By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney has reversed course on Democratic National Convention protests after one group filed a lawsuit against the city.
The administration will allow marches in Center City during rush hour.
Initially, the city turned down The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign request to march the length of South Broad Street from 3 to 6 p.m. the first day of the convention, saying it would be too disruptive to shut down a major artery during the evening rush, but Kenney’s spokesperson Lauren Hitt says that position was losing its logic.
“Given the number of groups who’d made clear they planned to protest in Center City during rush hour with or without a permit.”
She says the lawsuit sealed the deal on the new policy. A victory for the group, says its attorney, Mary Catherine Roper of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The streets have always been used in our country for first amendment expression. That is part of what they’re there for. And the government has a heavy burden to cut off that access.”
The city has now approved 11 permits and disapproved two. Fifteen are still pending.