Maine Town Tightens Rules for Public Gathering Permits

November 9, 2007

Voters in Kennebunkport, Maine have tightened restrictions for issuing mass-gathering permits after three large peace demonstrations over the past two summers.

The revisions approved on Election Day shift responsibility for issuing permits from the police department to the Board of Selectmen. The rules require organizers of events with more than 500 participants to take out a surety bond as insurance against damage to private property.

Jamilla El-Shafei, organizer of the peace demonstrations, says the new rules could be used to discriminate against unwanted political demonstrations. And the Maine Civil Liberties Union says the rules might be unconstitutional because they could restrict free speech.

Town Manager Larry Mead says the ordinance was drawn up because of damage to private property by a traveling circus, not the political demonstrations.


Information from: Portland Press Herald,

Topics Maine

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