Amnesty International wins round in speech lawsuit

Fort Mills Times | February 23, 2009

Amnesty International wins round in speech lawsuit

ATLANTA - Amnesty International has won a round in a lawsuit claiming Miami police breached the organization’s constitutional rights during the Free Trade of the Americas meeting in November 2003.

An appeals court Monday reversed a lower court’s dismissal of Amnesty’s claim that police infringed on First Amendment rights by preventing people from attending a rally at the Torch of Friendship monument in the city’s Bayfront Park.

The organization claimed a cordon of police in riot gear also stopped Amnesty from distributing literature and stifled media coverage.

Officials said the police presence was necessary to avoid a recurrence of violent protests seen during the week of trade talks.

The three-judge panel said the group has a claim for nominal damages, but not compensatory damages.