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NYPD okays permit for anti-war march to UN during Bush visit

RAW STORY | September 18 2006

The New York Police Department has reversed its position and will now allow an anti-war group to march to the United Nations during President Bush's visit next week.

"On Thursday United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), the nation's largest antiwar coalition, learned it would be given a permit for a peaceful antiwar protest march in New York City to coincide with President Bush’s visit to the United Nations," states a UFPJ press release received by RAW STORY.

"In a stunning turn of events, the NYC Police Department reversed its previous decision to deny UFPJ the right to march on Sept. 19th within proximity of the U.N.," the press release continues.

UFPJ has agreed to march on the sidewalks, instead of the streets on September 19.

On Thursday, AFP reported that the group had planned to face possible arrest and march even without a permit which a NYPD had called an "absolute impossibility."

"That it an absolute impossibility when the president's in town, you can't have people roaming around a motorcade route," Detective Theresa Farello was quoted by AFP. "It was a total impossibility with the New York city police department."

According to UFPJ, the group's stance prompted the reversal.

"United for Peace and Justice stood up against an attempt to limit our right to peacefully protest the Iraq war -- and we won," said Leslie Cagan, UFPJ’s National Coordinator in the press release. "It is clear that our determination to march with or without a permit -- our determination to be heard -- had an impact on the NYPD's decision to give us a permit for our protest."

The United for Peace website sports "We won! We're Marching!" on its homepage.

The anti-war group wants to "make this a large and loud call for an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq -- all the troops must be brought home, and brought home now!"

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