Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Court Case to Determine Whether City Park Ordinances Trump the 1st Amendment

Dick Kaiser

Judge David Dingledine
In the wake of the 2011 uprising in Tunisia, the Arab Spring, and the ongoing world-wide Occupation Movement, the American court system has begun to consider the thousands of criminal citations dealing with violations of local ordinances that challenge the right of persons to peacefully assemble in public spaces for the purpose of exercising their right to petition their government.

As has been reported widely, the Occupation Movement has been protesting the corrosive effect that concentrated wealth, termed the 1%, has on society, particularly on the political system. Using the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, which affords citizens the inalienable right to assemble and protest government policies, occupations throughout the country have permanently occupied public parks and plazas to convey their demand that the democratic process be reformed to benefit the common good, the 99%.

Over 700 citations have been issued by the Tucson (AZ) police to overnight occupiers in two local parks since October 2011. The municipal court is currently considering the merits of these citations.

On Friday, February 17th, Judge David Dingledine heard the motion to dismiss the citations against Occupier Mary Decamp. The following 35 minute video documents this proceeding which features well know defense attorney Bill Risner and assistant city Allen Merritt presenting their arguments.

The judge's ruling is expected soon.

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1 comment:

  1. Below are IMPORTANT links to the motions that were submitted and argued in court February 17, 2012:

    1 OT Mary DeCamp of Occupy Tucson Motion to Dismiss: http://tinyurl.com/7jyeo8j

    2 OT City of Tucson’s Response to Motion to Dismiss: http://tinyurl.com/7qlbyce

    3 OT Reply to City's Response: http://tinyurl.com/7yj9gpf