NYC Council speaker claims Israel-Gaza signs could damage ‘historic’ desks — from the 1980s — as she defends ban

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Thursday claimed her edict barring lawmakers from hanging political posters wasn’t sparked by tensions over the Israel-Hamas conflict, however is about aiming to guard “historic” desks — which the The Post has realized had been in-built the 1980s.

Adams — who just isn’t associated to Mayor Eric Adams — assured reporters that the memo that went out Wednesday, telling council members to not “affix on furniture or otherwise display signs or flags” was according to guidelines for different legislative our bodies.

“Truly this is a common type of regulation observed by many legislative bodies. It’s not uncommon at all. So we’re not unique in regulating this, and additionally council members desks are historic property,” Adams stated Thursday.

The desks — now coated in dings and scratches — had been initially utilized in the ’80s by the metropolis Board of Estimates, however when the council expanded in the ’90s, the desks had been repurposed, council sources stated.

City council members Yusef Salaam and Adrienne Adams discussing the 'Stop and Ask' bill at a meeting, with signs about peace in the Gaza Strip around them
Many council members have constantly put up signs calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, or for the return of hostages being held by Hamas. Matthew McDermott
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams is defending her ban on signs affixed to desks. Matthew McDermott

“Now those desks might not seem too historic to some folks but … those are very, very old desks. They do carry tradition, and I can let you know that sometimes the materials that are used for the posters cause damage to that property. And not one of us owns the property in the chambers,” Adams stated.

No members violated the directive throughout a council assembly Thursday — regardless that a lot of them had constantly for months been placing up signs calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip or for the launch of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas.

Instead, numerous probably damaging gadgets could be seen on numerous lawmakers’ desks — together with lattes, water bottles emitting condensation, a Canada Dry seltzer, a Celsius vitality drink and a brown pear.

Some council members, together with Bob Holden, Vickie Paladino and Kalman Yeger — who had been overlaying his desk with at least 4 kidnapped signs for months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault — opted to put on pins in help of the Israeli hostages on their clothes as an alternative.

Demonstrators holding signs at a rally outside the defence ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza
Adams stated that the determination has nothing to do with freedom of speech. AFP by way of Getty Images

Holden, a Queens Democrat, instructed reporters he wore the pin as a result of he didn’t wish to mar his desk, whereas Queens Republican Paladino known as the items of furnishings “beautiful” after the assembly.

Some lawmakers griped to The Post Wednesday that being compelled to take away the signs was infringing on their First Amendment rights to free speech.

But council leaders insisted the observe was all the time forbidden beneath the chamber’s tips and “Robert’s Rules of Order,” which is the broadly accepted normal of parliamentary procedures.

“This really doesn’t have anything to do with freedom of expression. It’s got nothing to do with obstructing members’ abilities to exercise their first amendment rights in accordance with council rules,” Adams instructed reporters.

“We’ve given a lot of latitude for members to express themselves with the signs, and now it’s time to go back to the rules.”

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