Group battles airport limits on solicitors

Copley News Service/January 14, 2003

Los Angeles -- The Hare Krishna organization filed suit in U.S. District Court yesterday seeking to bar the Los Angeles International Airport from enforcing a law limiting where and when groups can solicit donations.

The suit contends the law, which took effect Dec. 16, violates First Amendment free-speech rights. The city of Los Angeles, airport Manager Stephen Yee and Police Chief Bernard Wilson are named as defendants.

The law requires solicitors to apply for 30-day permits that specify when and where they can seek donations. Solicitors also are barred from singing, chanting, dancing and shouting or they can be subjected to a $500 fine.

No hearing date has been set on the request for a temporary restraining order. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness of California Inc., and one of its members, Emil Beca, are named as plaintiffs.

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