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TRANS DEMO PLANS FRIDAY CLOUDED OVER PERMIT ISSUE

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With less than two days to go before the second annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice steps off on June 23, the organizers have yet to obtain the required permits from the police department.

“Right now we only have a permit for Chelsea Park,” said Gael Guevara, a member of Trans Justice, the group that is organizing the action. “They’re not really giving us any options at all.”

Organizers have met with police three times, most recently on June 19, and requested a permit to march and a sound permit. They also want to rally in Bryant Park at the end of the march.

The plan was to begin at 2:30 pm at Chelsea Park at 28th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, march up Eighth Avenue with a stop at the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) offices just below 34th Street, continue the march to 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, the site of the 2000 murder of Amanda Milan, a trans woman, then on to Bryant Park.

“I don’t think we have a permit to rally there,” Guevara said.

A private agency runs that park and it must approve any events there.

On June 21, Guevara said the group still planned to gather in Chelsea Park at 2:30, but had not decided what further actions it might take. The organizers could obtain the permits by June 23.

Last year’s march drew about 1,000 participants and had roughly 100 endorsers. Organizers point to the larger number of endorsers for this year’s march—roughly 150—and say the action could draw up to 2,000 participants.

“We’re going to be at Chelsea Park at 2:30,” Guevara said. “We still don’t have a permit to march. We’re still going to push for the march.”

A police spokesperson said the organizers were offered a stationary rally at the HRA office and at the site of Milan’s killing.

“They declined that,” the spokesperson said. “They wanted to march.”

The spokesperson said that a march on two major city streets late on a Friday afternoon would snarl traffic. The group was also offered the same route it took last year—along 14th Street from Eighth Avenue to Union Square.

“They were offered what they had last year,” the spokesperson said. “They declined that.”

—Duncan Osborne

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Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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