and balcony right
Tonight The Radical Homosexual Agenda struck once again, dramatically zapping Chris Quinn deep inside City Hall during her presentation at the the "Celebration of LGBT Pride" hosted annually by the City Council Speaker.
Why did these homosexuals interrupt the homosexual Speaker while she was addressing her core homosexual constituency in this historic room, the Council Chamber on the second floor of our two-hundred-year-old seat of government? Because Quinn was the civilian agent for a secretly-negotiated agreement (there were no public hearings) with the NYPD which gives the police full authority to restrict public assembly and public speech (if more than 49 people get together anywhere, under any circumstances, they are all subject to arrest - unless they have applied to the police for a permit ahead of time and have received the department's approval). This policy was never submitted to the Council for consideration; no statute supports this agreement and practice; it is the creation of the Speaker herself.
Why did they do so in the midst of what was planned as a celebration of LGBT accomplishments and not incidentally also an evening honoring Quinn's personal and political success? Because she has made herself inaccessible to those who have sought to meet with her on this issue.
Is she the only proper target for those outraged by the permit rule? Certainly not, but she is at once the one with the greatest power to do something about this abomination and, because of a background which included street activism, the one who should have been the least likely politician to endorse it in the first place.
Incidentally, the parade permit "law" which Quinn has approved trusts the police to do the right thing, even in our clear memory of the appalling history of the department so often demonstrating the contrary and continuing to do so up to the present moment. It's a record which screams to the powerless and to all minorities of the danger and absurdity of such misplaced faith. Tonight even the Speaker herself couldn't prevent the police protection assigned to the her own hosted reception from ousting in front of her eyes the guests who wanted to address her on this issue, and this was after she had said they should be allowed to speak.
I think it's important to note that in her remarks after they were removed from the balcony she did not deny that the so-called "Parade Laws" were very much her doing, her own policy, and she has said as much when she has been asked about them before. She is the right target.
After her critics had been summarily removed from the Chambers, Quinn told the remaining invitees that she was willing to meet with anyone who disagreed with her on the question of Police rules for assembly. For the record, I have been assured several times by those who know groups that have tried to engage her that she has repeatedly refused to do this in the past.
The fundamental issue remains that in New York City the NYPD totally controls what we used to call the Constitutional (First Amendment) right of assembly and speech, and our first woman, first lesbian, and first [former] activist Council Speaker thinks that's just fine.
As usual, Barry was able to cut through all the muck with a comment which defines the issue perfectly: "This development, along with what we have seen happening over at least the last six years, seems to make it clear that New York has given up even on the principle of civilian control of the police."