Thursday, June 12, 2008

Want to hold a rally at Borough Hall and Cadman Plaza? It's simple

A couple of readers wanted to know exactly how Forest City Ratner got permission to organize the "Brooklyn Day" rally held last Thursday at Borough Hall and the surrounding Cadman Plaza.

The process, apparently, is fairly simple. "They paid the standard $25 application fee for special events," said Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson. "The permit covered the central plaza from 11:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Any other group is welcome to hold similar events. All they need to do is fill out a special event application on our web site at least three weeks in advance of the event and pay the $25 fee."

Permittees are responsible for clean-up and insurance, which obviously cost more, and must get a police permit for amplified sound. We can assume Forest City Ratner spent a lot more on staff, food, music, and more.

(Photo of participants during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Tracy Collins.)

Borough Hall steps

And what about using the steps of Borough Hall? "The application filed with us didn’t specifically include the steps," Abramson said. "We permit the plaza and the Borough President’s office can OK activities on the steps."

As for using Borough Hall, Mark Zustovich, a spokesman for the Borough President's office, told me, "There is no paperwork or fee associated with use of the steps… except in the case of a motion picture/television production. When there is no Borough Hall event scheduled on the steps, groups with Parks permits often also use the steps."

1 comment:

  1. I call "BS" on this.

    The parks department is famous for making it difficult if your cause is not in line with their views.

    Go ahead and apply for a "No Eminent Domain" rally and see how easy it is to:

    a) get your permit for the day you want (suddenly the date they want to give you will be July 4 weekend or such when no one is around).

    b) for some reason, the parks department loses your paperwork

    c) somehow they give you the permit (maybe someone didn't read it carefully). Oops, your permit is revoked the last minute.

    d) somehow you get the permit. It has restrictions the other group didn't.

    e) your group tries to climb the steps, but a squadron of cops say "not happening"

    No way in heck, NO WAY, is an anti-eminent domain group climbing those steps. And Markowitz simply would not have the humility to be embarrassed by the double standard or first amendment issues.

    I say let's nip this in the bud and get Marty on record promising an anti-eminent domain group can climb those steps.

    ReplyDelete