Celebrate Union Square, Then and Now: 10 Years as a Designated Historic Landmark; Save our Public Spaces

CELEBRATE UNION SQUARE, THEN AND NOW: 10 YEARS AS A DESIGNATED HISTORIC LANDMARK

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR PRESERVING THIS PUBLIC SPACE AND PREVENTING THE UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP (THE LOCAL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT) AND THE NYC PARKS DEPARTMENT FROM TAKING OVER THE PAVILION FOR A PRIVATE RESTAURANT

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23RD 4 – 7 p.m.
Formal Program with Speakers and Performances, 6 p.m.

UNION SQUARE PARK, SOUTH END (14th Street) Near George Washington Statue On the Plaza, Manhattan

Some Background:

September 12, 2008 marked the 10th anniversary of the commemoration of Union Square Park as a National Historic Landmark. It is a designation that includes its historical role as the site of the first Labor Day Parade on September 5, 1882, and the subsequent legislation for a national Labor Day holiday. Since Then and Now, Union Square’s Pavilion and North Plaza have been primary sites for large public parades and rallies where the principles of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are alive for us as they were on behalf of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the stirring speeches of Norman Thomas, Cesar Chavez, Emma Goldman, Paul Robeson, and many others.

For over 130 years, the park’s pavilions have served as a play space for children, bandstand, a reviewing stand, a speakers’ rostrum, and as a focal point for labor rallies and social protests. It is a place rich with the history of public assembly, free speech, and social activism in New York City. Please help us protect the pavilion and the North end of the park for future uses.

Program: 4-7 p.m.:

Exhibit by the Tamiment Library/Wagner Archives-NYU from the original National Historic Landmark dedication in 1998.

4-6 p.m. PARKS-FOR-PEOPLE DRAW-A-THON

Drawings produced at the temporary Drawing Station in Union Square’s south end from 4-6 pm will be made into hand held signs to be carried at the rally at 6 pm. There will also be drawings evaluated and selected by a jury of artists.

5-6 pm: WALKING TOURS OF UNION SQUARE

6-7 pm: SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS
Introductions – Simeon Bankoff – Historic Districts Council, Joshua J. Freeman, Historian, CUNY Grad Center, Ed Ott, Executive Director, NYC Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, Denis Hughes, President, NY State AFL-CIO, Deborah Glick, NYS Assembly Member, Richard N. Gottfried, NYS Assembly Member, Donna Schaper, Senior Pastor, Judson Memorial Church, Geoffrey Croft, President, NYC Park Advocates, Rev. Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping • The Approaching Storm Stepper Club & Marching Band • Others TBA

Endorsements:

NYC Central Labor Council AFL-CIO; NY State AFL-CIO; DC-37; United Federation of Teachers/AFL-CIO; NY Labor History Association; Historic Districts Council; Tamiment Library/Wagner Archives-NYU; Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, Assembly Member Deborah Glick; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NYC Park Advocates; Union Square Community Coalition; Workers Defense League; Rev. Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping; Chelsea Midtown Democrats; A.R.T.I.S.T.; Billionaires for Bush; Citizens for Union Square; Judson Memorial Church; LaborArts.org; Not an Alternative; The “Our” Labyrinth Project; Pond: art, activism, and ideas; Radical Homosexual Agenda; Restaurant Opportunity Center, Time’s UP; 250+ Friends of New York City Parks; Union Square Not For Sale; National Lawyers Guild – New York City Chapter. and more.