Around 8 p.m., Aug. 31, 2021 a crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) Fraternity, 303 Ellis Ave., in response to an online petition and social media page pertaining to members of the fraternity. The residence sustained damage including broken windows and doors, as well as graffiti, during the protest.

A large portion of the crowd then traveled to 713 Iowa Ave., where the protest continued. That residence also sustained significant damage including broken windows and overturned cars before the crowd dispersed. 

No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made. However, the Iowa City Police Department is seeking information on the property damage at both properties and intend to fully investigate those acts. Anyone with information, including security camera or cell phone footage, is asked to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-5275.

ICPD takes all allegations of sexual assault seriously and investigate them to the fullest extent possible. We encourage anyone who believes they have been the victim of sexual assault to contact the Iowa City Police Department.

For decades, Iowa City has been one of the most active locations in the state for demonstrations. This environment has been proudly sustained through trust and collaboration between the City and the public, which includes the City’s long-standing permitting process. The permitting process ensures demonstrations can be carried out safely while maintaining public access for all. This is done through collaborative event planning that diverts traffic away from a designated protest area, provides emergency responders with a planned, efficient detour to area hospitals, and detours public transportation for residents who rely on the service for employment and other basic needs.

Use of Public Way and Property Permit

Per Section 10-1 of the City Code, any group wishing to use City rights of way (streets/sidewalks) for a march, procession, demonstration or gathering of more than 25 people that necessitates or results in the exclusion of other traffic, whether pedestrian, bicycle or vehicular, must obtain a parade/public assembly permit from the City. An application must be filed at least three days in advance of the event on forms provided by the City. The forms require the applicant to identify the proposed location or route, the expected size of the group, the date, time, and expected duration of the use, and other parameters that will enable an assessment of traffic control and other public safety measures. The criteria do not and cannot under the First Amendment, include the purpose or “content” of the event. Instead, the criteria are focused on the “time, place, and manner” logistics to ensure the safety of persons participating in the gathering and members of the public who rely on safe and efficient streets and sidewalks to access area hospitals and public transit routes to work, school, and other basic needs.

Spontaneous Events

A permit is not required for “Spontaneous events responding to news or affairs coming into public knowledge within three (3) days of such public assembly or parade provided that the organizer thereof gives written notice to the city manager or designee at least one hour prior to such parade or public assembly.” The reason for the notice is to address the needs for traffic control, public transportation, and emergency responders.

How to apply for a permit

The Parade and Public Event permit application can be found at www.icgov.org/UseOfPublicWays.

The City appreciates the public’s collaboration to ensure the safety of everyone, and that efficient access to critical destinations is maintained. The City of Iowa City remains steadfast in its dedication to supporting the First Amendment rights of all in our community.

How you can help:

This incident is being actively investigated by the Iowa City Police Department and we are asking the public for assistance. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-5275. In addition, anyone in that area with security cameras is asked to review their recordings and contact the Iowa City Police Department with any potential footage or information about this incident.

Date of publication

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

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