ACLJ Demands NYC Permit Showing 9-11 Documentary, or Face Possible Lawsuit | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

1311869147000

(New York, New York) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, today sent a demand letter to New York City urging the City's Department of Parks and Recreation to approve a request from the Christian Action Network (CAN) to permit the showing of a documentary made about 9-11 survivors or face a possible federal lawsuit.

The ACLJ represents CAN, which has been denied permission to utilize a number of City parks, which are available and routinely used by other organizations, to show a documentary entitled: “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque,” which addresses the controversy surrounding the mosque at Ground Zero from the perspective of individuals who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Communications between the Parks Department and CAN’s representatives reveal that the Department’s concern over the documentary’s content and viewpoint is the issue.

Brett Joshpe, ACLJ Counsel, said: "The City cannot refuse the organization an opportunity to show this documentary based upon its content. That's viewpoint discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We demand prompt action to remedy this situation if the City wants to avoid litigation in federal court."

In light of the upcoming tenth anniversary commemorating the horrific attacks at Ground Zero in New York City, CAN had requested to show the documentary in seven different locations in the City. On one occasion, a Department representative rejected the requests saying the venues were "booked." A review of the Department's own scheduling calendar revealed that was not the case. On another occasion, a Department representative told CAN that the documentary touched on a sensitive subject near the 9-11 anniversary and that because city schools would be in session, there would be a greater likelihood of children and youth viewing the documentary. The representative rejected the request saying children viewing the documentary might become upset.

In a demand letter sent today to Corporate Counsel of the New York City Law Department, the ACLJ explains in detail the constitutional violations the City committed by refusing to grant CAN's applications.

"The law is clear: the City has violated the Christian Action Network’s rights under the First Amendment," the demand letter states. "The City’s refusal to approve CAN’s applications due to disagreement with the content and viewpoint of the documentary violates CAN’s First Amendment rights. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from 'abridging the freedom of speech.'"

The demand letter, posted here, requests a written assurance from the City by Monday, August 1st at 5 p.m. that the applications have been approved. The ACLJ says if the City fails to offer this assurance, it will discuss with CAN their right to pursue litigation in U.S. District Court to seek a remedy for the violation of their rights.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. The ACLJ is online at www.aclj.org.

Latest in
Free Speech

ACLJ Cues Up Free Speech Case for Supreme Court

By Walter M. Weber1534795413681

Today the ACLJ filed a reply in support of our request that the Supreme Court hear an important free speech case, Keister v. Bell . At stake in the case is the freedom of people to speak on sidewalks along public streets. I wrote about this case when we filed our petition in early July. Since then,

read more

A Blow to Big Labor & A Win For Free Speech

By ACLJ.org1530801653531

For decades public sector employees have been forced to subsidize public sector unions and their political and ideological agenda. No more. In a major victory for free speech and free association, the Supreme Court has just struck down requirements that force public sector employees to pay fees to...

read more

ACLJ Petitions Supreme Court in Free Speech Case

By Walter M. Weber1530558422160

The ACLJ today filed a request that the Supreme Court hear an important free speech case, Keister v. Bell . At stake in the case is the freedom of people to speak on sidewalks along public streets. "What?" you say. "I thought Americans already had the right to speak freely on public sidewalks." So...

read more

The University That Swallowed a Sidewalk?

By Walter M. Weber1519311600000

In the 1958 horror movie, "The Blob," a growing reddish blob from outer space devours everyone it touches. Echoing that film, a panel of judges of a federal appeals court ruled that the campus of the University of Alabama, home of the Crimson Tide, devours the speech rights of those on the...

read more