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Lawsuit Challenging Federal Plaza Permit Ban to be Argued in Court Thursday

Thursday, October 18, 2001
9am, Room 2102
Judge Holderman
Dirksen Federal Building
------ be there! -------
MEDIA ALERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Kate Pearson
October 22nd Coalition
Phone: 773-528-1701
Fax: 773-528-3270
chicago (at) october22.org
www.october22.org

Lawsuit Challenging Federal Plaza Permit Ban to be Argued in Court Thursday

An emergency lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday seeking an injunction against the Federal Plaza General Services Administration (GSA) goes before Judge Holderman on Thursday, October 18th at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom #2102.

The free speech lawsuit was initiated by October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation in response to the GSA’s revoking of their rally permit. This permit was originally granted for October 22nd Coalition’s annual National Day of Protest scheduled for Monday. Attorney Wayne Giampietro will argue that the GSA policy banning permits for the remainder of 2001 violates the 1st Amendment. The GSA policy has been widely criticized by civil liberties advocates. An October 12th Chicago Tribune editorial lambasted the flimsy justifications offered up by the GSA for the controversial policy.

With significant civil liberties implications at issue in the case, additional organizations have joined as plaintiffs in the suit. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit along with the October 22nd Coalition include the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network, Refuse & Resist!-Chicago and Chicago Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Plaintiffs are represented by attorney Wayne Giampietro. Giampietro is a former President of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and he is also counsel in a closely watched permit case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Plaintiff Isaac Csandl of the October 22nd Coalition stated: "Preventing free speech does not make us any safer. The authorities are manipulating people’s fears to give them a blank check to enact repressive laws and policies. Where will this stop? We cannot allow political rights to become a casualty of the US government’s ‘war on terrorism.’"

Organizers of the 6th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality claim that their fight against police brutality and repression is more timely than ever this year. Protests will spotlight the repression threatening Middle Eastern and Muslim communities and the dangerous assault on civil liberties unfolding today.

The Judge is expected to rule by Friday. Contact October 22nd Coalition for more information.

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