Round Two: First Amendment case appeal filed

Alicia Ramirez

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The San Antonio Free Speech Coalition and the San Antonio International Women's Day Planning Committee has filed an appeal in the Parade Ordinance lawsuit case. They announced the appeal at a press conference in front of the federal courthouse.

Signs reading Our streets will not be silenced! / ¡Las calles no se callan! were scattered on a table and a bigger one was held behind the group members during the press conference while chants opened and closed the press conference.

“We filed our notice telling the district court and the appellate court that we will be appealing Judge Biery's decision in dismissing the case and entering judgement for the city,” said attorney Amy Kastely. “We did that because Judge Biery's decision didn't discuss any of the important constitutional issues raised by the case.”

The case began with a 2007 parade ordinance that limits parades, marches, and processions by charging signifcant fees for parades such as the International Women's Day March.

“Our position is that all processions, parades, and marches are First Amendment processions,” Kastely told the Current in January. “What is especially problematic is for City officials to be empowered by the ordinance to tell someone their procession is or is not protected by the First Amendment.”

For now, the group members must wait for COSA to file its response and then the group members will have to file a response to that. The 5th Circuit Court will then make a decision whether to uphold Judge Biery's decision or to hear the arguments.

Either way, the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition and the San Antonio International Women's Day Planning Committee are moving forward to get the word out. Their next move is a demonstration against the ordinance on August 8 at the City Council Chambers.

“We know that this case has national significance and we owe it to our community and the country to let it stand on this kind of fragile decision by Judge Biery so we're going to take it to the 5th circuit.”

Click below to hear some of the speech made by Rosalynn Warren of the Free Speech Coalition.


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