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Enquirer Exclusive: Cincinnati drops charges in Occupy settlement
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Enquirer Exclusive: Cincinnati drops charges in Occupy settlement
Enquirer Exclusive: Cincinnati drops charges in Occupy settlement
Protesters end lawsuit against city; park area designated

[Image: bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=AB&D...p;amp;q=60]
Photo by David Sorcher
Occupy Cincinnati protesters are arrested for criminal trespass in a civil disobedience in Piatt Park. Aaron Roco is taken onto the Sheriff's van.

Written by
Carrie Whitaker

The city and Occupy Cincinnati protesters have reached a legal settlement nullifying hundreds of criminal charges against protesters and ending a federal lawsuit against the city.

The agreement, negotiated over the course of several months, designates the far eastern portion of Piatt Park – the small Downtown park where Occupy members were cited and arrested last fall – as a 24-hour public space for one year beginning 10 p.m. March 19, as first reported by Cincinnati.com Sunday night.

Cincinnati’s settlement – expected to be filed in court Monday morning – appears to be one of the first in the nation resolving both a federal civil rights lawsuit against a city and local criminal charges against individuals of spin-off organizations of the international Occupy Wall Street movement, according to some political science and legal experts.

Bernard Harcourt, a University of Chicago law and political science professor who has written articles on the legal aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement for the New York Times Opinionator blog and the daily English newspaper The Guardian, said he expects many cities will settle with their Occupy groups.

“A lot of these arrests raise significant concerns about First Amendment rights,” Harcourt said. “I would expect the municipalities to want to get rid of these cases quickly.”

[Image: bilde?Site=AB&Date=20120311&...p;Border=0]
File
Cincinnati police arrest Occupy Cincinnati protesters in Piatt Park last fall.

Designated place to protest is crucial


Bill Dobbs, a press liaison for Occupy Wall Street in New York City, said the city offering up a 24-hour meeting space is key.

“You can certainly join an advocacy organization online, sign an online petition,” Dobbs said. “But the most visceral and classic means of effective organizing is face to face.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120...eakingnews
 
03-11-2012 10:15 PM
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