Aug. 25, 2004 – A federal judge yesterday denied a permit to groups wishing to protest the Republican National Convention on the Central Park's Great Lawn out of concern it would destroy the grass. Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition and The National Council of Arab Americans petitioned for the right to rally on the Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Saturday, two days before the beginning of the RNC.
The groups estimated attendance at 75,000 protesters. The city denied their initial request, despite allowing "low-impact" events of around the same size, claiming that the newly restored lawn could be destroyed if the protests were to take place after a rainstorm.
Whether to allow the United for Peace and Justice march on Sunday, slated at 250,000 people, has yet to be decided, and their organizers fear today's ruling to keep protesters our of Central Park will sway their own case's decision.