Protesters forced to scale down at Obama inaugural

Friday - 1/11/2013, 5:39pm EST

By BRETT ZONGKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A protest group planning to stage a demonstration about unemployment at President Barack Obama's inauguration says it's being forced to scale down plans because it won't have much space on Washington's Freedom Plaza.

The ANSWER Coalition said Friday that the Presidential Inaugural Committee is taking over the plaza where protests have been held. Protesters will have a 10-yard-wide strip of sidewalk below the plaza.

ANSWER had expected to have bleachers with thousands of demonstrators. National Coordinator Brian Becker says there's a long history of reserving Freedom Plaza as a place for dissent.

In 2009, the group shared the space with inauguration organizers.

A National Park Service spokeswoman says the protest group applied for the space first but that the inaugural committee has preference under regulations that took effect in 2008.


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