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

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 us 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 our 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 probably unconstitutional, we are demanding  the permit for September 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 September 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 protestors to the Metrodome  if the DNC is held here,” states Deb Konechne of the Welfare Rights Committee.

Many of the organizations that organized the massive anti-war protests at the Republican National Convention in 2008 are joining this effort including the Anti-War Committee, Women Against Military Madness, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition,  the Welfare Rights Committee and others.

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