On the heels of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly's announcement about stepped up security measures during the Republican National Convention this August (think security sweeps on trains coming into Penn Station and the NYPD monitoring protest websites for protestors posing as volunteers), Mayor Bloomberg made clear he was not supportive of the NYPD and FDNY rallying outside the convention and the city rejected a plan for an antiwar protest at the Great Lawn the day before the convention. Mayor Bloomberg told reporters, "Going and protesting to the Republicans and saying that the city isn't paying as much as everybody would like is just theater. It doesn't go in the direction of getting a good contract," referring to the added business and tax the convention is bringing in. And them's fighting words, for Mayor Bloomberg, but this isn't doing anything to further the relationship he has with the NYPD and FDNY.
The reason for rejecting the antiwar protest at the Great Lawn is because the Great Lawn has been renovated and only holds 80,000, while the protest might draw 250,000 (which is a staggering number). Gothamist wonders what 250,000 protestors would do the Great Lawn, which has been the scene of many performance and concerts - that would take a lot of Central Park Conservancy and Parks Department folks to clean up. This protest would have followed a march from Midtown (a permit for the march is still pending from the NYPD). For more information about the protest, check out the site from United for Peace and Justice.
Related: NY State hasn't been on the case in transitioning voting equipment, jeopardizing the $200 million the government is willing to give the state to switch over to equipment that would avoid any chad type situation for the 2004 . Thanks, Albany!