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Editor's Note:

In our last issue, we published a letter from an unhappy neighbor that applauded the transformation of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza but decried the loss of peace and quiet and the absence of civility among certain park users. The letter reflected a larger concern that was effectively addressed in a recent board meeting of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, namely the need to balance the use of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza as a staging ground for demonstrations and other mass gatherings with the need to protect the park and preserve the rights of the resident community.

In addition to huge crowds trashing the park, there was concern over recent placements of stages and sound systems near Second Avenue rather than in the traditionally designated "demonstration area" at First Avenue in close proximity to the UN.

According to Friends President Anne Saxon-Hersh, the following guidelines were established with the cooperation of Captain Kevin Ward and Det. Frank Boguki, who were present at the meeting, along with representatives of the Doe Fund, the Parks Department and Café Blue, the park concessionaire.

  • Regarding mass gatherings: The 17th Precinct will create a buffer zone along the entire seating wall by placing barricades several feet out from plant beds and posting officers inside this corridor to guard plant beds and garden.
  • The Second Avenue end of the park will be avoided as a staging area for cultural celebrations and groups will be encouraged to use alternative spaces.
  • Parade marshals will be instructed by police on crowd control measures in park.
  • The Doe Fund agreed to be held to professional standards of accountability on all special events for which they receive compensation as a contracted service.
  • NYC Parks will require bond to be posted on most mass cultural events and will clarify cleanup requirements, including necessity of steam cleaning when food is served.

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
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