VOL. 132 | NO. 23 | Wednesday, February 1, 2017
City Grants Exemption For Wednesday Travel Ban Protest March
By Bill Dries
The city of Memphis has granted an exemption for a Wednesday, Feb. 1, protest march, after intially saying a permit for the march would require 14-days notice from the group Comunidades Unidas en Una Voz.
The city originally said it would not grant a permit citing the city ordinance that requires 14-days notice in advance. But city chief communications officer Ursula Madden said the group never formally applied for a permit.
The CUUV organizers of the march from Clayborn Temple to the National Civil Rights Museum then cited an exception in the city ordinance for “spontaneous events occasioned by news or affairs coming into public knowledge within three days of such public assembly, provided that the organizer thereof gives written notice to the city at least 24 hours prior to such parade or public assembly.”
The march is a protest against President Donald Trump’s order establishing an immigration travel ban on those from seven majority-Muslim countries, which Trump signed Friday, Jan. 27.
Prior to the appeal, City Chief Legal Officer Bruce McMullen had said the city needed the 14-day notice “in order to arrange manpower to protect the protesters and the public.”
“The Memphis Police Department has worked well with those who wish to exercise their right to peaceful protest, which we firmly believe in and will continue to protect,” he added in a written statement. In the same statement, McMullen notified the march organizers of their right to appeal.
With the appeal, received by the city Tuesday, McMullen ruled the event did not need a permit.
“The city has determined that this event meets the exception for spontaneous events, therefore it is lawful,” McMullen said.