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RNC Protest

St Paul officials face lawsuit, violated rights of anti-war organizer leafleting at Obama rally

by staff |
July 5, 2008
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St. Paul, MN - A lawsuit for damages totaling $75,000 will be filed in Federal Court, July 2, by attorneys representing Mick Kelly. Kelly is an organizer for the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. Kelly was arrested outside the Xcel Center June 5 while passing out leaflets at an Obama rally. He was promoting the Sept. 1 anti-war march at the Republican National Convention. Police placed him under arrest, then he was searched, put in a squad car and taken blocks away to the old police headquarters where he was cited for soliciting and peddling.

Mick Kelly is also the editor of the newspaper Fight Back! and Fight Back News Service.

Mr. Kelly states, “The city of Saint Paul violated my right to speak out against the war and to encourage people to come to the march on the Republican National Convention. It is part of a larger pattern of the city attempting to suppress the right to dissent. For example, the city has refused to grant a workable permit for the Sept. 1 protest. The blame needs to placed at the door of Mayor Coleman and the city administration as a whole.”

The suit names the City of St. Paul and the individual officers involved in the arrest. Kelly is represented by attorneys Ted Dooley, Gena Berglund and Peter Nickitas, all members of the National Lawyers Guild.

Attorney Ted Dooley states, “What happened to Mick Kelly was illegal. The mayor, the city and the police will have to explain it in Federal Court. This is a straight signal to Saint Paul City officials: The people have the constitutional right to speak out against the war and injustice, even though the Republican National Convention happens to come to town.

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