03 July 2007

Arrested for Reading the 1st Amendment

Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Spending was arrested, kept in jail for 20 hours and charged with harassment of a public official. He was arrested after repeatedly reciting the First Amendment to the Constitution! The police asked him to stop and told him that his reciting the 1st amendment while they were trying to enforce a new anti-assembly bill was harassment!

The police were there in force in an attempt to stop the monthly critical mass bicycle ride in Union Square Park.

Friday night's Critical Mass bike ride was a First Amendment battle over the NYPD's new parade rule, which requires groups of 50 or more to get a permit to be on the streets.

There were arrests, 46 summonses issued to cyclists. The cyclists were greeted by a police blockade on Park Avenue, after traveling only about a block out of Union Square.

Although all of this was supposedly done to enforce the new law regarding parading without a permit, none of the Critical Mass riders were actually ticketed for parading without a permit.

You can read more about other incidents associated with this "surge" here.

Thanks to Arlene Waghalter for informing me that this event had taken place.

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