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Council to Debate Ban on Picketing

Council to Debate Ban on Picketing

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Andrew AdamsThe Salt Lake City Council is poised to approve a new ordinance banning protests within 100 feet of residences tonight. The move has one particular animal rights group feeling picked on.

The protests happened across the country. At the University of Utah, Utah Primate Freedom has demonstrated outside the homes of researchers. They protested after the university declined to reveal the nature of its projects involving primates. The group has also been accused of acts of vandalism, but it denies those claims.

Salt Lake City Council member Eric Jergensen says that goes beyond freedom of speech. "The expressed primary purpose has been to harass," Jergensen says.

Group spokesman Jason Rose says, "They are trying to eliminate the one avenue of free speech that we have left. We are never going to stop fighting for the rights of primates."

Rose says his group has lawyers to fight this the legal way.

Breaking the ordinance will bring a class B misdemeanor.

Jergensen says there are other cities across the country with similar ordinances. He says the council has done its research and believes the law is constitutional.

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