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City denies PETA permit for public protest statue

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Free speech advocates are squawking over the City of Little Rock's decision to turn down a permit for a public protest sculpture by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The permit would have allowed PETA to plant a 5-foot-5-inch statue of a wounded cartoon chicken on the public right-of-way near the McDonald's on 7th and Broadway. The statue (seen above) is part of PETA's campaign against what they say are inhumane methods of slaughtering the chickens consumed at McDonald's restaurants. The statue bears the slogan: "McCruelty: I'm hatin' it," and features a logo of a bloody chicken hanging from two golden arches.

Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter told PETA that while the city has no problem with the theme of the statue, the statue itself — which weighs over 100 pounds, would not be anchored down and would be left unattended on the sidewalk for days — would be too much of a public safety concern. In response, PETA's attorneys fired back that the statue has been displayed without incident in other cities, including Raleigh, N.C., where it was installed on a public street for a month.

We would say PETA should try letting their statue roost in Springdale next, but something tells us that would fly about as well as the fowl they're trying to save.

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