Occupy Chicago Protesters Arrested Last Fall Want Charges Tossed

CHICAGO (CBS) — Which carries more weight, First Amendment rights or closing time at Chicago’s parks? Attorneys for dozens of Occupy Chicago protestors arrested in Grant Park last fall want a judge to answer that question.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports on the protesters’ fight in court after 130 people were arrested for refusing to leave the park after repeated warnings from police, following a large march and rally downtown last October.

The protesters say their First Amendment right was trampled upon and their attorneys said it was all because Mayor Rahm Emanuel wanted to look tough to the world.

One by one, Occupy Chicago supporters filed into the Daley Center Plaza on Wednesday to defend their round-the-clock right to protest without being arrested, like 130 people were five months ago after an Occupy Chicago rally.

When the protesters refused to leave Grant Park after the park closed to the public at 11 p.m., police warned them several times to leave before making arrests about three hours later.

Protester Nate Goldbaum said, “I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t be evicted.”

In all, 90 of those charged with violating the city’s curfew ordinance argued their arrests violated their First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble, even overnight, and they want the charges dismissed.

Defense attorney Tom Durkin said, “All you can do in Chicago is protest for 17 hours and this is the way we want to show off we’re a world class city? It takes us back to looking like idiots.”

City attorneys have argued the arrests weren’t a ban on speech and were not criminal in nature.

Defense attorney Robert Stainthorpe criticized the city for, “Making the protestors be arrested, taken to jail, fingerprinted, mug shots, conditions of bail set, go to criminal court; now the city’s turned around and said, ‘Oh, it’s not really criminal, it’s just civil. That’s really outrageous.”

Durkin went a step further, calling the arrests a strong-arm tactic orchestrated by one man, for one reason.

“This was Mayor Rahm Emanuel … being Mr. Tough Guy, to show the world that they could come to G8 and NATO (summits). It’s as simple as that,” Durkin said.

But a spokesperson for the city’s Law Department said the arrests at Grant Park had nothing to do with the NATO and G8 summits scheduled for May.

A Cook County judge did not rule on whether the charges should be dismissed against the protesters who were arrested. He wants more information.

When the judge rules, it could have interesting implications for how Chicago police will handle protesters when they come to town in three months for the NATO and G8 summits.

More from Dana Kozlov
  • Afro

    Police don’t give a rats ass about the Constitution, half of them don’t even know what it is lmao all they care about is suking up the chain of command and trying to be a hero by treating everyone like sh!t until they can find a real perpetrator.

    • Last of the Americans

      @Afro you people always have some b*tch,go back to your obama doll.

      • 38Special

        Ron Paul Gingrich on draft

      • Afro

        Fuk you and your Obama doll comment Last of the Americans my ass you don’t know what The Constitution is either you’re probably an illegal.

  • http://news99.org/?p=1097 Occupy protesters contest October arrests – ABC7Chicago.com | News99

    […] protest in Grant Park last October. "My husband and I were both arrested, and we agreed …Occupy Chicago Protesters Arrested Last Fall Want Charges TossedCBS Localall 2 news […]



  • http://news99.org/?p=1113 Occupy Chicago protesters in court: Reminiscent of ’68 – Medill Reports: Chicago | News99

    […] curfew. This comes 44 years after …Occupy protesters contest October arrestsABC7Chicago.comOccupy Chicago Protesters Arrested Last Fall Want Charges TossedCBS Localall 3 news […]



  • iinoyfb2

    No no no kiddies. Your ‘time out’ has a little more consequence now than the one your mommy and daddy gave you a couple years ago.

  • http://news99.org/?p=1127 Lawyers for Occupy protesters say city crackdown was practice for summits – Chicago Tribune | News99

    […] of '68Medill Reports: ChicagoOccupy protesters contest October arrestsABC7Chicago.comOccupy Chicago Protesters Arrested Last Fall Want Charges TossedCBS Localall 4 news […]

  • Jim

    These LOSER piece of garbage protesters should be made an example of at every opportunity. It’s time that the majority of the 99% stand up and condemn these losers!!!! WE DO NOT SUPPORT THEM!!!!!

  • http://news99.org/?p=1171 Occupy Chicago Occupies The Court – Chicagoist | News99

    […] of '68Medill Reports: ChicagoOccupy protesters contest October arrestsABC7Chicago.comCBS Localall 6 news […]

  • juju

    @Jim. A chair can’t even support your lazy, liberal, sweaty fat azz. Doctor needs to protest your lifestyle. Bet you still wear HiKarate for the ladies. Toilet face.

    • Jim

      @juju, Again, I am calling you out! Liberal? The Loser protesters are the liberal socialists. Why use such abusive words? Are you part of the 1% of the 99% that actually agrees with these LOSERS?

      • THEE Yard Ape

        @Jim – a bit of advice my good man, don’t waste your time on this fuking ni @@ er

  • http://occupythe99percent.com/2012/02/occupy-chicago-occupies-the-court/ Occupy Chicago Occupies The Court | Occupy News

    […] the grounds that it did not provide an alternate space after the park closure rules were enforced. CBS 2 reports defense attorney Robert Stainthorpe criticized the city for the arrests, saying: “Making the […]

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