Free Speech Press Conference
On Friday, June 6th, the Minneapolis City Council will vote on a resolution which could significantly change the way people assemble and protest on City of Minneapolis sidewalks.
I am organizing a press conference with CM Gary Schiff urging the Mayor and Council to not take these potentially drastic steps to curtail our civil liberties. The press conference is tentatively set for Tuesday, June 3rd at 12:30 in the City Hall rotunda (350 South Fifth Street).
While many things about Ostrow's proposed resolution are fine, I have serious concerns about the following particular aspects that would:
1. Require any person or group planning on holding a public assembly of greater than 50 persons “in a location and in a manner” that will prevent others from using sidewalks to provide notice and obtain plan approval, if they wish to “obtain priority” over other groups.
2. Allow City staff to determine whether an unregistered public assembly prevents other pedestrians from using sidewalks, providing a rationale for enforcement actions against groups that have not received the City’s permission to exercise their First Amendment rights
3. Give registered groups sole claim to public right-of-way, creating a new tool for opponents to preempt demonstrations.
4. Become a permanent policy of the City of Minneapolis, despite being billed as preparation for the Republican National Convention.