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Announcement :: Organizing
Support the Right to March on 5th Ave. NYC on M19
04 Mar 2005
Troops Out Now Coalition www.TroopsOutNow.org39 W. 14th Street, Room 206 ◊ New York, NY 10011 Phone 212.633.6646 ◊ Fax 212.633.2889

March, 2005
Dear Mayor Michael Bloomberg,


On March 19, after joining the Harlem community in a pre-rally and march, tens of thousands of people from all over New York City and the surrounding region will rally in Central Park to call for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. We will also call for our tax dollars to be spent on healthcare, education, food stamps, job programs, and other human needs, not war.
March 19 marks the second anniversary of the start of the war. Activities will occur on every continent. Across the U.S., people will mark the day with protests with the same message: "Bring the troops home, Funds for cities, not war."

The Troops Out Now Coalition—a grassroots coalition of over 400 labor, community, and human rights groups—plans to march down 5th Avenue after a rally in the East Meadow in Central Park, to your residence on 79th Street, a distance of about 11 blocks. The police have told organizers that they will not issue a permit to march on 5th Avenue because they have declared a "moratorium" on marches there.
Banning protest marches on 5th Avenue is wholly unwarranted and unreasonable. It is also inconsistent with the Constitutional right to free speech and assembly. We call on you Mayor Bloomberg, to lift the ban on protest marches on 5th Avenue, and let the country and the world see free speech on 5th Avenue on March 19.

President George Bush recently proclaimed that his primary mission is to spread freedom all over the world. What message does it send when one of the most important cities in the U.S. does not allow a peace march on its most auspicious avenue?
On March 19, the people of France will march down Champs Elysee, in London at Hyde Park. Around the world, people will gather and march in the centers of major cities and capitals. How can 5th Avenue be declared "off-limits" to the peace movement?

No issue is more central in the country today then the war and occupation of Iraq. The economic and personal stakes in the debate over the war are tremendous. People are losing loved ones in Iraq; cities are losing funds for desperately needed services to the war. This is apparent in our city where the gap between the wealthiest New Yorkers and the poor or working and unemployed people has never been greater.

The major peace coalition during the Vietnam War was headquartered in New York City. It was called the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade precisely because it wanted the world to know that the peace movement was not marginal but central to society. This was a good idea 40 years ago and it is a good idea today.

Unfortunately, the post-September 11 climate has been used to challenge civil liberties time and time again, particularly in this city where a major protest last year was not allowed to rally in Central Park during the Republican National Convention. On Feb. 15 2003, when millions marched against war around the world, protesters were denied that right in New York. It is vitally important that the government at every level refrain from using spurious excuses to impair or limit free speech or freedom of movement.
The undersigned call upon you Mayor Bloomberg to guarantee that a permit will be issued for a march on Fifth Avenue.




Phone: 212 – 633-6646
Fax: 212- 633-2889

Troops Out Now Coalition www.TroopsOutNow.org39 W. 14th Street, Room 206 ◊ New York, NY 10011 Phone 212.633.6646 ◊ Fax 212.633.2889

A few of the Initial Signers:

Action 21, Jersey City, NJ
Action Center for Justice
Artists and Activists United for Peace
Association of Mexican American Workers (AMAT)
Central New Jersey Coalition for Peace & Justice
Harlem Tenants Council

International Action Center
Jersey City Peace Movement
No Draft No Way
Not in Our Name (NION) New York
NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
NYC Labor Against the War
People Judge Bush
People's Organization for Progress (POP)
People's Video Network
Queers for Peace and Justice
Veterans for Peace
Women's Fightback Network

Individual signers:

Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
Anne Pruden, 1199 SEIU*
Dr. Luis Barrios, John Jay College*
Brenda Stokely, Pres. AFSCME District Council 1707*
Gloria Pacis, Mother of Stephen Funk
Brian Barraza, AMAT
Kim Rosario, mother of GI in Iraq
Leslie Feinberg/Co-Chair/LGBT Caucus/National Writers Union*
Mike Gimbel, Local 375, AFSCME / NYCLAW
Bill Doares, Million Worker March NY/NJ
Ken Stern, Vets for Peace*
Kahlil Khan, Movement in Motion
Billy Martin / Spiritchild, Movement in Motion Artists & Activist Collective*
Martha Grevatt, Pride At Work*
Susan E. Davis, President, External Organizing, United Auto Workers, Local 1981*

*For I.D. purposes only

This work is in the public domain
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