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Minneapolis denies permits for anti-war march at Democratic National Convention

By Mick Kelly |
August 27, 2010
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Meredith Aby (center) speaking at press conference
Meredith Aby (center) speaking at press conference (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - Leaders of the Twin Cites Peace and Justice movement blasted city government at a press conference here, Aug. 27, in front of the Minneapolis City Hall.

The agency designated with the authority to issue parade permits in Minneapolis, the Public Works Department, has turned down an application from the Anti-War Committee for a mass march and rally on the opening day of the proposed Democratic National Convention.

Officials responsible for making the decision to turn down the application for the anti-war march have not even bothered to put forward coherent reasons that are consistent with the law. An official told protest organizers that it was too soon to submit an application. City law does not establish any dates that are ‘too early’ - in fact the ordinance says “parade permit applications should be filed as soon as possible in advance of the parade or event.”

City officials say another reason for rejecting the permit application is because they will not approve any parade permits for a date that is not on a weekend or holiday. Leaving aside the fact that this restriction in it of itself is unconstitutional, organizers are demanding the permit for Sept. 3, Labor Day, 2012 - a legal holiday in Minneapolis.

“It’s clear city officials just do not want to see a major anti-war march that coincides with the opening day of the Democratic National Convention. We have a right to protest and if the DNC is held here we will to exactly that on Sept. 3, 2012,” states Meredith Aby, of the Anti-War Committee.

“We want permits to have the largest possible march. That said, we have a right to protest and the city of Minneapolis needs to understand that we will march to the site of the DNC with or without a permit. Under the slogan “Money for human needs, not for war,” we will take thousands of protesters to the Metrodome if the DNC is held here,” said Deb Konechne of the Welfare Rights Committee.

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