The city of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department has issued a “provisional” First Amendment permit to a group called “CHOP Art,” for a celebration of Juneteenth and last year’s takeover of parts of Capitol Hill by racial-justice protesters.
The action came a day after the department was threatened with legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and the Public Defender Association for refusing to permit the gathering earlier.
Parks officials, in a Friday email to The Seattle Times, said the group’s initial general-use permits to use Cal Anderson Park submitted in April were declined for a “variety of reasons.” In its letter threatening an injunction, the ACLU accused the city of violating the First Amendment for denying those permits based on the topic of the gathering.
After receiving the ACLU’s letter, Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin said the department “has reached out to the CHOP Art group to provisionally grant a 1st amendment event permit and is asking that they submit the appropriate application.”
The correspondence said the gathering was planned for this weekend, Friday and Saturday.