St. Paul, MN - Standing in front of city hall, organizers of the massive anti-war march planned for the opening day of the Republican National Convention, and their attorneys responded to the permit issued by Saint Paul city authorities, March 3.
Coalition spokesperson Meredith Aby stated that while the permit issued was a step forward, it was insufficient. The permit only affirms that the Coalition will have the state capitol grounds - and it fails to define the route that the demonstration will use to march on the Xcel Center. Tens of thousands of people from around the country are expected to converge on Saint Paul Sept. 1 and march to the site of the convention.
Aby also said that there has been a series of disturbing reports over the past week indicating that the city intends to respond to the demonstrations at the RNC by curtailing the right to protest. This includes reports that all demonstrations will be confined to a single route and placed together. This is unacceptable.
A statement from the Coalition noted, “In the past city officials were talking about ‘the entire city of Saint Paul being a free speech zone.’ Now they are talking about glorified protest pens. We also reject the framework that Saint Paul police have created to infiltrate and spy on groups that plan protests at the RNC. And we are opposed to the attempts by police officials to forbid any protests at the Xcel Center Sept. 2-4.”
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