We Are Marching -- Permit or No Permit
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, President Bush will be speaking at the United Nations as part of an election-year public-relations push on his disastrous Iraq War.
The New York City Police Department has refused to grant a permit to United for Peace and Justice to march anywhere near the United Nations. Based on feedback from our member groups and supporters, we have come to a decision: We are marching anyway. Permit or no permit, we will stand up against this immoral war and for our right to dissent.
While the Bush Administration has pursued its belligerent policy of preemptive war abroad, attacking a country that posed no danger to us, our Constitutional rights have been steadily eroded here at home, with peaceful protesters treated as security threats. In New York City, the NYPD and other agencies have systematically declared one location after another off-limits to protest -- no rallies in most of Central Park, no marches on Fifth Avenue, no pickets in Times Square, and so on endlessly.
We know there are serious security issues to consider when the president and other heads of state are in town. But those needs must be balanced against protecting the right to assemble, the right to protest, and the right to dissent. The NYPD said no to every alternative we put on the table and simply refused to give us a permit for a reasonable location for our march next Tuesday.
Enough is enough. We are marching -- marching to demand that the troops come home now, and to assert our right to peaceful protest. Marching without a permit amounts to nonviolent civil disobedience, and those of us who participate in the march on Tuesday will place ourselves at risk of arrest.
We also know and respect the fact that many people cannot participate in an activity that does not have a permit. And so we are seeking a permit for a rally starting at 8:30 a.m. in Herald Square, one of the busiest locations in Manhattan. This will enable anyone who wishes to protest the war and the restriction of our civil liberties to join us without risking arrest.
There are important details to work out, but this we know for certain: we will not be silenced, we will call for an immediate end to the war in Iraq, and we will be on the streets of New York City on Tuesday, September 19th!
WE NEED YOUR HELP:
1) Please share this email message as widely as possible. Help make sure that everyone knows about the rally and march on Sept. 19th and the denial of our request for a march permit.
2) Especially if you are in the NYC area, make plans now to join us next Tuesday morning. If you would like to participate in the march, please take a moment to call our office at 212-868-5545 so we can give you information about nonviolence trainings. We would rather take this risk than allow our rights to be undermined.
3) Check the UFPJ website for updates on the details for Sept. 19th, including the exact time and location of the rally and the plans for the march. If you are looking for or would like to offer a ride to NYC, please visit our ride board.
4) And, of course, all of this work takes money. Whether or not you are able to participate in person on Tuesday, you can show your support by making a financial donation today! Make an online contribution, call our office at 212-868-5545 to make a credit card donation over the phone, or send a check or money order to UFPJ, P.O. Box 607, Times Square Station, NY NY 10108.
Anti-war protestors in New York City were denied a permit to march anywhere the United Nations while the Resident is in town on Tuesday, September 19. But they are marching anyway.