A New York judge rejected a request by an anti-war group to order New York City to allow 250,000 people to attend an anti-war rally in Central Park Sunday, on the eve of the Republican National Convention.
State Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann said city officials properly denied the permit sought by United for Peace and Justice, a group opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Silbermann also said the group, which argued that the city's permit denial violated the state constitution, sought court intervention too late.
"By seeking to invoke this court's equity jurisdiction mere days before the convention, plaintiff foreclosed an opportunity for the city to formulate an appropriate plan to ensure the safety of the public and to protect the city's park land from what likely would be irreparable damage," Silbermann said in the 13-page ruling, informs Bloomberg.
According to Reuters, the group rejected an alternate site and went to court seeking to have the permit granted. But the ruling by New York Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann favored city officials who said they feared the grass on the park's Great Lawn would be damaged and security could not be ensured for the massive crowd.
The lawn was restored seven years ago at a cost of $18 million. The Republican convention -- to be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 under strict security amid a series of government warnings of a possible terrorist attack -- will nominate President Bush for a second term in the November race against Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry.
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