Sunday, March 02, 2008

City to begin issuing permits for Dem convention

The Rocky:
The city of Denver has set up a process for groups to apply for permits and licenses for the use of parks and city streets before and during the Democratic National Convention. . . .

From March 3 to March 14, the city will be accepting requests for use of parks and suggested parade or march routes. The requests will be for events to be held from 12:01 a.m. Aug. 15 to 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31. The convention runs from Aug. 25-28. . . .

Two things have yet to be determined - the security perimeter or First Amendment Zone around the Pepsi Center, where protesters can gather.

"That comes from the Secret Service," said Archuleta. "When we know it, we would release it."

Another is the parade route. The city is committed to having at least one route open to groups that want to hold a parade or march that will end within view and earshot of the Pepsi Center.

"We share the protesters' concerns about that and they will be taken into consideration," said [mayor's adviser Katherine] Archuleta.
Idn't dat nice?
The announcement of the permit process was greeted with mixed feeings from two protest groups that have been pushing the city to move on the permit process since last year.

"The city has made some very positive changes as far as removing insurance requirements," said Glenn Spagnuolo, one of the organizers for Recreate' 68 Alliance. "But we are upset with the fact that the city has made one specific change to stop Recreate 68 what it is intending to do."
What's that, O peaceful leader?
Under the old park ordinance, Spagnuolo said the city allowed overnight camping at the Civic Center park. However, that provision was not included under the new permitting process.

Spagnuolo said he expects thousands of people to come from across the country for the Recreate '68 events, but most will not be able to get hotel rooms, because they would have long been booked up, and have no place to go.

"That's a major problem," said Spagnuolo. "The city knows that they are creating a confrontational event that we're trying to avoid."
Sure you are, Spags, sure you are. This is one way Re!create 68 (why does that exclamation point keep moving around?) will try to recreate '68. The "police riot" that year happened partly because cops cleared protesters out of a city park as they attempted to camp there.

But Archuleta said that the city's park ordinance has long prohibited overnight camping except in Denver's mountain parks.

"They understand the laws," she said. "What we want them to do is honor the ordinance."
Good luck with that. How the permitting process will affect the schedule just put out by Recreate! 68 remains, as they say, to be seen.

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