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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

BayWalk protesters promise to stay away

7

October

ST. PETERSBURG -- St. Pete for Peace demonstrators say they will stay away from BayWalk for a year as an act of good faith. 

"It is not contingent on anything," said James Dunson, a St. Pete for Peace organizer. "If the city does go ahead and tries to stop protests, we will reconsider."

Here's the press release:

St. Pete for Peace will not demonstrate at BayWalk for twelve months

As an act of good faith, St. Pete for Peace will not hold protests in front of BayWalk for at least twelve months.  If after a year’s time, we choose to do so, we will do everything in our power to make sure BayWalk’s customers are treated with consideration and respect.
 
The recent BayWalk/sidewalk proposal was an attack on free speech and would have set a dangerous precedent for our city and our country.  In last week’s city council vote, everyone's First Amendment rights were maintained and our right to demonstrate was upheld. This is what we were striving for all along.
 
If the city and/or BayWalk’s owners again try to ban protesters from the public sidewalk in front of BayWalk, we will re-assess our position and again struggle to maintain people’s rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Also, the group will celebrate the City Council's decision to stall the sidewalk vacation plan from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Cafe Bohemia. To RSVP for the free "yay free speech" party, e-mail info@stpeteforpeace.org.

Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:10pm]

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