New York, NY —
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is raising questions about the legality of the NYPD's proposed changes to permitting parades and demonstrations.
The police department has insisted the changes are necessary clarifications because the courts have found the current rules ambiguous. The new language includes a requirement that any gathering of 35 or more people walkiing on a sidewalk would need a permit.
Speaker Quinn says the changes raise significant First Amendment issues and may not be legal under exisitng local laws. While debate over how to shape future protests rages the bills are just coming in on the City's settlements with people arrested back during the RNC protests. According to City Comptroller Bill Thompson the city has already spent over $4OO,OOO to settle 13 claims brought by protestors. There are over 6OO claims still outstanding.