Organizers of a reproductive rights rally in Springfield this Saturday said the city has made it difficult for them to get permission.
They said city hall staff told them they need 21 days to apply for a rally permit, so organizers contacted ACLU Lawyer Bill Newman. He said that’s unconstitutional.
“The government is not supposed to be in the business of censorship,” Newman said. “And when the city of Springfield says we can censor free speech for at least three weeks, that’s not the law, it’s not the constitutional doctrine.”
In a statement, Mayor Dominic Sarno said he was not trying to stifle free speech but rather to ensure public safety. Sarno wrote that he instructed the city’s licensing attorney, Alysia Days, and Police Commissioner John Barbieri to work with the group.
In an email, Days said the group will be given a permit.