UPDATE: Federal Judge Denies Occupy Sacramento Protesters
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A federal judge has denied Occupy Sacramento protesters in their petition to assembly at Cesar Chavez Park overnight.
Judge Morrison England upheld the city’s ordinance that parks be vacated at curfew, citing a U.S. Supreme Court case in 1984 where a group was camping in the park across from the White House to raise awareness about homelessness.
England was also critical of Occupy Sacramento attorneys, asking why they hadn’t applied for a special-use permit earlier. The group applied for the permit this week and the city hopes to have a decision on it by Monday.
Mark Merin, an attorney representing Occupy Sacramento, said the group had previously inquired about the permit but wasn’t receiving cooperation from the city.
Earlier today, dozens of Occupy Sacramento protesters were in court, including anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, and a federal hearing was set to take place later this afternoon.
The occupiers arrested in Sacramento entered not guilty pleas and 40 jury trials were scheduled for Dec. 13. Another wave of protesters will have arraignment hearings on Nov. 16.
The protesters are facing misdemeanor charges for camping out in a Cesar Chavez Park overnight.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office isn’t pressing charges, but Sacramento’s city attorney is planning to prosecute the cases.
Sheehan, who was one of those arrested in the park, says it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to press charges against them.
“We’re pleading not guilty, not taking any offers, because we believe in the principle of non-violent peaceful assembly and the First Amendment to the Constitution,” she said, “and we believe those are being violated by the city of Sacramento and the police.”