WNPR

Hartford Residents To March For Puerto Rico Despite Lack Of A Permit

Sep 19, 2018

Rallies are scheduled Thursday in Bridgeport and Hartford to commemorate the one year mark since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. But, the Hartford event is facing a bit of an administrative obstacle.

The group hosting the march and vigil in the capital doesn’t have a permit for its event. Attorney Peter Goselin wrote a letter to the city and the Hartford Police Department on behalf of CT Latinas En La Resistancia. He said he’s been told they should have applied at least 30 days prior to the event.

“We’re going to do everything possible to try to make [a permit] happen,” Goselin said. “But, I have also reminded the deputy chief that I spoke with from the police department, that the rights of the organization that I am working with to parade in the street supersedes any ordinances that the city may have passed because it’s based on the First Amendment.”

Goselin, who is a candidate in this year’s statewide elections, acknowledged the ordinance, but he said the march would happen anyway.

Rafael Medina, a spokesman for the department, said police referred the group to a different city department to seek a permit, but to his knowledge, the group never did. Nevertheless, Medina said the department is in touch with organizers to ensure everything goes smoothly.

“This is obviously a meaningful occasion for many people in our community and we as a police department are happy to facilitate a smooth and safe event for all.” Medina said.

The march will start at El Mercado on Park Street and finish with a vigil in Barnard Park on Main Street.