Anti-War Committee Denied Permit for Anti-War March at DNC

DNC Press Conference, speech given by Anti-War Committee member, Meredith Aby, on Friday, September 27th, 2010

We are here today to denounce the city of Minneapolis’ rejection of  our permit to protest the war at the Democratic National Convention.  It is outrageous that the city has already invested countless hours, money and resources into trying to secure the bid to host the DNC and cannot even acknowledge the need to secure a space to protest.  Currently the U.S. is occupying two countries and the Democratic Party controls both the White House and Congress so of course there is a significant demand for a space to protest at their convention.  It is ridiculous that the city of Minneapolis thinks that hosting the Democratic Party while it is orchestrating the occupations and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq can go without a protest.  We had to fight for our right to protest the war when St. Paul hosted the RNC in 2008 and we are prepared to do so again.

We applied for a permit the second we

ek of August.  Last week we received our permit application and check back in the mail.  Doug Maday with Public Works Traffic & Parking Services told me that he ordered the rejection of our permit because the city only allows parades in downtown on weekends or national holidays.  But our protest will be on Labor Day which is a holiday.  He also claimed that we needed to wait until the year of the DNC to apply but that is not in city law.  The city isn’t even following it’s own policies in their efforts to squash anti-war protests at the DNC.   The city is making up excuses to justify denying the anti-war movement the right to protest!

We are frustrated that the city is rolling out the red carpet for the Democratic Party while ignoring it’s constituents here in Minneapolis.  We should have the same opportunity to plan for the DNC that the city and the Democratic Party have.  The city of Minneapolis is choosing to prioritize the needs of the Democratic Party, a party of war and cutbacks, over the needs of the anti-war movement.  Minneapolis is a solid and strong anti-war town.  Our base wants the U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to come home now.  We have the right to take that message to the politicians who make those policies directly – especially if they are hosted in our own town!  We call on the city to approve our permit and to guarantee our right to protest on the first day of the convention outside of the Metrodome if Minneapolis hosts the DNC.