In the wake of Sunday night’s eviction of Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park encampment in New York, Occupy Boston won a temporary restraining order against the City of Boston today in Suffolk Superior Court. Protesters filed a temporary restraining order and an injunction to keep the Boston Police Department from evicting protesters in Dewey Square.
The judge ruled Occupy Boston wins the temporary restraining order and scheduled the preliminary hearings for the injunction order on December 1 at 9am.
Spearheaded by the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLU), the case battled the Menino administration in the Suffolk Superior Court this morning. In a press release, the ACLU and NLG cited the arrests of 141 members of Occupy Boston in the early hours of October 11 as reason an injunction is needed to protect Occupiers from another night-time raid.
Six members of Occupy Boston were in the courtroom today, as others waited outside due to the crowd of media and onlookers filling up the courtroom. The judge questioned Occupy Boston’s lack of leadership and clear messaging, asking if the encampment at Dewey Square has prevented other non-protesters from using the park. Occupy attorneys maintained that freedom of speech is not just words and the occupation and tents themselves relay a message.
City attorneys, on the other hand, argued that giving protesters warning of eviction could endanger both law enforcement officials and protesters themselves. The city maintained that there are currently no plans to remove the encampment at Dewey Square, and any plans happen on a case-by-case basis, not something that’s predetermined.
Below is a Storify of the full action in the courtroom today. We will keep you updated on this story as it develops.
What do you think this case means for Occupy Boston? Is it a win, or only delaying the inevitable? Share your thoughts in the comments.