Judge backs convention protest restriction

Aug. 7, 2008 at 12:22 PM
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DENVER, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled officials in Denver and with the U.S. Secret Service may limit protesters' access to the Democratic National Convention.

U.S. District Judge Marcia S. Krieger said officials' current plans to restrict protesters at the upcoming convention would not violate demonstrators' First Amendment rights to free speech, the Rocky Mountain News said Thursday.

Among the restrictions planned for the Pepsi Center event on Aug. 25-28 are fenced-in zone in which protesters can demonstrate and a predesignated parade route.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper applauded the judge's Wednesday ruling, saying such security efforts will help make the political event safe for all attendees.

"With this validation of our plans, we continue moving forward -- focused on making the convention a safe, inclusive and enjoyable event for all," Hickenlooper said.

The News said the judge's ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which alleged the restrictions violated protesters' right to free speech.

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