ACLU Affiliate Involvement With the Occupy Movement Around the Country

The ACLU is supporting protesters' freedom of speech nationwide in various ways, including distributing materials and holding information sessions about demonstrators' rights, facilitating contact with government officials, and representing protesters' interests in court and in meetings with police and other officials.

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  • Alaska

    • Alaska

      Occupy Activities
      May 2012
    • Fielding legal queries from Occupy Fairbanks.
  • Arkansas

  • Arizona

    • Arizona

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided protesters with ACLU resources about their rights when protesting, camping and photographing police.
    • Legal team coordinating representation in Phoenix to ensure that people arrested have adequate criminal representation during their initial appearances before the courts.
    • Working to convince Tuscon city officials to drop the charges against the 100 or so protesters who face various criminal citations.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • ACLU of Arizona Rights of Protesters guide: http://acluaz.org/sites/default/files/documents/protester_eng3b_0.pdf
    • Rights of the Homeless (When Dealing with Anti-Camping Ordinances): http://acluaz.org/resources/publications
  • California

  • Colorado

    • Colorado

      Occupy Activities
      November 2011
    • Monitoring police response in Denver
    • 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.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      November 2011
    • Know Your Rights Page: http://aclu-co.org/our-work/public-education/know-your-rights
  • Connecticut

  • District of Columbia

  • Delaware

    • Delaware

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • 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.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Know Your Rights for Protesters: http://www.aclu-de.org/news/protesters-know-your-rights/2011/10/19/
  • Florida

    • Florida

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • 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.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Rights of Protesters: http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/right_to_protest_brochure.pdf
  • Georgia

    • Georgia

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Supplying Know Your Rights brochures to Atlanta protesters, we have invited some participants to speak on a panel at annual meeting.
    • Monitoring protests via livestream camera

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Rights of Protesters: http://www.acluga.org/docs/right2protest.pdf
  • Hawaii

    • Hawaii

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • 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

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/right_to_protest_brochure.pdf
  • Iowa

    • Iowa

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Gave advice to Occupy Des Moines/Iowa regarding permit for the statehouse grounds, and got protesters to contact the city to obtain an alternative site across from the capitol
  • Idaho

    • Idaho

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Conducted Know Your Rights trainings with local attorneys and distributed materials to Occupy Boise gatherings
    • Held legal observer training for 25 people
    • The Federal Court decided to let Occupy Boise keep their vigil under First Amendment protected political speech.
  • Illinois

    • Illinois

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Staff in Chicago observing police activities, taking photos, and handing out Know Your Rights materials
    • Engaging with OccupyChicago over twitter and pointing them towards our Know Your Rights materials
    • Training additional protest observers

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Know Your Rights for Protesting: http://www.aclu-il.org/protesting-know-your-rights/
  • Indiana

    • Indiana

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • 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.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Materials for Protesters: http://www.aclu-in.org/Uploads/37/Files/11903protesters1.pdf
  • Kansas

    • Eastern Missouri

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided Know Your Rights materials to Protesters
    • Gave extensive advice to St. Louis protesters on interacting with the police as they negotiate their on-going presence in a city park.
    • Offered legal advice about camping overnight and explained the legalities at an OccupySTL General Assembly.
    • Researched past St. Louis events to determine if the curfew laws had been selectively applied.
    • Served as a legal observer during on-the-ground discussions with police officers.
    • Providing legal advice and proposed modifications regarding a permit that the city is proposing.
    • Held a screening of '10 Rules for Dealing with the Police' video and held subsequent discussion
    • Kansas and W. Missouri

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided legal advice to Occupy group in Lawrence
  • Louisiana

  • Massachusetts

  • Maryland

  • Maine

    • Maine

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Ensuring protestors have legal counsel if needed.
  • Minnesota

    • Minnesota

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Observing the protests and meeting with the protestors.
    • Handing out materials and doing a teach-in on Know Your Rights.
      November 2011
    • Sent a letter to Hennepin County asking them to rescind the new restrictions placed on OccupyMN protests at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza.
    • Filed a lawsuit against Hennepin County Nov. 22 on behalf of Occupy Minneapolis



      Occupy Pages/Links
      http://www.aclu-mn.org/downloads/OccupyMNletter11.3..pdf
  • Missouri

    • Eastern Missouri

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided Know Your Rights materials to Protesters
    • Gave extensive advice to St. Louis protesters on interacting with the police as they negotiate their on-going presence in a city park.
    • Offered legal advice about camping overnight and explained the legalities at an OccupySTL General Assembly.
    • Researched past St. Louis events to determine if the curfew laws had been selectively applied.
    • Served as a legal observer during on-the-ground discussions with police officers.
    • Providing legal advice and proposed modifications regarding a permit that the city is proposing.
    • Held a screening of '10 Rules for Dealing with the Police' video and held subsequent discussion
    • Kansas and W. Missouri

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided legal advice to Occupy group in Lawrence
  • Mississippi

    • Mississippi

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Worked with the Occupy Jackson protesters, provided protesters with Know Your Rights flyers and cards, as well as information on how to reach the ACLU of Mississippi.
    • Occupy Jackson invited the ACLU to attend a general forum and give a presentation about protesters rights.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Protester Rightst: http://www.aclu-ms.org/issues/protester-advisory/
  • North Carolina

