Great Lawn

There is still no place for the big protest during the Republican National Convention. The City is saying that protest group United for Peace and Justice is being unreasonable in wanting to use Central Park and thus making it hard for permits to smaller groups to be issued, with the Mayor saying,

Look, there is one group that is keeping everybody else from getting permits. The name of that group is United for Peace and Justice. They say they want to put together a protest of 250,000 people. Until they come to the table and tell us what they'd like and negotiate something that's in their interest and the city's, we really have a lot of difficulty giving out permits to other people.

United for Peace and Justice says that they are willing to use the North Lawn, but the City's excuse is that the police can't really control the crowd at the park. And they think the mayor is stalling as well. Gothamist can't believe that this hasn't been resolved since the problems started at the end of April We mean, we can believe it, but still. But at least protestors will have their bells.

The suggestion from reader Michelle a while back about moving the protest to Times Square sounds better AND it's closer to Penn Station (though Gothamist can understand the protestors wanting an open expanse of space, for a sense of scale). We heard that UPJ rejected 50th Street and the West Side Highway. Where else is there for them to line up? Bryant Park is too small and too pretty...what about a special barge in the river? It's not that far out and would be kind of a great spectacle.