Protest group’s Jumbotron up and running

The much-debated Jumbotron television is up and running just up the hill from the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Protest group True Blue Minnesota had planned for months to broadcast anti-Republican programming on the giant-screen television from a park at Kellogg and John Ireland boulevards, a few blocks from the Xcel Energy Center.

But that park is within the purvey of a Capitol board of review, which turned down a variance request for the television, saying it would cause safety problems and might set a precedent for other protest groups hoping to use the Capitol grounds.

True Blue cried foul, though, because Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, a Republican, chairs the board. When True Blue sued, claiming its First Amendment rights were being trampled, a Ramsey County judge approved a temporary restraining order, meaning the show could go on.

On Monday night, the first night of the convention, the group aired a “Frontline” documentary on the Iraq war on the giant screen. No injuries or other safety problems were reported.– Joe Kimball

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