ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The controversial sidewalk sitting ordinance takes effect Thursday, and a group of people took a stand against it by sitting outside of City Hall.
The protesters say they wanted to challenge the ordinance and see if Anchorage police would enforce it the first day it was in effect. About a dozen protesters sat in lawn chairs or on the ground to make their point.
APD says it's not ready to begin enforcing the sidewalk sitting ordinance, and says there is a lot to be done on the administration side. There is no estimate on when APD will be ready.
"There are still administration things that have not taken effect yet with the court system, to be able to process citations and things like that, on the ordinance. So it's not done at that level yet so we're not ready to enforce it even though the law is passed," said APD Lt. Anthony Henry.
Henry also says that APD will be more lenient with protestors and demonstrators since they're exercising their right of free speech.
But the protestors against the law say that the sidewalks are public property, and claim that police enforcement of the ordinance will lead to discrimination.
"They only want to use this law at their discretion," said John Heuerman, a protester "I don't believe it's right for them to pass laws to use at their discretion -- it's either this is illegal or this is not, not it's illegal if we feel like we want to enforce it today."
The group also protested against the use of politically correct holiday greetings by singing Christmas carols. Demonstrators call the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" a "war on Christmas."