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Whew. The Police seem to be scaling back their much stricter proposed regulations for events in which two or more people gather on the street. "They blinked" Christopher Dunn, an attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union told Daily News.

While a newly written proposal is coming, they are "expected to eliminate any reference to sidewalk assembly," many people are celebrating victory today. The now-scrapped proposal would have required parade permits for gatherings of two or more people on the sidewalk that would might violate traffic laws. They also would have required parade permits for any group of 35 of more pedestrians, which would have made school trips a living nightmare. Because the proposed rules are now going to be rewritten the public meeting on the topic planned for next week has been scrapped - which means the public meeting over the Atlantic Rail Yards scheduled for the same time is going to be insane!

The changes came after a vocal outcry from the public and after the City Council met with NYPD officials earlier in the week. Claiming a victory for her crew, Council Speaker Quinn told the Times that "We are pleased the Police Department has withdrawn this proposal. We look forward to working with the administration to develop guidelines that address the need for the permitting of large groups, while also respecting New Yorkers’ right to gather freely.”

Of course, not everyone thinks the Council was very helpful in this. The ever charming civil rights lawyer Norman Siegal, who says this proves that "people power can beat police power," told the Times that “The City Council seems to have folded their tents when they should have been out there saying to the Police Department, ‘You cannot do that; that is us.’ It was a usurpation of the executive over the legislative branch, and the City Council seemed to let this happen.”

Photograph by skidder via Contribute.