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Sedgwick County to set up First Amendment zones at new arena

Wichita ThunderHaving a popular arena sometimes means there are unusual demands for managers. With controversial events happening at Wichita’s new Intrust Bank Arena, Sedgwick County officials are looking at setting up official “First Amendment Areas” for protesters.

Protests happen at arenas all the time, whether it’s liberals protesting Sarah Palin, conservatives protesting Barack Obama or Tea Partiers pretty much protesting everything. They’re a temporary nuiscance, to be sure, and their presence at a gathering is a reminder of the joys and responsibilities of living in a democracy.

High-profile gatherings usually provoke a higher number of protesters than normal, usually leading arena and city officials to set up temporary gathering spot. But Sedgwick County is going one better, setting up three permanent First Amendment Areas for protesters to gather at will:

“So those folks who want to protest know where they can be on the arena site,” Assistant County Manager Ron Holt told KWCH, “and those who are coming to arena events are not impeded by doing that.”

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