MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – All across the country, women’s marches are protesting Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. But the march at Minnesota’s Capitol set for Saturday afternoon has been canceled, as organizers said they could face a hefty fine if they did not follow COVID-19 protocols.
According to a Facebook post, the Attorney General’s office called Women’s March Minnesota late Friday afternoon. They required the event to be limited to 250 people, and organizers had to find a way to get names and contact information from attendees – for contact tracing purposes – as well as nine pages of other restrictions. If they did not comply, organizers could be forced to pay a $25,000 fine.
“Our Board of Directors, together with our Emcee Ms. Margaret, and leaders from our organization had a 4 hour long meeting going through every possibility trying to find a way to still hold the event in a lawful way that would keep everyone safe. The reality is our hands have been tied and our only choice left was to cancel Saturday’s event,” the post reads.
Attorney General Keith Ellison said when the office made a routine educational call to make sure the organizers would create a COVID-19 preparedness plan, they discovered the event had 350 reservations, even though there is a limit of 250 allowed.
Because of the recent spike in positive cases, Ellison said their work to make sure public events are complying with restrictions is more important than ever.
“The public should expect that the Attorney General’s office and other State agencies will continue to enforce the executive orders evenhandedly,” Ellison said.
There are 13 other related events happening across Minnesota, but the St. Paul march was the only one facing the fine. Marches across the state, in Alexandria, Bemidji, Mankato, Northfield, and St. Cloud, among other cities, will still continue.
Organizers said a new online event is in the works for Nov. 1, where people will gather virtually to “fight for the intersectional feminist future we need and deserve.”
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