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National Lawyers Guild
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 18, 2004
5:39 PM
CONTACT: National Lawyers Guild  
Verheyden-Hilliard, 202-530-5630
Carol Sobel, 310-393-3055
Heidi Boghosian, 212-679-5100, x11

 
Central Park Demonstration Lawsuit Scheduled for Emergency Hearing in Federal District Court
 

NEW YORK - August 18 - Where: Federal District Court, 500 Pearl Street

When: Friday, August 20, 2:30 pm

The National Lawyers Guild/Partnership for Civil Justice lawsuit to overturn Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York's denial of free speech rights in Central Park has been scheduled for an emergency hearing in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The hearing will be held at the Southern Federal District of New York Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, this Friday, August 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the Courtroom of Judge William H. Pauley, III.

Attorneys for the National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition filed the lawsuit on August 13. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the denial of a permit for a mass civil rights rally in the Great Lawn of Central Park on August 28, the 41st anniversary of the historic civil rights March on Washington. The permit application was submitted last January for a demonstration of 75,000 people in Central Park, coinciding with the Republican National Convention, that would affirm support for the civil rights and civil liberties of the Arab American and Muslim community.

The lawsuit also seeks to enjoin the mayor and the police from arresting demonstrators should they appear in groups of more than twenty during the RNC.

The lawsuit was briefed by attorneys Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo of the Partnership for Civil Justice and attorney Carol Sobel of the Law Offices of Carol Sobel, all also litigating on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee. Jonathan Moore of Moore & Goodman, LLP is also counsel on the matter.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, comprises over 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters. The Partnership for Civil Justice, also litigating on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee, has brought multiple constitutional rights actions against federal and local law enforcement authorities for violations of the free speech rights of activists and political organizations. These lawsuits include five in the District of Columbia, including two class actions for mass false arrests, and litigation in New York, Philadelphia and most recently, a class action filed in Miami for government repression of last fall’s anti-FTAA demonstrations.

A copy of the complaint and memorandum of law is available at www.justiceonline.org as well as www.nlg.org.

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