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Burk Now Says Illegal Protests Possible

NEW YORK -- Martha Burk has not ruled out staging an illegal demonstration at the Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga., in April, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Burk told the newspaper she planned to file for a permit this week to demonstrate outside Augusta National Golf Club, but expects to have it rejected by Augusta officials.
Burk is the chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations and the leader of the protest against Augusta National for its lack of female membership. Her organization already was told by a sheriff that protests on sidewalks and virtually all public sites near Augusta National will not be allowed.
``To protest, you have to have access to the people that you intend to influence,'' Burk told the newspaper in a telephone interview. ``To prohibit a demonstration anywhere on Washington Road, outside the entrance to the club, is unacceptable.''
Burk said she is preparing for a court fight to get the demonstration permits for properties near the club.
Augusta Mayor Bob Young told the newspaper that Burk was jumping to conclusions.
``Why doesn't she try us and make an application?'' he said. ``I don't know of anybody being turned down to protest.''
Young pointed out that Washington Road ``is a very busy six-lane thoroughfare that is not just dangerous for protesters but for pedestrians. I'm sure the sheriff will use his discretion. It is premature to say that someone will put a protest off in a remote location a mile away.''
Burk said there will be no protests that will disrupt the action on the course.
``I have no interest in lying down on the first green,'' she said. ``Our goal is to point out the corporate hypocrisy that surrounds, feeds and creates this event.''
Last week, Allison Price, an Augusta woman who started a group called ``WAMB,'' or Women Against Martha Burk, applied for a permit to demonstrate in the downtown Augusta area on April 6, the Sunday before the Masters.
Todd Manzi of Tampa, Fla., who started a Web site called, has applied for the four days of the tournament, April 10-13, also to demonstrate. The location has yet to be determined.
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