New Rules by New York City Police Department
. Require a Permit for Public Assembly of 50 or more People.
In February, 2007, the NYPD published new regulations attacking freedom of assembly in New York City, unilaterally amending the definition of a "parade." ANY public gathering of 50 or more people - whether on foot, bicycle, or rollerskates - now requires a "permit" from the NYPD. And, just as the police have the power to grant permits, they also have the power to deny them.
Since when does the NYPD decide who can assemble and who cannot? Since when do the police create laws? Who will be permitted to exercise their constitutional right to assembly, and who will not?
That's not all. We, the NYC queer community, are outraged that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who claims to speak for *us*, has endorsed this plan, calling the new permit regulations "a practical approach to traffic and public safety issues" (NYT 10/18/06). The same Christine Quinn who claims to speak for the queer community is now attacking the very civil rights gains that have made it possible for her, an out lesbian, to become speaker. Did the Stonewall veterans ask the police for a permit in 1970 when they held NYC's first Gay Pride Parade? Quinn betrays those who fought hard for civil rights by allowing and supporting police violations of basic tenets of the Constitution.