After settling their stink with city, protesters to march on first day of DNC

Cheri Honkala, head of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, said getting a permit was not easy.

The city's permit process really stinks, Cheri Honkala said Friday at a news conference - as she wheeled out a large paper replica of a can of beans.

The longtime activist was referring to a lawsuit the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed in order to obtain a protest permit for July 25, first day of the Democratic National Convention here.

As Honkala and others announced Friday and was reported Thursday, the city is settling that suit by lifting its ban on rush-hour protests during the DNC - and by granting a permit to Honkala's group, the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, to march from City Hall down Broad Street to the Wells Fargo Center, site of the convention, starting at 3 p.m. that Monday.

As for road congestion, the state ACLU's deputy legal director, Mary Catherine Roper, said the city often manages traffic because of construction or protests, so a march at rush hour is not an unusual burden.

Obtaining the permit was not easy, both said. "The city was trying to get us to agree for different things up until the last minute of the settlement," Honkala said.

The permit application her group filed noted a setup time of 2 p.m. and scheduled the march to start at 3.

"To prove it, I'll even wear the city permit when we march," she said.

That was a point of mild contention. Mayor Kenney's spokesperson, Lauren Hitt, said that Honkala's original request had called for the march to start at 3:30, and that Honkala had agreed as part of the settlement to move it to 3, with setup starting at 2.

People touting various causes are planning to join the march, one of many protests being organized around the convention. Belinda Davis, a history professor at Rutgers University, said she would march against the crushing college debt many students face. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has also promised to show up, Honkala said.

vkannan@philly.com