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"Denver Police say airport protesters aren’t protected by First Amendment, need permit"


 
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Denver Police say airport protesters aren’t protected by First Amendment, need 
permit 
The Denver Police claimed that protesters were in "violation of airport rules 
and regulations" without a permit 
By Matthew Rozsa 
Salon


Anti-Trump protesters and the Denver Police Department may disagree about 
whether the First Amendment grants them the right to protest at airports.

According to a video posted to YouTube by protester Darren O’Connor on 
Saturday, “Commander Lopez of the Denver Police Department was having none of 
it, no First Amendment Right to express the outrage being felt across the 
country at the unilateral closing of our borders to people with Green Cards and 
families in America. The First Amendment requires a permit. Even carrying the 
constitution without a permit is illegal, according to Commander Lopez. Read 
that again. And again. And again.”

During the protest, Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez told protesters that 
they should “put all the signs away that have anything to do with First 
Amendment expression, political message. Based on legal advice we are getting 
at this time, from the city attorney, what’s being displayed, is a violation of 
airport rules and regulations.”

As NBC News affiliate 9News pointed out, “the Supreme Court has ruled before 
that airports are not traditional public forums, giving airport officials the 
ability to impose reasonable restrictions.” This coincides with the position 
taken by Denver International Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery, who told 
9News that “we have to ensure that people who use this airport are safe and 
able to go about their business uninterrupted and that’s going to remain our 
focus.” According the airport’s rules and regulations, protesters need to 
submit a permit one week in advance, which didn’t happen prior to Saturday’s 
event.
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