North Carolina city will revise public protest rules after abortion foes sue
I’m all for free speech too, but this ruling means that far right anti choice groups will probably be blocking public roads near this clinic. (There aren’t sidewalks.)
The city of Jacksonville will revise its rules on public demonstrations following a federal judge’s decision to grant an injunction sought by anti-abortion protesters who say the current ordinance violates their rights to free speech.
The city and lawyers for the protesters have 60 days to reach an agreement on new ordinances, following a Monday ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle that temporarily suspends the current rules, allowing protesters to picket a clinic where abortions are performed.
“This is a big victory for the First Amendment rights of pro-life people everywhere,” said Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of demonstrators.
Glenn Hargett, spokesman for the city, said Jacksonville leaders are willing to change the current ordinance, which requires a police permit for protests involving three or more people. The anti-abortion protesters were denied a permit to picket the Crist Clinic for Women. Officials said the area is unsafe for public gatherings because it lacks sidewalks.