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NYC Permit Refused
for Irish Lesbian & Gay Protesters

Irish Group Sues City
for Damages & Injunctive Relief

Compiled By GayToday

ilgo2.jpg - 17.14 K Cover of a documentary on ILGO's fight for inclusion New York City—In spite of routine rhetoric from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's office about New York's willingness to allow peaceful demonstrations, The Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) has, for the fifth consecutive year, been denied a permit to protest its exclusion from New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

"New York City's Police Department, the City Administration and the Mayor-- all active participants in the parade--have yet again proven themselves to be acting in bad faith," say ILGO's activists. " They present a unified front whose policy is to trample on our constitutional rights.

"This violation of our basic civil liberties reflects what has become a standard policy of the City Administration to silence dissenting voices. The issue concerns not only ILGO. Any New Yorker who speaks out against the City's repressive tactics is subject to harassment. In 1998, a federal court held the City's parade permitting system to be unconstitutional."

ILGO says the City's harassment has included the following:

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  • Last year, the Police Department illegally prevented supporters of ILGO from joining a legal moving picket, by blocking sidewalk and street access to the picketers in front of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue at 41st Street.

  • The Police Department has refused to follow standard procedures for permit applications by failing to accommodate our protest march.

  • The New York City Police Department acts as a private security force for the parade organizers, illegally intimidating and threatening to arrest legal sidewalk protesters and supporters of ILGO along the parade route.

    ILGO will continue to fight for its First Amendment rights, and against discrimination and bigotry. Represented by the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, ILGO is suing the City for damages and injunctive relief resulting from the City's violation of our rights.

    ILGO says it will once again this year be a visible presence on Fifth Avenue on St. Patrick's Day.
    ILGO The Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization E-mail:

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