Yesterday afternoon, Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that the city had to allow Marc Ecko's graffiti party to go on tomorrow, because revoking the permit was unconstitutional. Gothamist is amazed - and pleased - that the people managed to win this one, because the Bloomberg adminstration seemed to be on a roll with clamping down on the fun things in life, like smoking, being noisy, protesting in the park. We hope that some of the artists participating in tomorrow's event will wear shirts with Judge Rakoff's face on it - here's part of his ruling explaining why the city's argument was silly:
"By the same token, presumably, a street performance of 'Hamlet' would be tantamount to encouraging revenge murder... As for a street performance of 'Oedipus Rex,' don't even think about it... The denial of the permit on the stated grounds that the demonstration will 'incite' others to actually paint graffiti on subway cars is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment and cannot stand."
Will copies of Hamlet and Oedipus Rex, not to mention West Side Story which Rakoff mentioned last week, now be zooming up the Amazon charts? Gothamist can only hope! While the city is considering whether or not to appeal (Bloomberg hates losing...just hates it!), Ecko et al. are still planning on tomorrow's party on West 22nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, which starts at noon. Ecko told reporters he was "just excited" and added, "We knew this was worth fighting for, and clearly the mayor must have been misinformed." Heh!
Gothamist on the graffiti party drama.