e-mail then call your City Councilmember.

They need to hear that the Police Department’s proposed parading rules will deter people from riding bicycles in New York City and worsen relations between cyclists and the police. They need to hear that less cycling is bad for the health and quality of life of New Yorkers and for the environment and economy of New York City.

City Councilmembers need to be urged to speak out against the proposed changes at the November 27 hearing. And, City Councilmembers need to be urged to tell Speaker Quinn that they oppose the NYPDs proposal and want commonsense parade rules in New York City.

3. Voice your opposition! Attend the November 27 public hearing or send written comments
NYPD Public Hearing
One Police Plaza, Manhattan

Assemble for Rights NYC Rally
One Police Plaza
Noon-2 pm

If you plan to testify or submit written comments write to:

Assistant Deputy Commissioner Thomas P. Doepfner
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza, Room 1406
New York, NY 10038

4. Join Assemble for Rights NYC

Assemble for Rights NYC is a coalition working for commonsense rules of assembly in New York City. People interested in volunteering can e-mail volunteer @ a4rnyc.org .

© 1997-2006 Transportation Alternatives
127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002, New York, NY, 10001
info @ transalt.org; Phone: 212-629-8080; Fax: 212-629-8334

G.) UFPJ Call to Action
Subject: 11/27 Rally to Defend our Right to
Protest Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 15:15:49 -0500 (EST)
From: UFPJ NYC <listmaster @
unitedforpeace.org> *United for Peace and Justice/NYC Alert *
www.unitedforpeace.org/nyc | 212-868-5545 | *Defend our Right to Protest!*

*Rally at NYPD Public Hearing
Monday, Nov. 27, **11:00 a.m. ? 2:00 p.m.***
NYPD Headquarters, One Police Plaza

In August, 2006, the New York Police Department proposed new regulations that would have seriously limited how people could assemble without a permit. New Yorkers and City Council members responded loudly and the NYPD quietly cancelled the public hearing and withdrew the proposal.

Commissioner Ray Kelly has again proposed undue and constitutionally questionable limits on political speech in New York City. This proposal would prohibit public gatherings of as few as ten people, who do not first apply for and obtain a permit from the police.

In an obvious attempt to minimize public input the hearing is being held on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the middle of the workday. *We urge you to attend this important hearing if you are able – the NYPD needs to see again that we will strongly defend our right to protest!*

We also encourage you to call your City Councilperson to urge her/him to put pressure on the NYPD to withdraw these proposed rules. (Find your councilmember at
In particular, if you live in Peter Valone’s district in Queens be sure to contact him – he is
the chair of the Public Safety Committee which oversees matters related to the police. Urge his committee to look into this matter.

This rally is sponsored by Assemble for Rights NYC

Other events UFPJ/NYC is supporting: <snip>
[full text unitedforpeace.org or on request
or see nyprotest post http://tinyurl.com/awnva .]
For more information on these events, see www.unitedforpeace.org/nyc
Bookmark www.unitedforpeace.org/nyc
| 212-868-5545
To subscribe, visit www.unitedforpeace.org/email
H.) NYPD’s own words http://www.assembleforrightsnyc.org/node/14
On October 18th, the NYPD published new rules to
govern public gathering. Here is the text of the rules change:

A “parade [or procession]” is: 1) any [march, motorcade, caravan, promenade, foot or bicycle race, or similar event of any kind,] procession or race which consists of a group of ten or more pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles or other devices moved by human power, or ridden or herded animals proceeding together upon any public street or roadway for more than two city blocks in a manner that does not comply with all applicable traffic
laws, rules and regulations; or 2) any procession or race which consists of a recongnizable group of 30 or more vehicles, bicycles or other devices moved by human power, or ridden or herded animals proceeding together upon any public street or roadway

This is an amendment to Section 1. Subdivision
(a) of section 19-02 of Title 38 of the Official Compilation of the Rules of the City of New York.


A copy of the posted Police Department notice of these rule changes is available here
Public Hearing The NYPD is required to host a public hearing of this rule change. That hearing is scheduled for November 27th.
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