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Forum Post: Occupy beats Chicago in the courts. Now we should seek jailtime for the cops who broke the law & Damages.

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 28, 2012, 8:06 p.m. EST by VQkag2 (16478)
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http://truth-out.org/news/item/11828-all-charges-from-occupy-chicago-mass-arrests-at-the-horse-dismissed

All Charges From Occupy Chicago Mass Arrests at "The Horse" Dismissed Friday, 28 September 2012 09:31 By Rosa Trakhtensky, Occupied Chicago Tribune | Report

Occupy Horse.(Photo: Marc Kjerland / Flickr)The mass midnight arrests of Occupiers in October at Grant Park were ruled unconstitutional by a Chicago court Thursday. The two nights of actions were part of a spirited attempt to “Take the Horse” (a reference to The Bowman statue) and set up an encampment in Chicago.

In response, the Chicago Police Department alleged that protesters were violating the park’s 11 pm curfew and arrested over 300 people. But today’s ruling found that the curfew restricted free assembly and was unconstitutional when applied to the protesters.

The ruling comes on the heels of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, which many have concluded was a win for progressive forces in the city. Occupy Chicago and its public battles to retain space in the city as well as protest the closings of libraries and mental health clinics also openly challenged Rahm Emanuel and his austerity agenda.

The case in City of Chicago v. Tieg Alexander et. al. argues that the city arbitrarily enforced its curfew because of the content of the protesters' speech.

“Because parks constitute public forums for citizens to assemble and express political views, governments may institute content-neutral time, place or manner restrictions that tightly fit substantial government interests,” says the 37-page opinion by Judge Thomas Donnelly. “The City’s claim that citizen safety, park maintenance, and park preservation constitute the substantial government interests that justifies closing the park seven hours nightly fails because the City routinely closes the park for fewer than seven hours nightly, making ad hoc exceptions to the Curfew for permitted groups.”

“Judge Donnelly made the right decision by declaring the city’s ordinance unconstitutional and by dismissing the remaining cases brought by the city against activists legitimately engaged in free speech,” said National Lawyers Guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino from the People’s Law Office, one of the lawyers representing the charged activists, in a press release. “Hopefully this sends a clear message to the city that they must better respect the First Amendment rights of protesters no matter what their message might be.”

“We were arrested because we were doing something very threatening to the state, we were creating a peaceful social platform where the voices of the lower classes could be heard,” said Danielle Vilarreal, an Occupy Chicago member arrested on October 23.

“The whole city is getting tired of Rahm’s abuse of power,” reckons Andy Manos, another occupier arrested on the same night. “This is what we saw with the immense community support for the teacher’s strike. This what we saw back in January when we were able to mobilize the community against Rahm’s ‘sit down and shut up’ ordinances. And this is what we see now with the charges being dismissed.”

27 Comments

27 Comments


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[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I want comments on this!

[-] 2 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

This is a BIG DEAL. Fantastic.

How come we aren't appealing getting kicked out of Zucotti? How come we aren't suing NYC for ignoring the Court's order that morning? How come we aren't suing Bloomberg for judge shopping that day (in the morning when he was asked why they weren't obeying the judge's injunction, the replied 'she might change her mind' (!?). He said nothing about going in front of a different judge that afternoon.) Obviously, neither the mayor or the NYPD believe in following the law.

I asked the NLG table on 9/16 why they weren't appealing OWS getting kicked out and was told that OWS, being leaderless, lacked a party capable of making that decision. BULLSHIT.

Occupying public space was our main recruitment tool (along with NYPD violence). I believe it obviously should fall under First Amendment rights.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

You sound correct. I agree. I don't know why we haven't pursued that path. I will ask around.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

OWS wins again. Small victory, meaningful precedent.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/police-to-pay-ows-for-damaged-property-whats-the-g/

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

It's worth noting that individuals can bring cases PRO SE in New York's Supreme Court (this is actually the entry level civil court, not the supreme appellate court). We have to take the law in our own hands.

"In cases of cop illegality always take the cop's badge number and be prepared to sue the cop individually. We have to use civil law to enforce the law, the enforcement of criminal law has become corrupted." http://occupywallst.org/article/bloombergs-army-will-not-silence-us/#comment-841306

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

That is the right approach! I wish I could answer why we haven't pursued these avenues. I've seen many successful cases but just recently one ny OWS protester lost the fight to keep the prosecution out of his twitter acct.

Haven't heard an update in weeks though. You?

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

No. I hope he asks for a jury trial.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

That's his best chance.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The vast majority of the people in Tampa have had charges dropped also. The police no longer care about what the law is, they just grab you and arrest you. It happened to me also. Didnt matter what happened, cops just repeating "Tell it to the judge".

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Put the police in jail, fine them for civil rights violations. That'll learn 'em.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 2 years ago

Fire the bastards that abuse their power and take back our public defenders.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Fund the public defenders. And restore the funding of fin crime prosecution that repubs in congress cut from almost $200 million to $20 million.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 2 years ago

Man wouldn't it be beautiful to see the ones responsible 5or the collapse behind bars. You could probably make a case of treason against bush for selling our country to the corps (treason might go too far but then again it mightbe right on the money).

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Well I think treason is accurate, but I'm sure we'll neversee that. The laws we could use are too weak. They allow for individuals to avoid personal liability frequently. And usually allows only for fines, small fines in comparison to the money made in the crimes, & usually the fines are deducted in their taxes.

We have only a year or 2 until the statute of limitations runs out. So they need to get their ass in gear.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 2 years ago

Then we need stronger laws in place. I bet they would be a lot less careless if they faced real prison time. How ironic if they were in one of their private prisons.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

It's the only way to get them to treat protesters properly.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Now they want to use the RNC cameras, all 115 of em, to keep spying on the people. OT protested the public hearing.

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2012/9/20/cameras_a_hot_issue_.html

One occupier in particular had a hard time listening to their 100% bullshit.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Gotta stay on top of them!

We MUST undo the fear mongering created 11 years ago when the 9/11 attacks were exploited.

That is how they convince us to sacrifice our freedoms!

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4852) 2 years ago

Good Post

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Important victory for the people against the police state!

One of far too few!.

So much more work to do. It is overwhelming and dauntling.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

I don't understand how this post hasn't gotten more comments. What's our name? Occupy Wall Street. Occupying has vastly more power than demonstrating. They simply laugh and sneer at demonstrations, occupying scares them to the bone. We need to explore every avenue to return.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Many people I encounter here do not care about OWS. They're more interested in partisan attacks.

So this great news and the underlining realities of trying to change extreme police tactics against peaceful protesters/occupiers is unimportant to the most active commenters.

Thanks for bumping it up again! The news is worth it.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Sometimes it seems most people here don't care about OWS. Are they all paid posters?

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Probably not all. Some easily. But others just passionate supporters of the right wing.

Certainly there are OWS supporters, I don't engage them much, as I search out the wackos to challenge them.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4852) 2 years ago

Excellent

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Slow and steady. All those arrested are heroes. It's the only way to change the excessive tactics of the police state that is crushing our peaceful protests.