DENVER (CBS4)– At least three groups are planning protests surrounding the presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday. They don’t plan to utilize a specified area cordoned off specifically for them.
The free speech zone is set up in a parking lot on the DU campus. It comes complete with a stage and porta potties in a fenced off area set away from the Ritchie Center where the actual debate will be taking place.
There are three groups that have organized protests, including Occupy Denver, The Americans Friends Service Committee and the Colorado Progressive Coalition.
Most do not plan on utilizing the free speech zone.
“We’re not going to go into a little box and protest in a prison cell. Those free speech zones are a joke. I think that it’s ironic that here we are at a debate and they’re talking about a free speech zone while they block off everything,” said Occupy Denver spokesman Tim Holland.
Protesters of various view points have been seen around the DU campus since Tuesday. They cannot get close to the presidential candidates because of a complex labyrinth of fencing, barricades and security guards.
The free speech zones are a result of court decisions which affirm that the government cannot abridge the right to freedom of speech but that it can regulate the time, manner and place of protests.