SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Among demonstrations planned for next week's American Legion national convention and President Bush's visit is one calling for "Death to Israel."
Laura Green, director of the United Jewish Federation of Utah, said Thursday that she has received dozens of calls about the demonstration planned near City Hall on Wednesday. Many fear the rally could incite violence against Jews.
"Based on freedom of speech, people have the right to say what they want to say. There has to be a line between saying what you want to say and preaching the genocide of a population," Green said.
She hopes the city denies the permit, saying the police will be busy enough with the other five demonstrations planned for Wednesday.
However, the police department has approved the protest. Spokesman Joe Cyr said the sponsoring group, the Center to Prevent Corporate Media Lying, has held demonstrations before and they usually draw about nine people. The permit application anticipates between nine and about 130 demonstrators.
"It's not like they're threatening to kill people," Cyr said. "They're just (expressing) their opinion."
The city would only release the e-mail address of the organizer, who could not be reached late Thursday, The Salt Lake Tribune said.
State Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake, said the city may have no choice but to grant the permit.
"It's scary. As someone who is Jewish; it's threatening," he said but added that it does not violate the state's hate-crimes law, which he sponsored.
"Hate speech, as threatening as it is, as detestable as it is, as violent as it is, is protected as a constitutional right," he said.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)