Vaping Civil Disobedience Protest in Central Park

:
A Vape-In at The Arsenal on Saturday May 10
th
at 2PM

“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

The New York City Council passed Bloomberg’s vaping ban last year, and the law has
recently come into effect. Other politicians are riding Bloomberg’s coat tails and have
introduced new legislation in NY, including a ban on the sale of e-liquid.

We need to take public action to show these politicians that they are picking a fight with
the wrong citizens.

These politicians think that vapers are going to just roll over and obey their ridiculous ban
on vaping in outdoor public places, which includes parks and beaches.

They are wrong.

"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."
– Thomas Jefferson

On Saturday May 10
th
there will be a vape meetup in Central Park at The Arsenal. The
purpose of this meetup is to show NYC that vapers will not obey their immoral, unjust, and
downright stupid ban on outdoor vaping.

The last thing that NYC wants to do is write tickets to individual vapers. They want bar and
restaurant owners to do their dirty work for them, just like they did with the smoking ban.

We are not going to let them get off that easily. If they want to enforce this vaping ban, they
will have to write tickets to individuals, and we are going to force them to do so in their
own backyard. We are literally taking this protest to their house, right at the headquarters
of the NYC Parks and Recreation Department: The Arsenal in Central Park.

“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Here’s the plan:

We will meet at the benches behind the Arsenal at 2PM on Saturday, May 10
th
. The Arsenal
is located right at the entrance to the park at 65
th
St. and 5
th
Avenue.

The easiest way to get to The Arsenal is to take the Subway. Just take the F train to the
Lexington Ave/63
rd
St. Stop or the 6 train to the 68
th
St./Hunter College stop. If you are
driving into Manhattan, there is a parking garage at 860 5
th
Avenue (corner of 67
th
St. and
5
th
Avenue).

This is the front of the Arsenal, you will see it as soon as you enter the park:




Just walk around to the left and you will arrive at the back of the building. You will see the
benches behind The Arsenal. This is the location for our protest:





The NYC Parks Department and the NYPD will be notified in advance exactly where we will
be and exactly what we are doing. Additionally, there will be a complaint made by a citizen
to both the Parks Department and the NYPD to the fact that we are illegally vaping while
we in the act of doing so.

This will all be documented by a professional photojournalist. Our story, whatever the
outcome, will be shared with the media who have taken great interest in this issue lately.

At that point they will have to cite us for violating the law. They knew about this in
advance, a citizen has made an official complaint, and there is press coverage.

If they don’t cite us, their lack of action will prove – publicly – that this ban is so heinous
that even the employees of The City of New York are unwilling to do their sworn civic duty
to enforce the law.

If they do cite us, it will draw the attention to the general public that writing tickets to
individuals for vaping in an outdoor area is completely ridiculous.

I don’t think NYC has the guts to write individuals citations for breaking this law. However,
on the off chance that they actually do cite us, the fine either $50 or $100. It is unclear if the
fine is $50 or $100 because the NYC.gov website says the fine is $100 in section 17-508,
subsection e. (located on page 19), but when I called 311 the lady said that the fine is $50
(audio recording).

If you are cited you can choose to pay the fine or plead not guilty. I would prefer if we all
did the latter, but the choice is yours.

Just in case, I already bought a picture frame for my ticket.

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them,
and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?
– Henry David Thoreau

I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that I will not reveal in this publicly shared
document, but I can assure you that NYC will have quite a bit of egg on their face if they do
actually decide to write citations. There will be ample fodder for the media to ridicule the
City – that’s about all I can say for now.

I hope you will join me in this historic act of civil disobedience. If you decide to join me on
Saturday, here is what you will need:

- Your drivers licence or other government issued picture identification.

- Your favorite e-cigarette and e-liquid.

- Your smartphone or video camera – everyone should video record any interaction they
have with all NYC employees on Saturday.

- Memorize the following, which you will respectfully say to any NYC employee: “I don’t
want to answer any questions, but if you need to see my ID, here you go.” Then simply hand
your ID to the officer. Do not answer any questions. Be respectful and polite, but
continue to video record and vape. I cannot stress this enough: Do not answer any
questions, provide your ID, remain quiet and respectful, and continue to vape and
video record your interaction.

See you soon,

Russ Wishtart
Host – Click, Bang! – A podcast for vapers
Co-plaintiff: NYC C.L.A.S.H. and Russell Wishtart vs. The City of New York
clickbangradio@gmail.com
twitter: @burnt_wick
Help fight this vape ban by contributing to the NYC C.L.A.S.H. legal fund here.

If you are reading a printout of this document, you can view it online here:

http://bit.ly/vapeincentralpark

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