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Case for RNC anti-war protest permits goes to federal court

By staff

Sarah Martin

Minneapolis MN – Attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union returned to federal court on the evening of June 9, on behalf of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. The Coalition is seeking a preliminary injunction requiring the city of Saint Paul to issue adequate permits for the Sept. 1 anti-war march.

Specifically, the attorneys filed an amended complaint, a motion for the preliminary injunction, and asked for an expedited hearing on the motion. The aim is to get a permit that will allow for a mass, anti-war march Sept. 1.

At a June 10 press conference held in front of the Federal Building downtown Minneapolis, Meredith Aby of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War stated, “We are suing the city of St. Paul to guarantee that the people of this country will have the time and space we need on Sept. 1 to protest against the anti-people, pro-war agenda of the Republican Party and their candidate John McCain. We are asking the District Court to get involved in our struggle for permits against the city of St. Paul because at every crossroad in the past two years the city has rolled out the red carpet for the Republicans while throwing up barriers for anti-war protesters.”

Aby also stated, “The most recent example of this is that last month the Saint Paul police issued the Coalition an alternative permit which has the support of the Saint Paul city council. The alternative permit is unworkable, but also, politically unacceptable. The alternative permit shows that Mayor Coleman wants the anti-war protest to be a local – as opposed to national – demonstration and wants protesters away from the Xcel Center before the delegates are even there. It is another effort on Mayor Coleman’s part to try to hurt our organizing efforts for a large, national anti-war demonstration at the RNC.”

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