ACLU Files Lawsuit On Behalf of G-20 Protesters In Pittsburgh
Protesters who have been denied marching permits in Pittsburgh for the G20 Summit that takes place there later this month have filed a lawsuit against the Secret Service and state authorities on Friday.
According to a report by Philly.com, the ACLU is representing six groups of protesters that applied for the permits, but where turned down by authorities. The group requested demonstration permits less than a mile away from where the summit will take place as well as permission to build four “tent cities” in nearby parks.
The lawsuit claims the following according to the Philly.com article:
The lawsuit says Pittsburgh and the Secret Service have “unduly restricted or failed to recognize” the right of “peace, social justice and environmental justice organizations” to “peaceably demonstrate in traditional public forums.”
Dozens of dignitaries from around the world, including President Obama will be attending the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. Protesters want to be able to express their opposition to the summit’s agenda. The G20 is perceived as an elitist group of modern nations that control 85 percent of the world’s resources and whose countries often do not take in consideration the harm done to the environment, the poor, and oppressed minorities.
Rallies, protests and demonstrations have often taken place at G20 Summits, as well as at World Bank, WTO, and IMF summits. Protesters try to raise public awareness about the dealings and accords that take place at such events. These protesters often face a number of obstacles trying to obtain permits to exercise their rights to Freedom of Speech. Many end up incarcerated by police, later to be released without charges.
The ACLU stepped in to represent the protesters as authorities denied permits without proving that the protests would put anyone in any danger. The Secret Service has already defined the security perimeter for the summit which is a mere three block radius from where the summit will be held — at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
According to the Philly.com article:
City officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the lawsuit. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Mike Huss has said the city is reviewing all the protesters’ requests and has already issued some preliminary permits.