The big protest group, United for Peace and Justice, has agreed to protest and rally at along Seventh Avenue and the West Side Highway during the Republican National Convention. This site, proposed by the NYPD in an ultimatum of sorts, is less than ideal as it's far from the convention, but UPJ said, "The clock is ticking; we need to move on. So, we decided to take the high road here." Because UPJ has agreed to this location, they want the city to "provide protesters with water and toilets; commit to not using metal barricades; give the group about $150,000 for a sound system; and provide free subway passes, as well as a shuttle from nearby stations" [via Newsday]. The NYPD says these amenities are usually not part of the deal with protests (which is what Gothamist wondered earlier) and Mayor Bloomberg's press secretary, Ed Skyler told the Times, "[If the protesters] want to find corporate sponsors for their protests, let them go ahead. New Yorkers shouldn't have to see their tax dollars spent on subsidizing protests."
United for Peace and Justice on the new site:
In a major victory for UFPJ, the march will go directly past Madison Square Garden, site of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Protesters will step off from 23rd Street, march north on 7th Avenue, then head west on 34th Street and south on West Side Highway for our rally, with the stage at
Not quite a major victory, but they do have a place to protest. And Gothamist does agree with commenters that greg.org's protest idea is powerful.
Newsday also looked at the issue of protesting at the Central Park Great Lawn and how Mayor Bloomberg and the Central Park Conservancy, a private non-profit not affiliated with the city that raised money to restore the Great, opposed any sort of political demonstration there - even though Bloomberg allowed a Dave Matthews concert to go on. An anonymous Bloomberg staffer said, "If you allow people to destroy what the philanthropists restored, why would anybody want to pay you to fix it up again?" while the NYCLU says, "The conservancy and the mayor shouldn't be acting in a way that defies the Constitution."