LOS ANGELES - The American Civil Liberties Union and the City of Los Angeles signed an agreement today that will allow protesters to engage in free speech at the Democratic National Convention. The plan wasdrawn up as a result of a preliminary injunction issued by Judge Gary Feess of the U.S. Central District Court in a suit brought by the ACLU of Southern California.

The agreed upon plan shifts the security perimeter, allowing protesters to demonstrate across the street from the northeast corner of the Staples Center and along Figueroa St. N of 11th and lays out a provisional system of permitting in lieu of the city's unconstitutional schemes. The agreement was submitted today to Judge Feess.

"This plan works for free speech and works for security; it's something we've said all along was possible," said Dan Tokaji, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California. "After nearly a week of intensive negotiation, protesters will be within sight and earshot of their intended audience. Moreover, the city's unconstitutional method of dealing with parade and park use permits is history. The agreement means that the voices of the people will not be silenced."

"This is welcome news," said Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California, "especially in the context of the fear-mongering that has occurred of late. Free speech is not incompatible with planning for a secure and peaceful convention."

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