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HomealabamaAL city accused of violating free speech reaches tentative settlement in Confederate...

AL city accused of violating free speech reaches tentative settlement in Confederate monument protest lawsuit

The city of Florence has reached a tentative agreement to settle a free speech lawsuit brought by an organization that staged dozens of protests against a Confederate monument in the north Alabama city, according to a Monday court filing.

The lawsuit, filed in April by Project Say Something and its founder, Camille Bennett, alleges the city violated their right to free speech by using an unconstitutionally vague parade permit process and noise ordinances to stymie protests against the “Eternal Vigil” monument.

A Monday court filing indicated the two sides have agreed to proposed new noise and parade ordinances for the city. The two sides tentatively agreed to dismiss the lawsuit if the Florence City Council adopts the changes.

Alabama’s 2017 Memorial Preservation Act, which was approved as some cities began taking down Confederate monuments, forbids removing or altering monuments more than 40 years old. Violations carry a $25,000 fine.

Some counties and cities, including Birmingham, have opted to take down Confederate monuments and pay the $25,000 fine.

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