COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - Two Colorado Springs protesters who were asked to leave the terminal at Denver International Airport last week have filed a lawsuit against the city of Denver and its police department.
Eric Verlow and doctor Nazzli Mcdonnell were among a group of demonstrators who gathered at d-i-a to protest president trump's 7-country travel ban. The two activists believe DIA's seven-day advanced permit requirements create an undue burden on their rights to free speech. They filed a lawsuit this week in Denver's U.S. District Court suing the city to ensure sure future protesters will not face similar harassment.
But DIA is not alone in its policy of issuing permits for the right to protest inside the airport's terminal. Greg Phillips of the Colorado Springs Airport said that airport requires certain procedures to be followed as well.
"We want to recognize that the airport is a place for community, at the same time this is a place for transit and a place of business and it gets pretty crowded sometimes," Phillips said.
But Eric Verlow is of the state of mind that if an airport is a public space then no permit should be required as long as protesters are not interrupting security or people arriving or departing.
"Some people believe that you need a permit for free speech," Verlow said. "So it's quite important for us to be making this point with a lawsuit to say that you don't need a permit for free speech"
It will now be up to a judge to determine if anyone's first amendment rights were compromised.