Daily March Permits Sought; Protests of Iraq War, Environmental Issues and Israeli Occupation

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, The Times-Union

BRUNSWICK -- Activists are negotiating with officials to stage three marches along main city streets June 8-10 to coincide with the G-8 Summit on Sea Island.

The marches will protest the war in Iraq and environmental issues and call for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, said Lisa Fithian, co-chairwoman of New York-based National Peace and Justice Coalition.

Fithian said she will come to Brunswick next week to work with the Brunswick police to resolve a few sticking points in her applications for permits.

Capt. Larry Bruce said the Brunswick Police Department has asked Fithian to change some march times to avoid being on the roadways during periods of heavy traffic.

"Her group is a peaceful organization. They've asked for the roadways for a march and a park for a rally. The majority of it is doable,'' Bruce said.

Fithian said the police have been accommodating, but the city's Public Conduct Ordinance makes it difficult to obtain approval. Both Glynn County and Brunswick adopted restrictive ordinances in anticipation of thousands of demonstrators during the G-8 Summit. After the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia filed a lawsuit asserting the ordinances restricted free speech, city and county commissioners amended their ordinances to loosen restrictions.

"Everybody has been in this weird process of getting things approved. Even if I had it in writing, not until the day of [the events] would I be sure it would happen,'' Fithian said.

The first march will begin with a 9 a.m. gathering June 8 at the war memorials at the old Glynn County courthouse on G Street, Fithian said.

Participants will march from the courthouse to Gloucester Street, Brunswick's main east-west thoroughfare, and pause at the federal building, she said.

"We'll probably stop and urge our government to bring the troops home,'' she said.

The march would continue along Gloucester to U.S. 17 and follow that route north to the Fair World Fair.

Brunswick Mayor Brad Brown said the city will offer protesters the use of Howard Coffin Park, which is near the end of Gloucester Street as a venue for any activities. …