March 28, 2007
Overlooked yesterday was this story, that the City dropped its lawsuit against Times Up after two years of legal browbeating at taxpayers’ expense. In the lawsuit, filed March 22, 2005, the City claimed that cyclists riding together in a group are required to apply for a parade permit. The lawsuit against TIME’S UP! and four of its volunteers sought to inhibit their right to free speech and to freely assemble in public space.
“The City of New York went after an all-volunteer, non-profit environmental group whose only crime is successfully promoting sustainable environmental solutions resulting in increased non-polluting transportation over the last two decades,” stated Bill DiPaola, director of TIME’S UP! and one of the defendants named in the lawsuit.
The dropping of the lawsuit marks the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the NYPD in its thirty-month campaign against Critical Mass and the cycling community. The City’s ongoing harassment of Critical Mass riders has been documented as costing taxpayers over $1.3 million.
In part the City dropped this case because the terms are changed by the new parade permit regulations. But more significantly the City dropped this case because it did not want to disclose information that was going to come out in the discovery process, including: documentation of the NYPD’s undercover operations at Critical Mass, all police video of Critical Mass, plans and internal documents relating to Critical Mass.
Tomorrow plainpngs in the 5 Borough Bike Club lawsuit against the city will ask for a preliminary injunction against the NYPD from making arrests at this Friday’s Critical Mass. onNYTurf will have a report tomorrow as soon as that decision comes in.