Defend Our Right to March to Xcel and Say NO to War!

ACTION ALERT: Tell St Paul officials to grant permit for RNC anti-war march
by Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War |
March 27, 2008
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Fight Back News Service urges all of our readers to respond to this action alert from the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. Please forward it as widely as possible.

On September 1, 2008, tens of thousands plan to take to the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota, to say no to the war and occupation in Iraq. The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, made up of more than 100 organizations from across the country, has been seeking permits for this demonstration since days after the Republicans announced they would hold their national convention in Minnesota. While we have a permit to assemble and rally at the State Capitol, the City of St. Paul continues to withhold a permit for a march on the Xcel Center, where the Convention will be held.

For months, City officials promised that the permit process would move forward at the beginning of March. On March 3rd, the Coalition finally received a formal response to our application: a "provisional" permit to begin a march at the State Capitol on September 1st, with no route, no times, and with a suggestion whatever route we are eventually granted will not be for our exclusive use for the duration of our protest. The document we received was a mostly-blank form, and was accompanied by a set of guidelines that unreasonably restrict the rights of any protesters planning actions during the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Today, attorneys from the NLG and the ACLU will file a complaint in federal court, on behalf of the Coalition. It is our hope that legal action will help us win the permit we need - one that takes a massive, anti-war march to the doors of the Republican Convention at the Xcel Center. Political pressure is no less important than legal pressure. St. Paul City officials have worked hard to create the impression that they want to work with and even welcome protesters. If they truly wanted to roll out a welcome mat, they already would have.

We are planning for a march against the war on Iraq, and we shouldn't have to wait for a court ruling to force the City to issue a permit that takes us to the Xcel Center on September 1st. We need our supporters and fellow protesters to contact St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Urge him to deliver a final permit to the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, taking us from the State Capitol to the Xcel Center on September 1, 2008. Mayor Coleman can be reached at [email protected] or 651-266-8510.

Please send a copy of your message to us at [email protected].