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PORTSIDE  September 2012, Week 5

PORTSIDE September 2012, Week 5

Subject:

Judge Tosses Occupy Chicago Park Arrests - Rahm: I'll Get Another Judge

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 21:11:19 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (135 lines)

(1)
Judge Tosses Occupy Chicago Park Arrests
By David Heinzmann
Chicago Tribune
September 27, 2012
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-27/news/chi-judge-tosses-occupy-chicago-park-arrests-20120927_1_park-arrests-mass-arrests-judge-tosses

The mass arrests of Occupy Chicago demonstrators that
city leaders held up as a model for how to respect
protesters' rights has been ruled unconstitutional and
tossed out of court by a Cook County judge.

In a 37-page ruling issued today, Associate Judge Thomas
Donnelly ruled the October 2011 arrests were
unconstitutional because the city routinely chooses not
to enforce the curfew for events the city supports, such
as the 2008 Election Night rally for President Barack
Obama. The judge noted that no arrests were made at that
event, even though it went well past curfew.

With the ruling, the arrests of 92 Occupy protesters on
charges related to violating the curfew were thrown out.

In the months leading up to this spring's NATO
conference in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's
administration had pointed to the handling of the
arrests by his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, as
an ideal way to keep order while respecting protesters'
rights. During the 2011 demonstrations, on two
consecutive Saturdays in October, police issued a clear
order for protesters to leave Grant Park, and then gave
people ample time to disperse.

The handling of the demonstrations stood in sharp
contrast to a 2003 Iraq War demonstration in which more
than 500 people were arrested after police refused to
allow them to leave the intersection of Michigan and
Chicago avenues.

But Donnelly ruled the city had no constitutional right
to order people out of the park last October.

"We're incredibly pleased by Judge Donnelly's ruling.
This is a significant First Amendment ruling for the
Occupy protesters, and all Chicagoans," said lawyer
Thomas A. Durkin, who represented 12 University of
Chicago students who were among the 92 arrested.

City lawyers are disappointed and plan to appeal, said
Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew.

More than 300 people were arrested in the Grant Park
demonstrations early in the morning on Oct. 16 and Oct.
23, 2011, for violating the curfew, which bans people
from being in Chicago parks between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Durkin and lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild,
which also represented defendants, said it was unclear
whether the ruling would affect the cases of the more
than 200 arrestees who had earlier taken court-
supervision offers from the city to avoid having a
conviction on their records.

(2)
Emanuel Predicts City Will Overturn Occupy Ruling
By John Byrne
Chicago Tribune
September 29, 2012
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-29/news/ct-met-emanuel-occupy-ruling-0929-20120929_1_unrelated-news-conference-park-curfew-mass-arrests

The city will reverse a Cook County judge's ruling that
tossed out the mass arrests of Occupy Chicago protesters
in Grant Park, Mayor Rahm Emanuel predicted Friday,
saying his administration's enforcement of a park curfew
is on "firm ground as it relates both to public safety
and First Amendment rights."

Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas M. Donnelly ruled
Thursday that the city unfairly singled out protesters
for violating the park's 11 p.m. curfew in October 2011,
when police arrested hundreds of people. And the judge
said the curfew itself was a violation of the public's
right to free assembly.

Donnelly pointed out in his ruling that nobody was
arrested when hundreds of thousands of people stayed in
Grant Park past 11 p.m. for President Barack Obama's
November 2008 election night rally.

Emanuel said Donnelly was "comparing apples and
oranges."

"One, they got a permit; two, they weren't planning on
sleeping overnight," Emanuel said of the Obama rally.
"Those are kind of fundamental differences."

But Donnelly rejected the mayor's argument in his
ruling, saying the city does not get to pick and choose
whether it will lift the curfew by granting a permit to
groups it favors.

Asked about Donnelly's assertion that the arrests at
Grant Park restricted access to an important spot for
public assembly in the city, Emanuel said: "There will
be another judge who will also be given a chance to
weigh in. That doesn't mean it's the final word, as I
think you know that.

"We believe, based on both Supreme Court decisions
dating back to 1984, decisions other cities have made,
this ordinance balances both public safety and public
free speech," he said during an unrelated news
conference at a South Loop bar.

The city filed a notice of appeal Friday, according to
Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew.

___________________________________________

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