PITTSBURGH, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Modern technology allows for many ways of exercising First Amendment protections so protesters don't have to be close to what they are protesting, a judge said.
U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster ruled Thursday Pittsburgh cannot prohibit anti-war protesters from setting up a tent city in Point State Park in the days before next week's Group of 20 economic summit, but can disallow other overnight encampments in city parks and a rally on the Seventh Street Bridge.
He cited advances of modern technology which provide many ways to speak publicly when he approved the city's request to keep people off the bridge for security and public-safety concerns.
"We think it was reasonable," city attorney Michael Kennedy said about the judge's ruling. "We think it was legally based, and we think it upheld many of the issues that we were concerned about."
Lancaster was ruling in a case brought by six protest groups looking for more freedom to choose where to demonstrate.