So-called Democratic Party Afraid of Citizens?
ACLU SUES CITY, POLICE FOR MORE ACCESS TO DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION
Below are a few quotes from a recent AP news report. Apparently you have to file a lawsuit before the government admits that the First Amendment exists.
by Michelle DeArmond, AP writerLOS ANGELES -- A coalition of activists bent on capturing the attention of Democratic National Convention delegates have sued the city and Police Department on Friday for greater access to the August event site.
Authorities have created a huge buffer zone around the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center that will keep protesters so far away ``they will be invisible,'' said Daniel P. Tokaji with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The zone violates the protesters' free speech rights, he said.
``The Constitution may not be put on ice simply because the Democratic convention is in town,'' Tokaji said at a news conference after filing the lawsuit in federal court. ``If the LA Police Department has its way, this will be the Un-Democratic National Convention.''
The plaintiffs want a preliminary injunction to prevent the city and police from keeping protesters outside the current planned ``no-access zone'' and from requiring protesters to get parade permits.
Tokaji hopes to get a July 17 hearing on the issue, and suggested that authorities move the perimeter of the buffer zone closer to the Staples Center so that protesters can gather in two parking lots across the street from the main entrance.
The plaintiffs say they have no plans to use a demonstration area authorities have designated on the opposite side of the giant parking lots. The plaintiffs claim there's no way delegates would ever see or hear protesters from that location.
Police conceded that their own convention plan was the result of yearlong planning by police, the FBI, the Secret Service and multiple other government agencies.
Ben Austin, spokesman for the convention host committee known as LA Convention 2000, claimed that the demonstration area was a ``phenomenal piece of protesting real estate'' that gives activists ``easy access to the delegates and the residents of Los Angeles.''
In a democracy, should protests be pushed away? Why don't the big political parties want to listen to citizens? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
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