After United for Peace and Justice, a leading antiwar coalition, announced that they would march in protest of George W. Bush's Sept. 19 U.N. address despite refusal to grant a permit, risking arrest, the New York City Police Department reversed its decision and granted a permit for a morning march and rally, UFPJ reported Friday. -- The Village Voice, however, reported that NYPD spokesperson Paul J. Browne denied the go-ahead was "any sort of 'reversal' by police." -- The story went unreported by mainstream media. -- UFPPC is one of 1,400 groups affiliated with the UFPJ coalition....
WE WON! WE'RE MARCHING!
United for Peace and Justice
September 15, 2006
In a stunning turn of events, the NYC Police Department has reversed its previous decision to deny us the right to march near the United Nations on Sept. 19th.
When the NYPD told us there would be no marches in the vicinity of the U.N. that day, we announced that we would march anyway, even if it meant we went to jail. We have just learned that we are being given a permit for a march and rally that morning to call for an end to the war in Iraq.
As President Bush makes his way to the UN for his speech to the General Assembly, we will be gathering at 6th Avenue and 37th Street in Manhattan between 9 and 9:30 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. we will begin our march, heading north on 6th Avenue and then east on 47th Street. We will end at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on 47th Street between 2nd and 1st Avenue, across from the U.N. with a rally from 11 a.m. to 12 noon; Bush will be speaking at the U.N. sometime between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m.
Let's make this a large and loud call for an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq -- all the troops must be brought home, and brought home now!
We have agreed to march on the sidewalk for this demonstration. While it is certainly not as good as marching in the street, we had offered this as an alternative we could live with when we were negotiating with the police. They had told us this too would be unacceptable. It is clear that our determination to march with or without a permit -- our determination to be heard -- had an impact on the NYPD's decision to give us a permit for our protest.
We know that many of you will not be able to march with us next week, but we thought it was important to let you all know what has been happening. The fact that we stood up against an attempt to limit our right to peacefully protest -- and that we have won this struggle -- is news we wanted to share with you.
We have been encouraged by the widespread support we have received from across the country. We have been inspired by the strong numbers of people who have expressed their willingness to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience to defend our right to protest. Though achieving a permit is a victory, we cannot back down in our efforts to end the war in Iraq. The September 19th demonstration kicks off a week of action around the country -- the Declaration of Peace. We hope you will participate in this nationwide display of powerful actions for peace, culminating in two days of nonviolent civil disobedience in Washington DC. Visit www.declarationofpeace.org to find an event near you and to get involved.
If you are able to make it to NYC this coming Tuesday, Sept. 19th, to join this permitted march and rally, please do so. Even though it is a work day, we hope to have a large and vocal demonstration. Please check our website for other details, for a leaflet you can download and reproduce, and for other organizing resources.
Finally, once again we must ask for your financial support. Every dollar you send helps make it possible for UFPJ to continue our important work. Please take a moment right now to make the most generous donation you can. Thanks so much!
BUSH BASH IS ON: COPS GIVE GO-AHEAD TO U.N. PROTEST MARCH
By Sarah Fergusion
September 15, 2006
Looks like anti-war activists will get to be within shouting distance of President Bush when he delivers his "freedom agenda" speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
Just yesterday the NYPD was refusing to grant United for Peace and Justice a permit to march from Herald Square to the traditional protest spot at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the U.N., telling Agence France-Presse that a march near the U.N. was "an absolute impossibility when the president's in town."
But after UFPJ declared it was prepared to risk arrests, the NYPD agreed to allow Bush opponents to march there on the sidewalk, though police say they will open a traffic lane if the crowd size warrants it.
"We're delighted they've come to their senses and realize of course we have the right to march," crowed UFPJ's Leslie Cagan, who expects many hundreds if not thousands to turn out.
The NYPD's chief spokesperson Paul J. Browne insisted the go-ahead did not amount to any sort of "reversal" by police. "That's absurd," Browne responded in an e-mail. "I said to anyone who asked me yesterday that the NYPD was still willing to try to accommodate UFPJ." Browne said the NYPD's objection had never been about limiting the group's right to protest Bush at the U.N. Rather he said there were concerns that UFPJ's requested route across 42nd Street would gum up traffic and security for the president's and the other heads of state's motorcades.
Fair enough, but these permit battles sure amount to great publicity for UFPJ.
Under the new agreement, UFPJ and fellow Bush foes will gather at 9 a.m. at Sixth Avenue and 37th Street, then march north to 47th Street and across town to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th and Second Avenue, for a rally from 11 to noon.
"George W. Bush should not think he can come to an antiwar city like New York without hearing from opponents of his war," declared activist David Dubnau of Northern Manhattan Neighbors for Peace and Justice in a press statement. "For five years the Bush Administration and its allies have used 'security' as an excuse to wage illegitimate wars and curtail basic democratic rights -- all the while making us less secure."