Today a judge dismissed the charges against more than 90 demonstrators arrested last October when Occupy Chicago made two attempts to set up an encampment in Grant Park. More than 300 protesters were arrested in the park last year and charged with violating city park curfew. Most opted to for a community service deal with the city, but the National Lawyers Guild filed suit on behalf of 92 demonstrators to dismiss the charges on grounds that they were unconstitutional.
In the Media
Who's in charge of deciding whether police officers can be fired? In Portland, not the police commissioner.
Over the last few months, protesters have planned three days of events, using the title “All Roads Lead to Wall Street,” including marches, a Rosh Hashana service near Zuccotti Park and a concert in Foley Square featuring members of the Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth and Rage Against the Machine. In a reprise of a tactic used in the spring, some protesters said they were sleeping at night on sidewalks outside of banks.
Twitter provides real-time messaging and allows users to make posts that are broadcast to people who sign up to follow them. The company contends that users, not the company, have the right to fight requests for their personal information.
"We are under the impression that the whole country is a free speech zone," said Michael Zytkow, a 26-year-old organizer for Occupy Charlotte. "We were bothered by the idea of any government-designated playground."
Carol Sobel, a lawyer from Santa Monica, California, who co-chairs the Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, asked, "Who'd want to use it? You're talking to yourself."
Her group works to push back against what it views as government attempts to stifle dissent.
The National Lawyers Guild has joined the rising opposition against Measure S, a ballot measure that will prohibit sitting on sidewalks in Berkeley if passed by voters this November.
The proposed law will ban sitting on sidewalks in commercial areas in the city between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. A first violation of this law would be categorized as a minor infraction and result in a $75 fine or community service, according to the measure’s text, but a second violation could be classified as either an infraction or a misdemeanor.
Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, reveals the dark tactics at both conventions to quiet protests outside, including the use of “free speech zones”.
As part of The Agenda, The Times’s look at major issues facing the next administration, we have been examining the trade-offs, more than a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, between security and privacy and civil liberties. Some readers have written in about the electronic data trail that all of us leave as we go about our lives, using the Internet and carrying smartphones.
The cases were brought before Judge Joan Campbell of the 248th District Court who dismissed all charges due to lack of evidence. However, the felony charges were later reinstated by a Houston grand jury. Garza told me that the latest development of uncovering an infiltrator came to a head at a discovery hearing on Monday, August 27, but is the result of months of hard work by many including his attorney, National Lawyers Guild’s Greg Gladden.