As the City Council takes up legislation to lift NYPD rules against public assembly, cyclists and advocates will hold a rally and press conference before tonight's Critical Mass ride.
Critical Mass participants will be joined by a diverse group of videographers, artists, activists and politicians outraged over NYPD regulatory constraints on the civil liberties of New Yorkers. Prominent speakers from the community will participate in the "Still We Speak" rally to denounce the NYPD's First Amendment abuses, including the parade permit rules which limit the number of people who can legally assemble in a public place.
In addition to the council bill, the police department also faces a suit brought by the Five Borough Bike Club. For you legal types, here is a plaintiff's motion citing arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement by the NYPD, as illustrated in the video, along with notes and summonses from the July 2007 Critical Mass. In footage to be shown at tonight's event, officers are seen roughing up and detaining citizens for taking pictures and video of police action in Times Square during the March 2007 ride.
Tonight's events start at Union Square North at 7:00 p.m.