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End Music Ban At Strawberry Fields, NYCLU Tells Parks Department

On the eve of the anniversary of the shooting death of John Lennon, the New York Civil Liberties Union today called on the Parks Department to rescind a music ban it has put in place at Strawberry Fields, the Central Park memorial to Mr. Lennon and his music.

Despite the fact that Strawberry Fields stands as a memorial to music, the Parks Department has banned musical instruments from the site. Signs surrounding Strawberry Fields announce that it is a “Quiet Zone” and that “Musical instruments are not allowed.”

NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn said, “Not only does the music ban at Strawberry Fields needlessly infringe on First Amendment rights, it dishonors the legacy of John Lennon. We call on the Parks Department to end the ban and take down the signs before Friday’s anniversary.”

This past summer the NYCLU received a complaint from a musician about parks enforcement officers ordering people to stop playing music at Strawberry Fields. For several months the NYCLU tried without success to have the Department end the ban. With Friday’s anniversary of the Lennon shooting rapidly approaching, the NYCLU today wrote to Parks Commissioner Benepe demanding an end to the music ban.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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