The NYCLU is a public-interest law firm that principally addresses issues involving challenges to a government law, policy or practice affecting the constitutional rights – that is, the civil liberties and civil rights – of a significant number of people arising in New York State. Find out how to get help with such an issue.
To order print copies of a publication on a reproductive rights topic, use the Reproductive Rights Project publication order form, available for download in PDF format. To order any other publication in print form, call 212.607.3300. Most publications are also available for download in PDF form.
The purpose of this booklet is to answer some of the perplexing questions people ask about their constitutional rights and how these rights apply to their daily lives. Some people assume that anything unfair is also unconstitutional, or that every wrong, particularly a serious wrong, violates a constitutional right. Some feel that the Constitution itself, by assuring the rights of unpopular, even hateful, people, sometimes grants too much freedom.
Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to set minimum standards for the issuance and appearance of state driver’s licenses and identification cards. But the Real ID Act goes much further. It establishes a network of government databases and electronic checkpoints that, in effect, create America’s first-ever national ID card system.
New Yorkers have the right to engage in peaceful, protest activity on public sidewalks, in public parks and on public streets in New York City. This includes the right to distribute handbills or leaflets; the right to hold press conferences, demonstrations and rallies; and the right to march on public sidewalks and in public streets. The city can and does impose certain restrictions on these activities, and in some instances one must obtain a permit before engaging in certain activity. This brochure is intended to inform New Yorkers of the basic rules governing demonstration activity.
In this report the New York Civil Liberties Union, which represented the coalition that organized the New York City anti-war rally on February 15, 2003, provides a recounting of events leading up to the rally, a chronological overview of the actions of the NYPD on February 15, witness accounts, and an examination of protest activity.
As George W. Bush flew out of New York City just before midnight on Thursday September 2, 2004 and the final demonstration drew to a close, the focus shifted from the politics inside and the protests outside Madison Square Garden to assessing the actions of law enforcement agencies, particularly the New York Police Department (NYPD). Because the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) represented the organizers of virtually every major Convention demonstration, the NYCLU was deeply involved in permit negotiations.
Who's Watching? Video Camera Surveillance in New York City and the Need for Public Oversight documents the impact of the proliferation of unregulated surveillance on the rights of privacy, speech and association.
The report concludes with recommendations that will assist policy makers in protecting the public against the harms and abuses that will surely occur absent legislative action.