RNC Protest 101: Sizing up Twin Cities demonstration rules


The imminent arrival of the Republican National Convention sent Minnesota’s three biggest metro-area cities scrambling to pass new regulations concerning the unprecedented number of street protests they’re anticipating. St. Paul’s existing ordinance requiring permits for public assemblies provided a model for the language approved May 19 by City Council members in Bloomington (PDF, see 5.4C), home to the Mall of America and oodles of hotel rooms where many convention-goers will stay.

Minneapolis, following an arduous task force process, went its own way. The ordinance the Minneapolis City Council approved June 6 (PDF, see 2008R-213) offers exclusive priority on sidewalks and crosswalks for protesters who voluntarily submit their plans to the city. Here’s a table that breaks down the basic similarities and differences among the three ordinances.