APn 05/03 0239 ELN--Convention Protests Copyright, 1988. The Associated Press. All rights
APn 05/03 0239 ELN--Convention Protests
Copyright, 1988. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By DICK PETTYS Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA (AP) -- Police say they'll try to work with groups planning
demonstrations during this summer's Democratic National Convention but
warn that space is limited and that protests will have to be scheduled.
Only five groups have applied so far for demonstration permits during
the July convention, but many more are expected.
"We assume we'll have a lot of diverse groups here and, to the extent
we can accommodate them, we plan to," said Deputy Chief W.J. Taylor. "We
don't want anyone to feel they are not welcome."
However, the American Civil Liberties Union charged last week that
was exactly what was happening, and threatened legal action unless the
city clarified the procedures it intends to follow for handling protest
The ACLU's key complaint is that the city has not adopted rules and
procedures for permitting demonstrations, Margaret L. Dudney, a staff
attorney for the organization's Georgia chapter, said Monday.
She also contended that the city has not said whether it intends to
adhere to existing rules requiring seven days' notice for street marches
and 30 days' notice to hold political gatherings in parks.
In addition, some city officials have indicated that downtown parks
will not be available for demonstrations, she said.
Taylor said those problems are being addressed.
"The problem is, there's not that much available space," he said.
Taylor said the city is trying to secure two parking lots directly
across from The Omni, the convention site, to serve as staging areas for
demonstrations. Some downtown parks also may be used, he said.
The advance-notice rules for street demonstrations and park use will
be waived, he said, so long as organized groups have obtained permits.
No applications have been processed yet, and none will be acted on
until June, he said.
Those already seeking permits are the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness; the Lenora Fulani Committee, which supports Ms.
Fulani's New York-based New Alliance Party campaign for the presidency;
a committee supporting legislative equality for homosexuals; a local
group calling itself "Arts Pluribus Unum"; and another local group
called Alternative 88. The group was formed by the owners of the
Metroplex nightclub in Atlanta.
Partner James Fleter said the group is designed to serve as "a loose
coordinating group for different groups that will be raising First
Amendment and alternative issues."
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