Musicians, artists, and other performers were joined by lawyers Sunday to speak out against the city's recent crackdown on performing in Washington Square Park.
The New York City Park Advocates group is asking Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Parks Department to stop prohibiting performances.
They say the park is a cultural space and their freedom of speech rights are being violated.
"From Zuccotti Park to Central Park, to Lincoln Square Plaza and now to Washington Square Park it appears that expressive activity is a target," said attorney Norman Siegel.
"If I didn't have this platform, I don't know where I actually would be today, in my life," said performer Kareem "Tac" Barnes.
Advocates said the crackdown has resulted in clashes with parks officials and an increase in summonses being issued.
Washington Square Park has been home to thousands of street performers, attracting both tourists and locals.
Work, shop obey - those are the activities you are allowed to do in this city.
You have a fucking problem with that, we'll orange net your ass, pepper spray you in the face and throw you in lock-up for 16 hours until you finally get to see a lawyer.