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In Old Village Right to Assemble, Defined

The right to assemble is still alive and well in the Village of Great Neck, but now, the village will require more information in order for a group to hold an assembly, demonstration or parade on public streets. In the past, any group holding such an event was required to apply for a permit, one week in advance, spelling out the time, place and duration of the proposed assemblage with an estimate of the number of people to be involved.

The new ordinance requires that a responsible person be named as the contact person for the event and that that person be reachable via cell phone before, during and for one hour after such an event. If there is a parade, the route must be delineated. If there will be amplified speech, music or other sounds, the village requires that an applicant conform to village noise regulations. Other information such as pertinent history of prior events by the applicant and estimates of counter- demonstrators, if applicable, would also be required. Applicants must apply for a permit 30 days before the event unless the applicant can show “good cause” for not complying.

If an application is denied by the board of trustees, there is an appeals process in the new law.

Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said, “We approved this revised ordinance in order to balance the right to assemble with the need to protect the safety of the public. We need to be able to coordinate with police and with emergency vehicles when there is a public assembly. This law will give us information so that we can coordinate and plan for contingencies better.”