ACLU Affiliate Involvement With the Occupy Movement Around the Country
November 4, 2011
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Occupy Activities May 2012
Fielding legal queries from Occupy Fairbanks.
Occupy Activities October 2011
Distrubuted copies of Know Your Rights materials for protesters and for dealing with the police.
Talked to protesters in Little Rock and gave practical advice about dealing with the police (such as asking police for business cards, asking if they are on or off duty, and taking license plate numbers of the police both surreptitiously and openly).
Contacted Little Rock city officials to facilitate communications with protesters
Participated in meeting with San Francisco supervisors, members of police commission and chief of police to negotiate rules about protesters
Filed Public records request (jointly with the National Lawyers’ Guild) with the Oakland Police Department and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan asking the city to immediately produce records about the use of force in responding to Occupy Oakland demonstrations
Attorney attended a BART board meeting and raised issue of nearest stations to Occupy Oakland and Occupy San Francisco to keep protesters from going from Oakland to San Francisco in solidarity. April 2012
Filed a lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department.
Filed a lawsuit against UC Davis on beahlf of students over pepper-spraying incident.
Filed a lawsuit against Alameda County DA over stay away orders issued to Occupy Oakland protesters.
Communicating with the police chief to express concern over the arrest of the Occupy San Diego protesters, urging him to drop the charges, release the protesters, and find an alternative space and way to accommodate overnight protest activity.
Occupy Activities October 2011
Distributed Know Your Rights, What to do if Stopped by the Police, and First Amendment Rights materials.
Provided observers with Know Your Rights materials at Occupy Boulder and Occupy Denver.
Launched an investigation regarding a rise in police force and possible abuse at the Occupy Denver site. We requested after-action reports detailing police actions from the Denver Department of Public Safety and the Colorado State Patrol.
Providing Know Your Rights information and attending meetings, consulting by email to monitor situation and assist if needed. November 2011
Filed a lawsuit against the City of Wilmington on behalf of the Occupy protesters after demonstrators were forced to vacate Peter Spencer Plaza.
Obtained a 24 hour temporary restraining order allowing Occupy Delaware to occupy city land. We won the restraining order and the City of Wilmington negotiated an agreement with Occupy Denver that allowed them to remain indefinitely. April 2012
On Monday 4/23/2012, the Wilmington Mayor announced that he was evicting Occupy Denver as of 5/1/12. We are in process of negotiating with the City and preparing a lawsuit should that become necessary.
In Tampa, monitoring the situation, giving advice to protesters, and negotiating informally with city leaders and the police department.
In Tallahassee, local Chapter provided advice and countered the city when it tried to require a liability insurance policy before the protestors would be allowed to assemble, resulting in the city backing down. Also successfully opposed the county when it told protestors that they would have to pay for additional police services for the protest.
ACLU-FL Northeast Florida Regional Office and Northeast Florida Chapter on hand to provide protestor rights education and materials on the ground and online in Jacksonville, Gainesville, St. Augustine, Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach. Facebook page providing links to various public education materials including protester’s rights brochures, police stop cards, and Dissent Is Patriotic posters.
Offered advice to protestors in Fort Meyers regarding liability insurance requirements and they subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city.
Held Know Your Rights sessions with demonstrators on protests and documenting police encounters
Created First Amendment Toolkit for protesters (APEC, Deoccupy, Labor, etc) in newsprint version and online versions
In advance of APEC, helped a local group, 'World Can't Wait,' to get a permit. ACLU-HI staff have met with several local protest groups over the last few months to talk about lawful protest and to take questions
Distributing Know Your Rights materials in Indianapolis
Meeting with protest organizers
Representing an Occupy group in Indiana, and have written to the Indiana Attorney General requesting his approval of a petition for Occupiers to camp overnight on the grounds of the Indiana State House.
Working with many Occupy Ohio groups throughout the state, providing legal advice and 'How to protest' cards.
Organized a program called 'Built on Dissent' in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. Program includes a discussion between constitutional and criminal defense attorneys and Occupiers about the effectiveness and limits of the First Amendment.
Distributed Know Your Rights material to protesters at Occupy activities around the state, including: Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Williamsport.
Involved in negotiations with the city over permit and services regarding Occupy Philadelphia. Also negotiated with city officials on behalf of Occupy movements in Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg and Lancaster.
Gave Occupy Pittsburgh leaders advice about seeking permits, met with city officials to discuss the permit, which was issued.
Provided legal observers for Occupy Pittsburgh and Occupy Harrisburg.
Participated in a mediation between Occupy Allentown protesters and police regarding signs, tents, and a 24-hour protest.
Made a cooperating attorney available to mediate between protestors and police for Occupy Lancaster.
Provided legal advice to Occupy movements in Allentown, Bethlehem, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
Documenting calls from Occupy Bethlehem, Williamsport and other locations across the state
Helped negotiate a compromise overnight camping agreement in Norfolk, and sent a letter to the Mayor of Richmond
Representing a journalist who was arrested for trespassing while attempting to photograph the police removing 'Occupy' demonstrators from a public park in Richmond. (the photographer was standing in a crosswalk on a public street)