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Detroit agrees on new rules to protect protests in public parks

Campus Martius park.
Michigan Municipal League

The American Civil Liberties Union says it's gotten Detroit to create new, interim rules to protect free speech and protests in public parks – even if those parks are privately managed.

The ACLU sued the city because it believes several protests were illegally shut down by private security at Campus Martius, a downtown park that's run by a private consortium.

"People have a fundamental right to engage in political advocacy in public parks, whether they are managed and patrolled by public officials or private individuals," says Mike Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. 

"With the continued privatization of government functions in Detroit, we thought it was critical to establish that our constitutional rights cannot be outsourced out of existence."

Steinberg says if the city makes the new rules permanent, the ACLU will drop the suit. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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