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April 20, 1961, Vol. VI, No. 26
Right to Sing Rally
By J.R. Goddard
Judson Memorial Church, with its immense wooden cross rising dramatically behind a succession of singers and speakers, was jammed by over 500 folk singers and their friends last Sunday afternoon in a rally protesting their recent banishment from Washington Square.
The rally was held by the Right to Sing Committee, born out of Park Commissioner Newbold Morris’ refusal to allow singing to continue in the Square. The committee had held a rally in the Square on the previous Sunday, resulting in alleged police brutality, arrests, and nationwide publicity.
“We believe – myself and my church – you have the right to sing in Washington Square,” Judson’s pastor, the Reverend Howard Moody, said in his opening remarks. Mr. Moody received a tremendous ovation when he was introduced by Kelsey Marechal, co-owner of the theatre One Sheridan Square. Not only a partisan of the folk singers, Mr. Moody is also at present supporting pay-off investigations in the Village.
“We’re going to continue this fight through every possible legal means,” he continued. “We want to open the Park to all the people.”
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 28, 2008