Pulling the Plug on Protest
September 22nd, 2005

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan does not represent a threat to our national security. The same, writes the Village Voice’s Wayne Harkavy, cannot be said of the police interruption of her speech in Union Square earlier this week. When police shut down Sheehan’s microphone they were muffling dissent — standard city practice these days according to Harkavy. But few Americans notice. “It should be front-page news in this country that a prominent, peaceful protester, speaking to a crowd of 150 people, was silenced not far from a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, but it won’t be,” Harkavy comments. “And that’s frightening.”

By on September 22, 2005, 10:20 am
In category: Civil Rights,Crime & Safety | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Pulling the Plug on Protest”

  1. Cynthia Says:
    September 23rd, 2005 at 9:17 am

    Two years ago at Union Square on my way home from work, I happened upon a random gathering of people as a young student spoke softly against the war and Bush policies. It was not a rant but more a call that “something is wrong”. His mistake was using a megaphone (non-electronic) so as to be heard above the traffic. People were listening. Suddenly about 60 police cars from all sorts of precincts descended upon us and demanded he stop…citing his illegallity: using a megaphone without permit.

    Anyway they dragged him away into a police car even though a crowd of us tried to prevent it. We were threatened with arrest and jostled and shoved away.

    There was no mention what happened to him…

    This incident left me shaken and I’ve been paranoid since then when I see a gathering of police officers especially in Union Square. I don’t believe they are protecting anyone but are looking to menace only. \

    I am not voting again for Mayor Bloomberg because of the above incident.

  2. Murray Polner Says:
    September 23rd, 2005 at 9:44 am

    Shutting down Cindy Sheehan and her supporters calls to mind the harassment of antiwar marchers during last summer’s Republican convention and the city’s refusal to allow a protest rally in Central Park. This is yet another questionaable episode in restricting the rights of citizens to gather and express their views. Is it really too much to hope that for once Mayor Bloomberg will demand that his alleged subrodinates in the NYPD respect everyone’s right to free speech and assembly?

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