NEW ORLEANS – The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today sent a letter to St. John the Baptist Parish leaders demanding approval of a march permit submitted by organizers of a five-day march from Reserve, La. to the State Capitol. The Coalition Against Death Alley (CADA) is advocating to curb dangerous petrochemical emissions that imperil public health in majority black parish.

“The right to peaceably assemble is a cornerstone of our democracy – and these activists have every right to make their voices heard on an important issue of public concern,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director. “We urge St. John the Baptist Parish to uphold the First Amendment rights of its citizens and approve CADA’s permit to march.”

The letter also expresses concern that the parish’s current advance notice and permitting requirements place an unconstitutional burden on the right to free speech.