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Occupy San Diego: Judge turns down bid to restrain police

December 1, 2011 |  7:30 pm

Occupy111
A federal court judge Thursday turned down a request from Occupy San Diego protesters to block police from enforcing a municipal ordinance that bans camping in public places.

Judge William Hayes rejected an argument by the protesters' attorney that the ordinance, as enforced by police, is aimed at curbing the protesters’ freedom of speech.

Police have forced protesters to remove their tents, tables, sleeping bags and other property from civic plaza behind City Hall and a grassy area along a street adjacent to the civic theatre. In two sweeps, 90 people have been arrested, most for failure to disperse.

City Atty. Jan Goldsmith said the decision shows that "1st Amendment rights are important and must be respected but they don't allow a takeover of public property."

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Photo: Occupy San Diego protest. Credit: Associated Press

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