RNC protesters hit roadblocks

July 30, 2008 at 2:46 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., July 30 (UPI) -- Local groups hoping to protest the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., say they are running into city permit roadblocks.

Several say they will put pressure on the city's Democratic Mayor Chris Coleman to skip around what they consider unreasonable blocks on events, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

Complaints of local organizers range from a lack of electricity at event sites to police vetoing of public events on particular days. Some long-envisioned event organizers have belatedly found they are required to acquire additional permits, the report said.

"It gives all the appearances that the city is trying to spread people out, avoid letting them congregate in large groups and disburse anyone who wants to speak out against this administration," said City Council Member Dave Thune, who has outspokenly opposed President Bush.

City administration officials say they are doing as much as possible to accommodate all groups.

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