Pro-Life Activists to Meet with Denver City Attorney to Secure Park Permits for Peaceful and Prayerful Witness During the Democratic National Convention
Contact: Christian Defense Coalition, 202-547-1735, 540-538-4741 cell
DENVER, Feb. 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The groups, and their legal team, will be meeting with City Attorney David Fine on Wednesday, February 20, at 4:00 P.M.
The Christian Defense Coalition and the Survivors will be holding a news conference on Wednesday, February 20, at 3:00 P.M. The location is 1437 Bannock Street in downtown Denver.
The City of Denver has removed 14 downtown city parks from the list of public venues in which groups may peacefully assemble and have refused to accept applications from the pro-life groups seeking to conduct peaceful First Amendment activities at these parks.
The groups followed the normal park application process for the City of Denver by attempting to apply for permits on November 1, 2007. They were told that their name would be put on list and they would be contacted when a permit process was put in place. After nearly 4 months of waiting, there is still no plan in place and no indication when one will be put in place.
Activists say this delay is a tragic chilling of free speech and a crushing of First Amendment rights.
If the groups cannot reach an agreement with the City of Denver at this meeting, they will file a federal lawsuit early Thursday morning, February 21.
Danielle Versluys, Director of Special Events for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, states, "As advocates for the pre-born, it is the responsibility of the Survivors to defend our right to free speech. Peaceful prayer and witness in the public square are essential to our fight for justice in America, and we cannot let our rights be trampled at the expense of the children scheduled to die from abortion.
It is unfortunate that such actions must be taken against the City of Denver during an historic election year, and it is our hope the city will immediately cease this unnecessary suppression of free speech. To deny reasonable park and sidewalk permits to the public during a political convention crushes the liberties granted by the Constitution and effectively silences the voices of American citizens."
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments, "The Democratic National Convention should be a time of celebrating free speech and the First Amendment rights, not crushing them. It is very troubling that the City of Denver and the Democratic National Convention have chosen to deny American citizens the right to peacefully assembly and pray in the public square.
We attempted to apply for a park permit almost 4 months ago and are still being denied access to city parks. This has made it impossible for us to properly plan for our events.
We agree with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King when he said from a Birmingham jail cell, 'Justice delayed is justice denied.' It appears that the City of Denver and the DNC are rolling out the red carpet for Convention delegates but putting up a 'Not Welcome Sign' for peaceful demonstrators.
It is difficult to believe that peaceful prayer and worship in a public park blocks and blocks away from the Pepsi Center would pose a national security threat to the Convention. This is clearly more about a 'sanitized' Convention than national security. Denver and the DNC are more concerned about protecting an 'image,' that protecting the First Amendment.
We are seeking these First Amendment rights not only for pro-life activists, but for all those wishing to peacefully demonstrate at the DNC regardless of their political views."
For more information or interviews contact:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741
Danielle Versluys at 909.213.5339