WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Capitol Square Should Be Permit-Free For Protesters, Says ACLU

Play associated audio
Protests are limited to one corner of Richmond's Capitol Square.
Taber Andrew Bain: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbain/524857662
Protests are limited to one corner of Richmond's Capitol Square.

The ACLU of Virginia is calling on Gov. Terry McAuliffe to revise regulations limiting citizens from expressing their views to public officials. The organization says the move comes after 31 protesters were arrested in 2012 for straying outside a designated area on the state's Capitol Square in Richmond.

The ACLU's Rebecca Glenberg says that most recently, the Family Foundation was denied a permit to gather for a National Day of Prayer event at noon because the requested time slot is restricted. Glenberg notes that the ACLU’s letter lists seven restrictions, which she says are not only vague, but also violate free speech. She says one is confining events to just one small place on the Capitol grounds.

"A lot of groups have had a problem with the limitation of demonstrations to the Bell Tower," Glenberg says. "Because when you're over at the Bell Tower, which is sort of in a far away corner in Capitol Square, it's difficult to communicate to those whom you most want to reach."

And the ACLU opposes requiring even small groups to get a permit to assemble — without exception. The organization also says officials can deny permits based on the content of speech and other considerations that it calls “unlawful.”

Glenberg says Capitol Square is a quintessential public forum. These restrictions, she says, undermine Virginians’ right to speak out and protest their government.

NPR

Barbershop: UofL Basketball Ban, Football Concussions And The NFL Women's Summit

ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone, Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery talk about the UofL basketball team, public opinion of the NFL, and women in sports.
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

On The Clock: Rubio Gets The Most Talking Time In Tonight's Debate

It was the last debate before the New Hampshire primary and Donald Trump was back onstage. Which GOP candidate ended up with the most talking time?
NPR

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.