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City approves ordinance to enhance freedom of speech fairness

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SAN ANTONIO - City council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that making it easier for people in San Antonio to exercise freedom of speech.

The city reviewed its policies after people protested President Trump’s travel ban outside of San Antonio International Airport in February 2016.

Councilman Roberto Trevino requested a change to San Antonio’s current “city parade ordinance” that would eliminate barriers for people planning marches, protests, rallies, etc.

The revised ordinance removes any fees related to permits and traffic safety costs for First Amendment processions.

"This is somebody's right and so a fee can be seen as restrictive or even a barrier to allow the haves versus the have-nots to have an advantage," Trevino said.

It also allows applicants to file their applications for a a freedom of speech event just 15 days before, rather than 30 days.

Also listed on the changes, the ordinance will provide “explicit protection” for spontaneous assemblies.

"We know that freedom of speech belongs to everybody and we can't put a price tag on that," Trevino said.

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