The American Civil Liberties Union has met with several Pittsburgh groups planning to protest the September G20 summit and plans to file a lawsuit if permit requests for rallies and marches are denied.
Pennsylvania ACLU Legal Director Vic Walczak says Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s announcement that two sites will be set aside for protests within hearing and seeing distance from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center doesn’t change the groups’ plans for a suit.
Walczak says the mayor is “standing on formality” when he says nobody has been denied a permit to protest the G20 summit yet.
“The mayor can’t point to folks who are getting approved for permits, and that’s tantamount to a denial,” says Walczak. He says this is a violation of free speech rights.
Walczak says the ACLU will meet with the groups again in the next day or two to discuss the suit. He says it’s expected to come about before Labor Day unless permits are granted.