you can't fight City Hall

(you) can't fight city hall

You cannot defeat or prevail over a bureaucratic system or its rules. You might as well pay those parking tickets now because you'll never win in court. You can't fight city hall, after all.
See also: city, fight, hall

can't fight City Hall, one/you/they

An ordinary person cannot overcome bureaucracy. The term is American in origin, for it is mainly in the United States that the seat of a city government is called City Hall (and has been since the late seventeenth century). The idea of combating the city bureaucracy is believed to date from the nineteenth century, when Tammany Hall was a powerful political machine that controlled the New York Democratic Party and, in effect, the city government.
See also: city, fight, one

you can't fight City Hall

See can't fight city hall.
See also: city, fight, hall
References in periodicals archive ?
-- You can't fight city hall, but in Austin, Tex., you can bring a licensed gun into the building.
Who says you can't fight City Hall? The holding in Doe v.
I hate to say it, but the old adage You can't fight city hall' apparently is right, said the church's attorney, Bernie Rhodes of Lathrop Gage.
You can't fight City Hall, even if everyone around you in your formative years always said 'smelt' rather than 'smelled'.
You can't fight city hall, so aviation maintainers have to get creative in order to keep airplanes flying.
As Nik Wallenda's spectacular high wire act over the mighty Cataracts recedes from memory, and Wallenda himself has forsaken Niagara Falls for the crowds at Darien Lake (after coming to the realization that you can't fight City Hall), it seems as though everyone and his brother is seeking to credit themselves with playing some pivotal role in the once-in-a-lifetime event.
"If the trial court's erroneous decision is left standing, it will give new and unwelcome meaning to the phrase, 'You can't fight City Hall,'" Olson said in his appeal.
There's an old saying that you can't fight City Hall. Unfortunately, the sad story of Birmingham/Jefferson County is that City Hall fought the people and the people lost to the tune of $4.1 billion.
It's been said you can't fight city hall, but can you fight the Band office?
It used to be said that you can't fight City Hall. That remains true on matters of licensing and laws.
In this case you can't fight city hall or the FDA and the repercussions are more severe than a simple red card.
People say you can't fight City Hall. But after spending five years urging the Los Angeles City Council to pass gun-control legislation, we have learned it's worth a try.
Don't tell James Winters you can't fight City Hall. The CEO of United Energy Inc.
''You can't fight city hall'' or so goes the old saw -- that is, of course, if you are not the president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
They say you can't fight City Hall - but you sure as hell can pooh on the steps and run away.
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