May 27, 2004 – In anticipation of protests at the G8 Summit in Georgia next month, Governor Sonny Perdue has declared a pre-emptive state of emergency while local authorities have granted police the right to close down demonstrations. Purdue signed the state of emergency order earlier this month, citing "potential danger... for unlawful assemblages, threats of violence and otherwise" as the reason for the measure. The City Council of Brunswick followed the declaration by changing its laws last week so that police can halt protests if a "state of emergency or disaster is lawfully declared." The state of emergency order covers six counties and will be in effect between May 31 and June 20. President George W. Bush will be meeting with world leaders at the Summit, which is scheduled for June 6-8, while protests are planned addressing a range of issues related to capitalism and the unequal distribution of wealth. Protest organizers and civil libertarians are outraged and are accusing the governor and Brunswick officials of unlawfully trying to stifle dissent. Activists are already embroiled in a legal dispute with Brunswick for a highly restrictive permit ordinance it passed recently, demanding protesters front security deposits to pay for police presence at demonstrations. State and local officials have denied claims that they are seeking to prevent legal freedom of expression.