City looks at a permit to protest

The city wants to restrict where and when protests are held and are proposing that demonstrators get a permit first.

The proposal would require protesters to apply for a permit and forces many of them to carry $2 million in insurance.

The proposal would also limit protests to a small area of the plaza in front of City Hall.

Art Pawlowski runs The Street Church and sets up in front of City Hall every Wednesday at noon.

Pawlowski says he thinks the bylaw is aimed directly at him.

"Well I believe it’s a deliberate attack on our fundamental rights," said Pawlowski of The Street Church, "peaceful assembly is a fundamental given right of every citizen of Canada to have something like this, where is the best place to protest the government if the government is not doing something right if not city hall?"

Late Wednesday afternoon the city’s Protective Services Committee sent the bill back to the drawing board and the bylaw will be back up for debate in March 2010.

City Hall is talking about issuing permits for demonstrations on city property.

Art Pawlowski runs The Street Church and believes the permit proposal is directed at his organization.

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