    • North Carolina

      Occupy Activities
      November 2011
    • Spoke to Occupy Raleigh at their general assembly.
    • Sent letter in support of protesters' request for an extended permit to use the capitol grounds.
    • Communicated with local groups over Twitter and made them aware of Know Your Rights materials.
    • Providing legal representation to a disabled woman who was arrested while demonstrating at Occupy Raleigh when police told her she couldn't sit in a chair, as her condition required.
  • Nebraska

    • Nebraska

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided legal observers for a march and rally that initiated the Occupy event.
    • Observing the tent city along a two-block mall between the Capitol Building and State Office Building.
  • New Jersey

  • New Mexico

    • New Mexico

      Occupy Activities
      November 2011
    • Distributed Know Your Rights materials to occupiers in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces.
    • Facilitated renwal of (un)Occupy Albuquerque's permit for protests at University of New Mexico

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      November 2011
    • Know Your Rights for Occupy New Mexico: http://aclu-nm.org/occupying-know-your-rights/2011/11/
  • Nevada

  • New York

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

    • Oklahoma

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Monitoring the treatment of protesters at Occupy protests in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City and Tulsa).
    • Working with government officials in Tulsa regarding pepper spray incident and possible curfew enforcement

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Know Your Rights as an Occupy Protester: http://acluok.org/our-work/education/occupy-protest-resources/
  • Oregon

    • Oregon

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Passed out hundreds of 'Know Your Rights in Oregon' cards to Occupy Eugene.
    • Passed out 'Know Your Rights in Oregon' cards before Occupy Portland’s initial march.
    • Posted a 'Know Your Rights to Protest' page on ACLU of Oregon's website and Facebook, as well as on Occupy Portland’s Facebook pages.
    • Posted links to 'Rights of Photographers' and our 'Know Your Rights in Oregon' on Facebook page.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
    • Facebook page for Occupy Oregon:
    • facebook.com/ACLUofOregon

      Occupy Pages/Links
      October 2011
    • Right to Protest brochure: http://aclu-or.org/sites/default/files/RightsofProtestorTriFOLD2.pdf
  • Pennsylvania

    • Pennsylvania

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • 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

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Know Your Rights materials: http://aclupa.org/education/publications/
  • Rhode Island

    • Rhode Island

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Providing general legal guidance to Occupy Providence.
    • Monitoring protest, will make legal observers present if any arrest efforts are made.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • 'If You Are Arrested' brochure on Rhode Island site: http://www.riaclu.org/PublicEd/Reports/PolicePamphlet.pdf
  • South Carolina

    • South Carolina

      Occupy Activities
      November 2011
    • Distributed Know Your Rights and How to Protest materials.
    • Referred some local Occupy groups to local counsel who could be observers or provide guidance
    • Issued a press release addressing a possible violation of First Amendment rights after the Governor evicted Occupiers from the Statehouse grounds; some arrests were made during the eviction.
  • South Dakota

    • South Dakota

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Emailed Know Your Rights materials including bust card, photographer's rights, and a reminder to report police mistreatment of protesters to the local ACLU.
  • Tennessee

    • Tennessee

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Distributed 'Right to Protest' brochure in cities across the state
    • Won temporary restraining order from a federal judge requiring the state to stop arresting Occupy Nashville protesters at Legislative Plaza.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • Press release on court ruling: http://www.aclu-tn.org/release103111c.html
  • Texas

    • Texas

      Occupy Activities
      November 2011
    • Distributed Know Your Rights brochure in cities with Occupy activity, including Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth.
    • Monitoring Occupy activities in El Paso and McAllen.
    • Occupy Dallas camp was raided by police on November 16th, some occupiers were arrested.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      November 2011
    • Know Your Right to Protest Brochure: http://www.aclutx.org/2011/02/02/free-speech-and-the-right-to-protest/
  • Utah

    • Utah

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided links to resources: 'Your Right to Protest in Salt Lake City,' 'What to do if you are a Victim of Police Misconduct in Utah,' online complaint forms and phone numbers.
    • Provided contact numbers for attorneys who have agreed to provide pro bono or low cost defense services for those who might get arrested during free speech activities.
    • Meeting with the city and law enforcement officials
    • Talking with participants and homeless residents of Pioneer Park to gather information about how they are interacting with the police department.

      Know Your Rights / Materials
      October 2011
    • The Right to Peacefully Assemble: http://www.acluutah.org/Protecting_the-right-to-peacefully-assemble.html
  • Virginia

  • Vermont

  • Washington

    • Washington

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided legal information about anti-camping ordinances to Occupy Seattle. Also provided 'Street Speech' and 'Know Your Rights with Law Enforcement' publications, as well as ACLU contact information.
    • Passed out our bust cards at Occupy Seattle in Westlake.
    • Sent out an action alert urging our members to share our bust cards and street speech pamphlets with anyone that might be attending Occupy events in other Washington state areas.
  • Wisconsin

    • Wisconsin

      Occupy Activities
      October 2011
    • Provided legal observer training
      May 2012
    • Distributed Know Your Rights information.
    • Provided legal observers.
    • Coordinated media coverage related to the eviction of the Occupy Madison encampment.
  • Wyoming

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