Parking Protestors Fight For First Amendment Rights - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/20/03

Parking Protestors Fight For First Amendment Rights

Several Lubbock businesses along 67th St. want no parking along the curbside. People are parking here because of the abortion clinic and for protesting abortion.

Anti-abortion activist Wayne Krenner says it's not about parking, "It's a first amendment right," Wayne said.

Nestled at the top of the cul-de-sac on 67th St. sits an abortion clinic. Just a few feet away, Wayne and his wife protest against abortion and have been doing that for ten years. They use disturbing pictures for the message. "They (businesses) have come out and said what they're really upset about. It's the nature of the signs. The city doesn't have an ordinance against graphic signs, so the next thing is to limit parking," said Wayne.

The spray paint on the curb is a marking for no parking signs, and a petition shows who's in favor for putting up those signs. 80% of businesses don't want protestors parking along the curbs because it's a safety issue and a parking issue. But those businesses supporting the move didn't want to say that on camera.

"You can see you have one vehicle parked over here, you've got mine. That's it and your vehicle. That's normal activity. You can see it doesn't constitute as a parking issue," said Wayne.

The curb outside the abortion clinic is painted red and designated as a fire lane. The fire department says the clinic's owner made this request six months ago. But why now? The clinic has been here for nearly 20 years.

"It's a progression. You don't park here, yeah, we understand that. You don't park there. Ok. Now they don't want us to park anywhere? They want us completely out of the neighborhood," said Wayne.

This is the second time no parking signs have gone up in this area. The first time was back in 1999. But the same businesses who wanted the signs had the city take them down the next year. The reason: abortion clients were parking in their business parking lots.

Now, it's up the city council to decide on this Thursday at the city council meeting. We'll be there.

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