by Steven Ertelt
February 20, 2008
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates met with Denver officials on Wednesday to secure the permits necessary to protest abortion at this summer’s Democratic convention. The Christian Defense Coalition and a pro-life youth group called Survivors said they want permits soon so they can begin planning or they will consider filing a lawsuit against officials.
The groups are concerned that Denver authorities have removed 14 downtown city parks from the list of public venues in which groups may peacefully assemble.
Thus far, city officials have refused to accept applications from the pro-life groups seeking to conduct peaceful First Amendment activities at these parks.
They initially submitted applications for permits in November and have yet to hear any response after four months.
If the groups cannot reach an agreement with the City of Denver at this meeting, they will file a federal lawsuit early Thursday morning.
"The Democratic National Convention should be a time of celebrating free speech and the First Amendment rights, not crushing them," Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition, told LifeNews.com.
One of the events the groups have planned is to gather 1,500 people to surround the Pepsi Center, the site of the convention, with prayer for the Democratic Party to end abortion. Activists will leave roses on the ground as a reminder to stop abortions.
Danielle Versluys, a Survivors spokeswoman, told LifeNews.com that her group wants to take the lead in defending free speech rights for those attending the Democratic convention.
"Peaceful prayer and witness in the public square are essential to our fight for justice in America, and we cannot let our rights be trampled at the expense of the children scheduled to die from abortion," she said.