Chris Sur, member of Maslon's Litigation Practice Group, offers commentary on protests that will be occurring during the upcoming Republican National Convention in the TIME.com article titled "Convention Protesters Get a Jump." The article, posted on July 13, 2008, examines the politics surrounding the handling of protesters at the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions. As many as 50,000 protesters are expected to fill the public viewing area at each of the conventions, raising concerns as to how to address security issues while also honoring the First Amendment rights of the protesters. Sur, along with Maslon attorneys Bill Pentelovitch and Jim Killian, represent a coalition of organizations that are planning to protest the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The designated public viewing area for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul is set to line a city street, culminating in a triangular space diagonally across an intersection from the Xcel Energy Center. One corner of the triangle is closest to the arena, creating the possibility that different groups or people will be vying for the same space and may have to compete in order to obtain sight and sound access to convention delegates. Expressing concerns about the city's plans for the protesters, Sur asks, "What if you have different groups with different political aims and desires? What if they are all fighting for one access point?"
The Democratic National Convention will be held in Denver from August 25-28, and the Republican National Convention is scheduled in St. Paul on September 1-4, with a major march planned on Labor Day.
The full article may be viewed at: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1822377,00.html