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News :: DNC : Human Rights
Boston Police to keep protesters away from Democratic Convention
12 Mar 2004
The Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has met with stiff resistance in negotiations with the Boston Police Department regarding protester access to the Democratic National Convention site.
Currently, the BPD plans to limit protesters to a small "free speech" area located out of sight of the Fleet center. According to Urszula at the Massachusetts chapter of the NLG, "The police department claimed that they had not received any requests for permits." However, one local organizer has contacted the NLG regarding several applications applied for during the past few months. He reported that "his organization had received several objections" to his applications by the Boston Police Dept.

The NLG has sounded a call for organizations to apply immediately for permits for all sorts of actions. For stationary rallies, protests, and concerts, people need to apply with the Boston Parks and Recreation department. For moving actions and marches on public streets, permits need to be obtained from the Boston Transportation department. All of the permits are being coordinated with convention security people, so the BPD doesn't need to be informed separately when applying for permits. However, the NLG would like for organizers who have applied for permits, or who have tried to apply for permits, to contact the NLG for examples and statistics for their follow-up with the Boston Police Dept. on this topic.

Boston IMC poster shaka: "Regardless of individual groups' policies on asking for permits. . .this seems like an important symbolic act to make in order to assert collective rights and try to make the atmosphere as favorable to our interests as possible when the time comes for us to show our colors"

Urszula of the local National Lawyer's Guild can be contacted at or (617) 227 7335.

City of Boston website:

Special Events Guide for Permit Applications:

Application forms for various types of permits:

Public Event Application
Special Event Permit Application
Street Closing Application

Individuals concerned about the limitations of a "free speech zone" can contact:
Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs & Licensing
Boston City Hall
Room 817
Boston, MA 02201
tele 617 635-4165, fax 617 635 4174

For more information about permitting, and to request that all DNC protest applications receive fair and equal consideration contact:
Boston Parks and Recreation Department
1010 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
tele 617 635-4505, fax 617 635-3227
See also:

This work is in the public domain.
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No Permit
15 Mar 2004
Does it really make sense to apply for a permit from the government in order to oppose the government?

Having a permit doen't mean the police will be have themselves, and not having a permit doesn't mean you'll be arrested.

It is always legal to protest in America, even if John AshKKKroft doesn't want you to.
yesad yuweanr
08 Jun 2006
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