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Pro-Palestinian groups fire back after Chicago denies DNC protest permits

Pro-Palestinian groups fire back after city denies bid to protest outside DNC
Pro-Palestinian groups fire back after city denies bid to protest outside DNC 00:56

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Pro-Palestinian groups on Monday called out Chicago leaders for denying their applications to protest outside the Democratic National Convention in August.

Members from Anti-War Committee Chicago and Students for a Democratic Society filed separate applications to protest outside the United Center during the DNC.

According to their applications obtained by CBS Chicago, organizers expected 5,000 protesters for a march on the first day of the convention on Aug 19, starting at Union Park at Washington Boulevard and Ashland Avenue, before marching around the United Center and back to the park.

Organizers also expected more than 1,000 people for a protest march on the last day of the convention on Aug. 22, starting at Addams Park at 14th and Laflin, before marching past the United Center, and then back to the park.

According to a letter from the Chicago Department of Transportation obtained by CBS Chicago, the city denied their requests. City officials claimed their planned protest marches "substantially and unnecessarily interfere with traffic in the area."

Organizers said the city asked them to relocate about four miles away along Columbus Drive in Grant Park.

"CDOT has sent a clear message. They stand with the political elites in Washington, and against the people of Chicago," said John Metz, with Anti-War Committee Chicago.

Organizers said they will not relocate, and want their protests to be seen and heard during the DNC, not miles away where delegates and others attending the convention would not see them. Protesters said President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders are complicit in the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians during the war between Israel and Hamas, for not doing more to force a ceasefire.

"We want them to literally hear us and literally see us. We want those warmongers, those people responsible for the killings, those people with blood on their hands to have to walk past tens of thousands of Palestinians who have families that have been killed in Gaza," said Hatem Abudayyeh, chair of the US Palestinian Community Network. "The city must allow these protests to happen; must allow us to practice our constitutional rights. And must allow us our permits to do so."

Protest organizers met with city officials on Monday to file formal appeals of their permit denials.

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