SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Louisiana parish government is debating whether to spend $200,000 to build a fence around a local courthouse.

The Shreveport Times reports that supporters say a fence would improve security at the Caddo Parish Courthouse. A fence would prevent people without permits from holding rallies or demonstrations on courthouse grounds.

Opponents say the courthouse is a place of democracy, and putting up a fence would send the message that citizens are not welcome to gather.

The Caddo Parish Commission could make a decision later this month.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com