[Marxism] The 2-party system

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jun 18 08:00:32 MDT 2004

Boston Globe,  June 17, 2004
Protesters threaten to sue city
Permits, trash, time rile groups
By Raphael Lewis and Rick Klein,

Just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, civil rights 
groups are threatening to sue the city of Boston because a "free-speech 
zone" near the FleetCenter remains piled high with twisted steel and 
hunks of Big Dig concrete, no protest groups have received demonstration 
permits, and the city is enforcing its rule against afternoon marches.

The threats of legal action followed a meeting yesterday between the 
city and the American Civil Liberties Union and National Lawyers Guild, 
where activists were told of a Boston ordinance that bans marches from 
3:30-6:30 p.m. Those are hours when evening commuter traffic is heaviest.

But the civil rights groups complain that the rule effectively bars them 
from parading in streets when delegates will be arriving at the 
FleetCenter for convention activities.

The civil rights groups were also told demonstrators may not be allowed 
to carry signs on sticks for security reasons, and that the use of 
battery-powered bullhorns will require special permits.

Those rules don't appear on the city's website guide to demonstration 

"Here we are, six weeks before the convention," said Jeffery Feuer, a 
National Lawyers Guild attorney who took part in yesterday's meeting. 
"The DNC has been planned for more than two years. We've been meeting 
with them since last July, so it's not acceptable anymore. Unless we 
hear imminently that the procedures have been changed and the 
constitutional issues are addressed and people can take part in the 
process, then we're going to file a lawsuit."



The New York Times, June 17, 2004
Protesters' Morning Greeting for Mayor: Where's Our Permit?


When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg arrived at City Hall yesterday morning, 
he breezed by the usual array of police officers, lobbyists and 
government aides gathered outside. But one group was not so ready to let 
him pass by.

Several members of United for Peace and Justice, a protest group that 
has been battling the Bloomberg administration for the right to hold a 
rally in Central Park during the Republican National Convention, seized 
the opportunity to ask the mayor when they would receive a permit. The 
mayor said, ''All you've got to do is apply.''

But a few people called out that they had indeed already applied, about 
a year ago. The mayor then responded, ''All you've got to do is wait.''

The mayor added that the Police Department would now look at the 
applications and find a way to accommodate protesters. The city had 
asked groups to apply for permits by June 15, but is now saying they can 
submit applications until a month before the convention, which begins on 
Aug. 30; applications from a dozen groups have already been received, 
officials said.

''Until we get them all, we just can't do that,'' the mayor told the 
protesters, referring to when the permits would be issued. ''You're 
asking something unreasonable. Now we have them, and we will give 
everybody a permit so that they can express themselves.''

But the mayor's answer did not satisfy Leslie Cagan, national 
coordinator for United for Peace and Justice. Her group's original 
application for a permit in Central Park was denied by city officials, 
and the group is fighting that decision.

As the mayor walked away, she continued to call after him. Afterward, 
she complained to reporters, ''I guess that's the mayor's idea of a 
conversation: he talks to us, then he turns his back and walks away.''

The exchange between the mayor and the protesters came just before the 
issue was taken up by the City Council's Governmental Operations 
Committee. More than 75 people filled the hearing room, and a 
sergeant-at-arms turned away latecomers at the door.

During the three-hour hearing, the committee voted to approve a 
resolution calling on Mayor Bloomberg and his administration to uphold 
civil liberties, expedite the permit process, ban the excessive use of 
police barricades and allow demonstrators to protest close to Madison 
Square Garden, the site of the convention.


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