Lack of a permit caused five to be arrested at Women's rally in Chattanooga
One of the five people who were arrested during the Women's March in Chattanooga on Saturday are speaking out.
For the third year, a group of women from across the Tennessee Valley gathered in Chattanooga to promote women's rights.
This year's event was downgraded to a rally, instead of a march, due to permitting problems.
“It was revoked for some reason,” said Alaina Cobb. “We don't know why. So it was a bit of a mess this year.”
Alaina Cobb helped organize the event and says last year the group received a waiver to hold a march in the streets.
This year, Cobb says the group attempted to raise the funds needed to cover the costs associated with a permit but fell short.
“We could not get a permit from the city because the permit was denied because a waiver was denied,” said Cobb. “Last year they gave us a waiver to hold the March but this year they refused it.”
Channel 3 reached out to the city's permitting office to learn more about the process.
A spokesperson could not comment on this specific incident but said the typical price for a permit is about $100.
In addition to the permit, the city requires march organizers to cover the cost of barricades and security.
Women's March organizers claim they could not afford the fees.
Cobb says after the rally, dozens of people wanted to take to the streets. Officers warned them to stay on the sidewalks.
Cobb says she understood police instruction but chose to march without a permit.
“It just escalated as we marched slowly,” said Cobb. “Until we were arrested.”
Cobb, who was one of five people arrested for obstructing the roadway, was released on her own recognizance.
She says she knew the consequence but wanted to make a statement.
“If you're willing to speak for justice, speak loudly speak in whatever way you can and do so as often as you can up to and including putting your body on the line,” said Cobb.