People Win Victory Against Attempt to Shutdown End Cash Bail Rally in Coatesville

End Cash Bail RallyImage by Orna Wachman

COATESVILLE, PA — Chester County Stands Up, The Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Downingtown Community Focus Project have released a joint statement announcing their victory against the City of Coatesville, standing up for their right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The organizers’ statement provides an update on the End Cash Bail Rally on April 10, 2021, at 2 pm in Ash Park, Coatesville:

“In a blatantly illegal attempt to suppress constitutionally protected political speech, the City Manager of Coatesville PA tried to stop a peaceful rally to End Cash Bail to be held on April 10 in Ash Park. But organizers stood their ground and the city government backed down on Friday evening. On March 29, 2021, Chester County Stands Up (CCSU), the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the Downingtown Community Focus Project (DCFP), announced a peaceful rally to end the use of cash bail in Chester County.

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“Almost as soon as the rally’s event page was published one of the organizers received an email from the Coatesville City Manager James Logan raising objections to it. Logan not only claimed that our event qualified as a ‘special event’ under city code therefore requiring a permit, but that they were not accepting any permits for special events until April 25th, fifteen days after our scheduled event.

“We responded to Logan and reiterated our position in a press release pointing out that free speech and assembly under a political rally to End Cash Bail is not a ‘special event,’ which the city defines as ‘recreational in nature.’ We pointed out that our rally is an exercise of Constitutionally protected political speech, and that their attempt to stop our event was in fact illegal. We plainly stated that ‘we, the organizers, strenuously oppose this attempt by the city government to suppress the exercise of free speech and lawful political assembly.’

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“MyChesCo responded to our press release publishing it in its entirety. Soon thereafter Logan reached out to us making the outrageous claim that ‘there has never been any intent to shut down your event’ and upon further research concluded that ‘because of the political nature’ of our event, ‘it does not fall within the definition of a Special Event.’

“CCSU, the PSL, and the DCFP take this as a victory and a confirmation that if we organize we can win. With this victory, we have a renewed confidence in the people’s ability to defeat cash bail in Chester County and win desperately needed demands from canceling rents to universalizing healthcare.”

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