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Minneapolis City Council adopts protest permit plan for RNC

After months of meetings and public hearings, the Minneapolis City Council voted 11-2 today to adopt a plan whereby groups protesting the Republican National Convention would voluntarily register for a permit with the city.
Actually, it’s more specific than that. The resolution calls for a permit process for groups who are planning to block sidewalks with their right to assemble. One must ask, with the RNC happening in St. Paul: How much of this is really going to happen in Minneapolis? In fact, is the resolution, which will only apply when the RNC is in town Sept. 1-4, necessary at all?
At least two council members, Gary Schiff (Ninth Ward) and Cam Gordon (Second Ward), don’t think so; they were the two dissenters.
“While I don’t agree that we need to create sidewalk protest permits, I am pleased that it is not permanent,” an e-newsletter from Schiff’s office quoted him as saying. “Sidewalks are for everyone, and police have adequate powers to separate groups if a conflict arises. Reserving a sidewalk for any one group raises questions about access for people who live, work and shop nearby.”

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