The city’s Street Use Staff Commission will have a special meeting Friday to consider the permit application for a state budget rally that would begin Saturday and continue through June 20....Go ahead, Madison politicians. Grant that permit. Let the whole state know how hostile Democrats are to business interests. That campsite is right next to a hotel.
[Gov. Scott] Walker’s proposed budget is being debated by the Legislature’s powerful budget committee this week and is expected to be sent to the full Legislature by the weekend....
The city, which granted a permit for a smaller camp on the terrace of Pinckney Street across from the Capitol in March, is working to balance the rights of free speech with the needs of local businesses, said Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, who represents most of the Downtown area.
Kelly Lamberty, community events coordinator for the city’s Parks Division, said concerns also include the impact on other permitted events, including the Dane County Farmers’ Market, and licensed vendors assigned to the area.
And if you actually care about free speech, you'd better be ready to hand out camping permits in a viewpoint neutral way in the future. It can't be that the budget protesters get special privileges.
ADDED: Here's the agenda for the special meeting (PDF). 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 3. Parks Conference Room 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room 108 (City-County Building). "Tent city rally with art, music, teach-ins and food. Discuss set-up, schedule and activities."
UPDATE: Tweets from the meeting.