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ADL Calls on New York State Legislature to Re-Draft Anti-Mask Law

New York, N.Y., November 20, 2002 … In response to yesterday's Manhattan Federal Court decision striking down the New York State Anti-Mask Law, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the N.Y. State Legislature to enact a new law, responsive to the court's concerns, which would make it a misdemeanor to wear a mask in public when the intent is to "threaten or intimidate."

"In order to enact a punishment for this type of activity without raising any First Amendment concerns regarding the right of freedom of speech, the Legislature should take this opportunity to enact a new anti-mask law, based on statutes upheld in Georgia and elsewhere, which make it a misdemeanor to wear a mask when the sole intent is to threaten or intimidate," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and Joel J. Levy, ADL New York Regional Director.

"In light of the decision, it is important for the Legislature to send a message that racists and other haters who intend to threaten should not be allowed to hide behind a mask."


The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



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