RNC protesters to appeal city parade permit
St. Paul, Minn. — (AP) - A coalition of protesters planning to march on the first day of the Republican National Convention plans to push the city of St. Paul for a permit more to its liking.
Earlier this week, the city issued a permit that would let the protesters get within 300 feet of the Xcel Energy Center, where the convention will be held.
However, the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War have said that the route, which directs marchers from the state Capitol to the site of the convention and back again, is logistically impossible. The coalition is preparing for a crowd of 50,000 people.
They also object to the requirement that protesters leave the area closest to the convention center by 2 p.m., Sept. 1, the first day of the event.
The coalition will next appeal to the City Council to reconsider the group's original permit, said Teresa Nelson, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union representing the coalition.
Nelson said the City Council is required to consider the appeal at its next meeting, which is Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a federal court hearing scheduled for Friday to discuss the protest and permit process for the convention was canceled after the city and coalition came to agreement on several issues.
According to an order signed by U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen, the city has agreed to back off guidelines used to issue parade permits and has agreed not to charge the coalition for things like security and cleanup.
The city has also agreed to provide portable toilets near the State Capitol and along the march route.
The coalition, in turn, has agreed to make efforts to minimize trash in the area, the order states.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)