No Permit, But Chicago's Stewart Rally Set Anyway

Chicago "sanity" rally denied permit due to paperwork issue

By Jenel Nels
|  Friday, Oct 29, 2010  |  Updated 8:04 AM CDT
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Thousands of sanity-seeking Chicagoans plan to celebrate their level-headed demeanor at Butler Field in Grant Park Saturday. 

But they're going to have to yuk it up without a permit.

A group of Chicagoans who tried to set up a satellite rally in conjunction with Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C. on Saturday never got their paper straight, so the Chicago Park District denied the group's permit request.

But their denial of sanity came with a twist: The Park District will still allow the group to assemble at the park and even provide some services. It's a First Amendment thing, they say.

In a statement on Facebook, organizers of the Chicago rally said the show will still include a jumbotron, amplified sound, public speakers and much more. The statement also said the Chicago Park District is expecting the crowd and is prepared to provide safety measures to make sure it runs smoothly.

Governor Quinn and Rich Whitney are both scheduled to speak at Saturday's event. All Illinois' candidates for Governor were issued an invitation.

The Chicago group raised more than $18,000, mostly on Facebook, to cover the cost of Saturday's rally. It will donate any extra money received to Chicago Public Schools.

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