City Imposes Controversial Fees For Street Marches

Hundreds marched in San Antonio, Texas, in defiance of new street procession fees that the organizations believe will stifle free speech.
August 12, 2009, 11am PDT | Larry Schooler
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

A clause in the ordinance allowing for free protests on sidewalks doesn't satisfy San Antonio residents.

"its opponents argue that the city's sidewalks are sparse and often not accessible to disabled people.

Graciela Sanchez, executive director of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, said the ordinance also allows for "spontaneous marches," a concept the protesters tested about an hour into the demonstration.

'Let's take it to the streets!' a woman yelled.

A police officer on a motorcycle who had been observing the protest immediately rode onto West Commerce Street and ordered people to move to the sidewalk. The group ignored him and continued walking west on the roadway.

'They're creating a problem here. It's a traffic jam,' said the officer, who refused to give his name. 'They have the right to protest, but they better do it right.'

Protesters - some who had come equipped with bicycles and reflective vests - blocked traffic and directed fellow marchers into Market Square."

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, August 9, 2009 in San Antonio Express-News
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email