Code Pink v. US Secret Service

Protest groups sue federal and city authorities for right to hold peaceful G-20 demonstrations.

Court/Assoc.: U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Attorneys/Firms: Witold Walczak (ACLU-PA); Jules Lobel (Center for Constitutional Rights)

On September 11, 2009, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on behalf of groups seeking to hold peaceful demonstrations in downtown Pittsburgh where the Group of 20 summit (G-20) will take place later this month. The complaint charged the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the City of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources with violating the groups' constitutional rights to free speech.

On September 17, 2009, Judge Lancaster ruled that:

  1. The City of Pittsburgh has to allow Codepink and Three Rivers Climate Convergence to use Point State Park on Sunday evening thru Tuesday evening.
  2. The Thomas Merton Center march, what is expected to be the largest demonstration during the G-20, can march across the Seventh Street Bridge but may not stop and rally on the bridge.
  3. No groups may camp overnight in city parks.

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