NY Police State

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Thu, 28 May 1998 11:04:43 -0400

---------forwarded message---------=20
      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

5/27/98  =20
Mayor Giuliani Gives Commencement
Speech at Cooper Union Art School=20
While Artists Are Being Arrested

Mayor Giuliani today gave the commencement
address to the graduating class of the Cooper Union
Art, Architecture and Engineering School, ignoring a
petition signed by a majority of the graduating class
that asked him not to attend. The school, located at
3rd Avenue and St Marks Place in the East Village,
was ringed by a special N.Y.P.D. Task Force in
anticipation of a demonstration by members of

Police attempted to force a small group of
artist/protesters displaying satirical portraits of
Mayor Giuliani to set up inside a police barricade
located one-and-a-half blocks from the school, a
location that was almost completely out of sight or
sound of the building. The artists, led by Robert
Lederman, then attempted to locate the protest on the
traffic island at St Marks Place between 3rd and 4th
Avenues where a giant sculpture of a cube is located.
Despite this location being almost a block from the
school the protesters were surrounded by police who
moved two paddy wagons into place. Lederman was
then arrested by a police captain as he was being
interviewed by channel 4, Fox, News Radio 88,
WBAI and other reporters. Also arrested were Jack
Nesbitt and a young female artist.

The remaining demonstrators were threatened with
arrest and eventually forced to move an additional
block into the police barricades. A few moments later
the Mayor arrived as all pedestrian traffic was frozen
within a block of the art school.=20

The artists were held at the 9th Precinct until after
the Mayor spoke and were released after being
charged with Disorderly Conduct. Eight portraits of
the Mayor were held at the Precinct after Inspector
Haggerty, Commander of Patrol, Borough Manhattan
South called the Precinct and ordered the paintings
held as =93arrest evidence=94.=20

This marked Lederman=92s 33rd arrest for protesting
against Mayor Giuliani=92s street artist arrest policy.
Arrested more than 13 times in the past three months
alone, the portraits Lederman has been painting have
been repeatedly confiscated by high ranking police
officials. None of the officers in the 9th Precinct
could explain why paintings of the Mayor were being
held as arrest evidence in relation to a charge of
Disorderly Conduct.

Contact#: Robert Lederman (718) 369-2111=20
E-Mail: ARTISTpres@aol.com =20
Andrew Miltenberg  attorney for the artist plaintiffs
in Lederman et al v Giuliani  (212) 481-4242 To read
the 2nd circuit decision granting street artists full
First Amendment protection go to:
Mayor=92s Press Office 788-2958; 9th Precinct 212
477-7811; Inspector Haggerty 212 477-7436


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