Radical Homosexual Agenda zaps Quinn on police authority


balcony left

balcony center

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."

James, thanks for the excellent pictures. I was down in the main floor at the back, holding a sign, so I couldn't see the gallery. I am delighted to see what the banners said!

I would like to add to your own excellent discussion of police powers. It's very important to recognize that the brunt of police power doesn't fall on demonstrators generally, but on the poor and minorities specifically. In giving the police the power to decide who may or may not gather in public space, Quinn and the City Council are leaving the decision in the hands of police who routinely harass and arrest people simply for being black or latino.

The central issue is that the police are vicious, corrupt and represent blatantly racist authority. It isn't all that surprising, since the government system is racist already.

Giving the police more power to arrest is going to mean more license to do what they do already: lock up the poor.

At the demo you cover here, my sign said: "Don't give the NYPD more ways to arrest"

Fabulous wonderful exciting sexy stuff. Brilliant work, y'all.

Yes, and this makes Ben Franklin's warning so clear. How in the world could such a measure achieve Quinn's stated claim of finding a balance between personal liberties and public safety when the institution entrusted to keep such a balance has a horrible record of doing just that?

Also, is the concern for public safety more than hypothetical at this point?

Very glamorous, thanks for posting!

Show your support for some of the "unpermitted actions" listed tonight at the Drag Parade (07/22/07) starting at Thompkins Square park at about 7:30pm and ends at the Stonewall Inn.
These are the very things Quinn and her minions are trying to steal from us.