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Old 12-08-04, 01:21 PM   #1
vincenzosi
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Ayone make it to the court room today?

I'm curious to hear what happened in court today in NYC re: Critical Mass. Did anyone make it there?
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Old 12-08-04, 05:14 PM   #2
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yeah, I went. Arrived a little late. I believe the evidentiary hearing was ostensibly limited to NYPD's requested preliminary injunction against the ride. So there's a very high threshold for a prelim injunction to be issued by federal court. Amongst other elements of the legal test, the judge mentioned at least a couple: cops must show "irreparable harm" that would result from the court's failure to issue the injunction; and cops must show why no other remedy is sufficient, i.e., why the Fed Ct Prelim Injunction is the last resort, the only thing the cops can do. If you follow, you understand that this is a very tough test for any party to satisfy. Moreover, if you were there, you would be pretty comfortable in assuming that the cops' request will probably be soundly denied. It's not necessarily that the judge is on our side at all, it's just that the city has a real sh*tty case.

Summary of the proceedings: The city and/or the cops ("defendants" for purposes of the original lawsuit or "applicant" for purposes of the prelim injunction under consideration) went first, w/ their witnesses' direct testimony in the form of affidavits already submitted, and so really the first questions came from "our" lawyer Mr. Hyman as a cross-examination of Asst Police Chief Smolka. Then a redirect from the city lawyers, then a re-cross from us. Hyman took a lot of time w/ Smolka, then there was a fat cop who serves in some quasi-legal capacity, Lt. Albano, then the last gov't witness was a lady from the Parks Dept., Ms. Smith, who issues permits for events to take place in city parks.

Then our witnesses were up, their prior-submitted affidavit or declaration testimony being cross-examined by the gov't atty. First up was an older guy, a Mr. Faust, who has been active in bike community organizing and ride organizing and/or marshalling etc. for several decades. The Oct ride was the first and only CM he'd been on, and he explained pretty competently what a cluster-eff the cops had made of it. He was also pretty vocal in a sort of long-time bike-activist way, which I'm guessing may or may not have been a helpful posture to take (I was thinking the judge might have been more charmed by a kindly old bike enthusiast feller than a seasoned lobbyist).

Then we had a middle-aged guy named Wylie ____. He was good. I mean a good witness, very smooth. The point of contention with respect to his testimony had to do with his claim that the cops had used a sort of dummy ambulance on 42d St btwn 7th & 8th aves during the Oct ride to sort of break up the ride and to try to manufacture "proof" that CM blocks EMS vehicles.

Last up for us was Matthew Roth, a guy active in Times-Up! (I assume) who, in the little time he had before Judge Pauley called it a day pretty effectively managed to undermine a lot of the disinformation the gov't witnesses had been spouting with respect to the size of CM, i.e., the NYPD PR Dept-created media myth that CM was small and peaceful until a certain radical element had injected itself as leaders and the ride ballooned in size and decided to start running red lights. He was a really good witness too. He estimated he had attended some 32 NYC CMs, starting in 2000 -- you know, he's the guy who has the awesome sound system trailer typically playing AC/DC or something similarly ride-appropriate.
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Old 12-08-04, 06:44 PM   #3
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thanks for the heads up.
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Old 12-08-04, 08:24 PM   #4
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Well, even if the city loses, it won't matter. The cops will just continue to violate court orders like they've been doing for the past two rides.

Oh well. Thanks for the recap, though. It was awesome!
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Old 12-09-04, 07:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzosi
I'm curious to hear what happened in court today in NYC re: Critical Mass. Did anyone make it there?
Would someone get the official court transcript and post it here?
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