ACLU to sue Campus Martius operators
Detroit — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan says its intends to sue the private group that runs downtown’s Campus Martius Park charging it violated the free speech of a group opposing mortgage foreclosures and another group called Women in Black/Detroit.
The state’s ACLU will hold a press conference Wednesday to provide the details of the federal lawsuit that will filed on behalf of members of Moratorium Now and Women in Black/Detroit, according to a press release by the ACLU Tuesday.
The lawsuit will contend the Detroit 300 Conservancy and the Guardsmark security firm used a surveillance center to monitor one group and illegally prevented both organizations from marching, petitioning and leafleting at the downtown park. ACLU officials would not provide further information Tuesday.
An official for Detroit 300 said they were unaware of the pending legal action.
The organization that runs Campus Martius is the Detroit 300 Conservancy, a private, non-profit established with the support of city of Detroit officials. In 2009, the conservancy became a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership.
The Detroit 300, led by business and philanthropic groups, secured the original $20 million to design and build Campus Martius, which opened in 2004.
Under a long term agreement with the city, the conservancy secures private funding to operate it. The city provides utilities, public safety and special event services.