Council Hears Challenge to Park Protest Ban

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to limit large gatherings on the Great Lawn in Central Park is being attacked by civil libertarians who say it will be a breach of the First Amendment.

REPORTER: At a city council hearing, Former Parks Commissioner and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said the Commissioner already has the right to reject applications. She alleged Mayor Bloomberg has another motive.

GOTBAUM: There is reason to believe in the wake of the Republican convention that he is seeking to limit the number of public demonstrations that could embarrass the administration.

REPORTER: The City maintained the proposed changes were to protect and preserve the grass of the Great Lawn.

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