Elections

Federal Judge Rules Against Protesters at Republican National Convention

Main image to the post Federal Judge Rules Against Protesters at Republican National Convention

Protesters Denied Access to RNC Security Zone

A federal judge ruled that protesters cannot march through a security zone at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee. This decision comes as a blow to liberal groups who had sought closer access to the convention site.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Coalition to March on the RNC 2024 filed a lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee, claiming that the city's protest plans violated their First Amendment rights. They requested a protest parade route within sight and hearing of the Fiserv Forum, where delegates would gather to nominate Donald Trump for president.

However, U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig ruled that while protesters have the right to protest the RNC, the First Amendment does not guarantee them the right to protest in any way they choose. He acknowledged the efforts of Milwaukee city officials and the U.S. Secret Service to balance protesters' right to free speech with legitimate security concerns.

The judge agreed with the ACLU on one point, ruling that the city could not deny protest permits based on an applicant's criminal history. He stated that the city "overstepped their authority" in reserving the right to deny permits based on past convictions.

Both parties have until Wednesday to pursue further legal options. Protesters have expressed dissatisfaction with the designated protest route, which is located five blocks from the arena and outside the security perimeter. They have threatened to demonstrate regardless of permit approvals.

The ruling also raises concerns about potential protests during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago this August. Protesters have demanded to be heard near the United Center, where delegates and party members will gather. They aim to voice their opposition to the War in Gaza.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09