The American Civil Liberties Union says it's suing the city of Savannah over plans to ban signs in an area of Savannah being secured for Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the city's St. Patrick's Day parade. Posters and signs were also included on a list of 29 prohibited items distributed by city officials at a news conference Wednesday.
Pence was scheduled Saturday to join an expected 500,000 gaudy green revelers packing the sidewalks and oak-shaded squares of historic Savannah, where the parade marking the March 17 holiday is a 194-year-old tradition.
Other items still on the list include: Aerosol sprays, Air horns, Alcoholic beverages, Animals (other than service animals), Backpacks, Bags (including purses), Chairs, Coolers, Drones, Duffel bags, E-Cigarettes, Explosives of any kind (including fireworks), Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated), Flags on sticks, Glass containers, Kegs, Knives, Blades or sharp objects (of any length), Laser pointers, Mace and/or pepper spray, Packages, Pocket or hand tools (such as "Leatherman" tools), Portable chairs (other than those for disabled persons), Sticks or poles, Suitcases, Tables, Tents, Thermoses, Umbrellas.
The city will now allow signs at the parade in the restricted area, so long as the signs are not on sticks or poles or made of hard material.
"We are allowing signs", Gavin said.
"There was no intent to infringe on anyone's rights at all", Gavin said.
"It's a free country, everyone has a right to an opinion and we're going to respect that", Revenew said.
At the press conference, ACLU of Georgia Legal Director Sean Young said, "The government had the audacity to forbid people from carrying handheld signs at a parade, signs no bigger than a posterboard".
The area being secured for Pence's visit includes only a small portion of the 2.25-mile (3.6-kilometer) parade route that winds through downtown Savannah.
The vice president's visit brought with it a massive enhanced security zone near city hall and Johnson Square.
Authorities planned to begin letting people into the secured zone at 7 a.m. Saturday.