Federal Judge Hears Free Speech Argument After DIA Rally

DENVER (CBS4) – A federal judge in Denver heard arguments on Wednesday about how Denver International Airport handles Free Speech and protests.

Protesters asked the federal court judge to issue an injunction against the City of Denver and police after demonstrators were asked to leave DIA last month.

Travel ban protesters gathered Jan. 28 at Denver Int'l Airport. (credit:: CBS)

Travel ban protesters gathered Jan. 28 at Denver Int’l Airport. (credit:: CBS)

The response was strong and immediate to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Protesters rushed to airports around the country including DIA.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

But in Denver, police told the demonstrators that they needed to have obtained a permit seven days in advance of the protest.

They were addressed by a man with an airport badge on a megaphone who announced, “You need a permit to conduct this activity on airport property.”

And a Denver police officer told them, “Stop doing anything that can be construed as Free Speech without a permit.”

(credit: Darren O'Connor)

(credit: Darren O’Connor)

One protester testified that she believes the seven day notice DIA requires for protesting is unfair.

DIA maintains that without that process, the airport could potentially open the door for very loud, very large protests that could disrupt travel.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

A majority of airports across the U.S. have similar permit processes. DIA seems to be on the stricter end of its seven day policy. DIA maintains its primary goal is to ensure the safety, security and movement of passengers.

Federal judge William Martinez has taken the matter under advisement. He will issue his ruling by Friday.

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