Saying New York created its "own little Guantanamo on the Hudson" during the Republican National Convention, a lawyer Monday filed a lawsuit seeking relief for nearly 2,000 arrested protesters and bystanders.
"All that was missing were the orange jumpsuits," lawyer Jonathan C. Moore said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan. "Under the guise of terrorism and the fear of terrorism, we are all losing our rights."
Moore said the treatment of the protesters and bystanders violated "a bedrock principle of our democracy that the police cannot simply sweep the streets because they find protest inconvenient or embarrassing."
He accused the city of illegally detaining hundreds of people "in its single-minded goal to empty the streets of political protest." The lawsuit seeks class action status.
"Now we see why the rights of those detained in Guantanamo (Bay) are so important to the rights of all of us," Moore said. "Because if they are allowed to do it there, they will do it here and they did."
TEEN PLEADS GUILTY IN SCHOOL SHOOTING
TROY (AP) - A teenager who said he fantasized about "shooting up" his school, admitted in court Monday that he fired several shotgun blasts at two students, hitting a teacher in the leg.
John Romano pleaded guilty to attempted murder and could be given 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 20. He also pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment.
Romano walked into Columbia High School in suburban Albany on the morning of Feb. 9, firing his 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun twice at the pair of students. Neither student was hit. He was finally tackled by a school administrator, but not before getting off a third round of birdshot that hit teacher Michael Bennett in the leg.
In a signed statement, Romano said, "I have had fantasies for about the last year of going in Columbia and shooting up the place."
FABRIC GATES WILL LINE CENTRAL PARK WALKWAYS
NEW YORK (AP) - For two weeks in February, walkways in Central Park will be festooned with 23 miles of saffron-colored fabric gates by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in a public art project they have sought to do for 23 years.
The artists had unsuccessfully been trying for years to win city approval for the piece, titled "The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979 to 2005," until Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is a patron of the arts, agreed to it.
Beginning next month, 7,500 16-foot metal frames designed to hold the fabric will be erected throughout the park at 15-foot intervals. The fabric will be installed Feb. 12, 2005, the artists said, and will remain until Feb. 27.
"All our work is about freedom," the artists said in a statement Monday, addressing the impermanence of their work. "Nobody can buy our projects, nobody can sell tickets to experience our projects."