Last week, several human rights and anti-war activists picketed outside Saint Paul's City Hall to properly organize their demonstrations for September 1, 2008. They demanded the city to grant them permits to organize protest rallies during the Republican National Convention. The City Council has not yet responded to their requests, which had been resubmitted in April. Along with picketing and a press conference, the coalition members proceeded inside the City Hall council chambers to bring forward their concerns.
The Coalition to March on the RNC & Stop the War, which includes Women Against Military Madness, the Welfare Rights Committee, and the MN Immigrant Rights Action Coalition, claims that the Council has upheld a partisan nature toward the issue, which puts them in favor of the Republican party.
As Council President Kathy Lantry banged her gavel, Deb Konechne, of the Coalition to March on the RNC & Stop the War and the Welfare Rights Committee, stood up and demanded that council members listen to statements on why permits should be granted now for a massive anti-war march at the Republican National Convention. Lantry explained the proper procedure to raise concerns and agreed to meet with the group at another time. When the Council refused to hear the statements, protesters chanted, “We need the permits,” and marched out of the meeting.
This story was submitted by Lauretta Dawolo on October 1, 2007. Fight Back! Newspaper contributed to this article.