9/11 Documentary Producers Win Battle to Broadcast in NYC Parks

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The story of 9/11 survivors will be welcome in New York City after all.

The New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation has agreed to grant a request from the Christian Action Network to permit the showing of a film made about 9/11 survivors in a number of city parks leading up to the 10th anniversary of the tragic attacks of 9/11.

The decision came just two weeks after the American Center for Law and Justice sent a demand letter urgingc ity officials to permit the film to be shown or face a possible lawsuit.

"This is an important victory for our clients and for the First Amendment," says Brett Joshpe, ACLJ counsel. "The city's decision to permit this important documentary to be shown in a number of city parks protects the constitutional rights of our clients. We're pleased that the corrective action was taken in a timely manner so that our clients can show this film in the days leading up to the anniversary commemorating the tragic events of 9/11, as they had planned."

The ACLJ sent New York City a demand letter on July 28 after CAN officials contend that they were denied permission to utilize a number of city parks, which are available and routinely used by other organizations, to show a documentary entitled Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque, which addresses the controversy surrounding the mosque at Ground Zero from the perspective of individuals who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Communications between the Parks Department and CAN's representatives revealed that the department’s concern over the documentary’s content and viewpoint was the issue.

"The law is clear: the city has violated the Christian Action Network’s rights under the First Amendment," the demand letter stated. "The city’s refusal to approve CAN’s applications due to disagreement with the content and viewpoint of the documentary violates CAN’s First Amendment rights. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from 'abridging the freedom of speech.'"

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