Oct 23 Union Square Park! 6pm-7:30pm
Celebrate the History of Union Square
Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir
Approaching Storm Marching Band
Historian Joshua Freeman
Walking Tours with Kevin Baker and Center for Acoustic Ecology
and a Historic Draw-a-thon where YOU imagine the future of the pavilion!
Drawing from 4pm-7pm
Walking Tours 5pm-6pm
Speakers and Music 6pm-7pm
Ten years ago Union Square Park was deisgnated a National Historic Landmark for its a role as a center of free speech and assembly! This event is brought to you by a broad coalition of NYC groups including: NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, NY State AFL-CIO, United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, Professor Joshua Freeman, historian, Tamiment Library/Wagner Archives, NYU, Workers Defense League, Rev. Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, 250+ Friends of NYC Parks, NYC Park Advocates, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Union Square Community Coalition, Gramercy Park Block Association, The “OUR” Labyrinth Project and Chelsea Midtown Democrats.
What This Is About
The historic Pavilion at Union Square must be kept public space for use by the people of New York City. The Pavilion’s priceless legacy as a platform for children and families, musicians, and progressive political activists must not be subverted by a backroom deal to turn it into a restaurant. The Union Square neighborhood is saturated with restaurants, yet New York City is starving for public space.
The First Amendment, invoked in public space, is a community’s greatest weapon against repression and exploitation. Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson and countless activists have demonstrated this at Union Square, winning the 40 hour work week and other freedoms we now take for granted. A high-end restaurant on the site of the Pavilion will have a chilling effect on the essential demonstrations and organizing that take place on the north side of the Square to this day, and will swindle the families and people of New York City out of yet another commercial-free space for community use.
We call on the City and Union Square Partnership to preserve and invest in the Pavilion as a public space for the public good, and terminate their plan to convert it into a restaurant.