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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Uhurus protest city's median ban and World Series clean zone



ST. PETERSBURG -- A local activist group plans to use civil disobedience to protest two new city ordinances recently passed by the City Council that limit public activity.

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement will rally against a ban on median activity and the World Series clean zone ordinance. Both bans would limit the Uhuru's rights to protest publicly. The group has been holding rallies to call attention to the recent police shooting of Javon Dawson, including outside of Tropicana Field on game nights.

"These new ordinances are a blatant attack on our democratic rights," said organizer Kobina Bantushango in a statement. "The Uhuru Movement has been holding regular protests at Tropicana Field demanding reparations for the families of Javon Dawson and other unarmed black teenagers murdered by the police. ... Now they want to stifle our ability to speak out on this issue. If we don't have the right to free speech before large gatherings of people on public property, then we really don't have freedom of speech at all."

The Uhurus said they would have more details on their planned civil disobedience at a press conference tomorrow morning.

Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:37am]


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