The NYPD laid down the law and offered United Peace and Justice, the largest of the groups planning anti-war protests, a place for them to hold their anti-war rally: Up Seventh Avenue, past Madison Square Garden, and then thirty blocks just off the West Side Highway, from Tribeca around West and Chambers Streets up to 34th Street and 12th Avenue. Police Commissioner Kelly said, "This is our final offer. It is, we believe, a reasonable alternative, and we need closure on this issue now. Now the ball in their court," referring to the contentious negotiations between the NYPD and UPJ. He added that if the UPJ isn't happy with this selection, they can take the NYPD to court. The NY Times describes the new site as "four long blocks from the convention site." The NYPD had rejected UPJ's first request to use Central Park, for safety and lawn concerns, and later rejected following requests for Time Square and Third Avenue on grounds of safety and traffic. The NYPD surprised UPJ be staging a press conference and giving UPJ the ultimatum, forcing them to quickly put together their own press conference. The idea of stretching the protest along the West Side Highway would make for an amazing photograph, but logistically, for the protestors, it's thankless since it's not in the heart of the city. But being able to monitor 250,000 protestors is a big job. Look at the photograph (above) taken yesterday of the NYPD press conference by Ruby Washington for the NY Times - the map shows how far the route would extend. The NYPD and UPJ will meet again on Friday.

The NYPD did issue protest permits to 14 other groups, including the Christian Defense Coalition, Planned Parenthood, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. The NY Times has an interesting article about how the protest issue is affecting the Bloomberg administration: "Mr. Bloomberg cannot afford to create the impression that the city is stifling protest, nor does he want the considerable ire that many peaceful protesters feel toward President Bush to be turned onto him instead."