Yehuda Lave
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‘Right of Free Speech’ and Right of Assembly no longer allowed in New York City

After a news conference by activists critical of Mount Sinai Hospital’s relationship with a religious organization during the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s police commissioner and the mayor said “protests” would not be tolerated.  

About a dozen activists with the Reclaim Pride organization took to First Avenue in Manhattan outside the hospital to hold a news conference Sunday slamming Samaritan’s Purse for being allowed to set up a field hospital.

About two dozen police officers showed up and forced the crowd to disperse.  Reporters, who were told to leave, said social distancing rules were being followed at the event.

By comparison in Israel, while I did not participate in any personal protest, the Quarantine rules always said a limited number of people could gather for a protest

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea was asked Monday about the move and if it infringed on Americans’ freedom of speech and freedom to protest.

“You’re talking about some of the values we hold in the highest regard in this country and certainly in this city, the right for people to gather, the right to free speech and the right to protest,” said NYPD Commission Dermot Shea. “But now comes the bad news, we’re in a pandemic and executive orders have been issued, these are laws that have been passed down through executive order to keep people alive, while we greatly, greatly respect the right of people to protest, there should not be protests taking place in the middle of a pandemic by gathering outside and putting people at risk.”

… While we greatly, greatly respect the right of people to protest, there should not be protests taking place in the middle of a pandemic.

— Dermot Shea, NYPD Commissioner

At the end of March, a 68-bed field hospital was built in Central Park by Rev. Franklin Graham’s Samaritan Purse Christian organization. Its purpose was to treat dozens of coronavirus patients and ease the crowding at Mount Sinai.

Activists questioned how and why the organization was allowed to work in a city that supports LGBTQ rights.

“People who want to make their voices heard there are plenty of ways to do it without gathering in person,” added de Blasio. “The question is always whoever has whatever cause they want to speak to are they interested in protecting other people’s lives? If they are, use all the other tools  you have to get your point across but avoid anything that might put other people in harm’s way.”

Unfortunately the mayor never read the First Amendment:

U.S. Constitution First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So with that I will end with some good news and bad news;

A Leaky Situation

A rabbi stands before his congregation on Rosh Hashana and reports to them that there is a massive hole in the roof of the synagogue.

“Now I have good news and bad news for you,” the Rabbi continues. “The good news is that we have the money to repair it. The bad news is that the money is in your pockets.”

About the Author
Yehuda Lave writes a daily (except on Shabbat and Hags) motivational Torah blog at Loving-kindness my specialty. Internationally Known Speaker and Lecturer and Author. Self Help through Bible and Psychology. Classes in controlling anger and finding Joy. Now living and working in Israel. Remember, it only takes a moment to change your life. Learn to have all the joy in your life that you deserve!!! There are great masters here to interpret Spirituality. Studied Kabbalah and being a good human being with Rabbi Plizken and Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, my Rabbi. Torah is the name of the game in Israel, with 3,500 years of mystics and scholars interpreting G-D's word. Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
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