According to Democracy Now!, January 9, 2008:

Peace Activists Win Challenge to New York Ban on Central Park Gatherings

Here in New York, peace activists are claiming victory in a more than three-year dispute with the city over an ordinance limiting the size of mass gatherings on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The National Council of Arab Americans and the Answer Coalition sued the city after they were blocked from holding an anti-war demonstration on the Great Lawn during the Republican National Convention in August 2004. Under a new settlement, the city says it will increase the cap on crowd size from fifty-thousand to seventy-thousand people. The city will also conduct a study on whether the maximum size can be further increased.

According to USCourts:

Right to Peaceably Assemble

The First Amendment protects freedom of assembly. Protests, parades, and other large gatherings are important means for individuals to express their ideas and their unity behind these ideas. While the Constitution protects the right to assemble, it adds an important caveat–the assembly must be peaceful. Historically, many assemblies quickly turned into riots, and, thus, were dispersed by the authorities. For this reason, the Supreme Court has ruled that reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions might be imposed on the right to assemble.

The First Amendment (1791) states the following:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.

It says, "...shall make no law respecting...the right of the people peaceably to assemble...."

Above, the USCourts website states, "the Supreme Court has ruled that reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions might be imposed on the right to assemble."

However, a correct reading of the Amendment, contrary to the position of the U.S. Supreme Court, is that any law respecting the time, place, and manner of the right of the people peaceably to assemble is unconstitutional. If it's peaceful, the people may assemble any time, place, or in any manner on open public property or on the private property of anyone who agrees to the assembly. Peaceably means in a manner not disturbing the peace. It means primarily non-violently. The term "peace" is to be defined under the reasonableness doctrine. Also, public property may not be closed for the purpose of abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble. This is an issue of competing rights under the mundane law.

Under the divine law, no one disturbs the real peace, as Jesus lived it. All voluntarily keep the peace.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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