ACLU Sues Hennepin Co. Over OccupyMN Protest Rules

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a lawsuit Monday against Hennepin County for allegedly restricting Occupy Minnesota protester’s right to free speech.

The ACLU’s complaint says that the county’s set of winter restrictions for Minneapolis’ Government Plaza, which protesters have been occupying since early October, were written in direct response to protester’s efforts. The complaint also says that the rules are too broad, the result of unconstitutional decision making and are inconsistent with how the county treats other groups.

Charles Samuelson, the executive director of the ACLU-MN, said that Americans encourage peaceful protesters in other countries, but are quick to denounce their tactics on their own soil.

“In the United States, we have celebrated protesters occupying spaces around the globe during the Arab Spring, yet we are quick to criticize the Occupy Movement for utilizing some of the same methods of expression,” he said.

Under the county’s rules, the protesters are not allowed to stay at the plaza when temperatures fall below 25 degrees or when there is heavy snow. They are also not allowed to put up signs or leave their belonging unattended.

  • That's quite enough

    As we used to say in the Army … blow it our your duffle bag!

    That’s enough of the protesters, they’ve worn out their welcome.

    • Ryan

      Odd? Doesn’t our military i.e., Army fight for things like freedom of speech and the expansion of such rights, but from the sounds of it, you want to restrict american’s freedoms even further?

      • Caroline

        The ACLU used to mean something about freedom, now they are just a bunch of left wing loons.

        • Charles

          Maybe you are confusing the ACLU with Public Defenders?

  • Kevin

    Your tax dollars at work… we pay for this trash to be there….and now we pay legal fees to keep this trash out…..only in America…..

  • Jake

    The american criminal loosers union. Right on cue. Surprised it took them this long to get involved.

  • A Voter

    It’s about time that law enforcement abides by the laws they are sworn to uphold, namely the Constitution of The United States.

    • Jake

      Last I heard, the vast majority of them do. Why do imply that they don’t??

      • A Voter

        Go play with yourself copper.

        • Jake

          Bend over with a bar of soap on a rope, voter.

  • Billy Has A Gun

    Great! If they win…I will set up a tent in a Maple Grove park this summer….put up a protest sign….and camp out…….and just lawyer up if anyone looks at me twice…..I just might have to become a casturated liberal…demand everything free…..demand the right to break laws….I sure hope that these casturated liberals are following the issues in Spain…..

    • Mike

      What’s a matter with the ACLU taking the matter to court? Are you afraid that they may be correct and Hennepin in the wrong or in your world silly BIlly, is right wing fascism the direction of your political persuasion?

      I live in Maple Grove too silly Billy and there are many of us who are progressive. You can always identify us in the neighborhood because we are the ones who shout out hello, provide help when needed and the homes where the charity drivers stop to pick up goods.

  • Jake

    So, LIKE, when will the evil coppers evict the SQUATTERS from the ‘lecturers’ former home, which hasn’t been lived in, in LIKE a year and a half, which the BANK owns, so it can be resold to a responsible, taxpaying owner?

  • MNTaxpayer

    Last time I checked, the First Amendment right to free speech does not include DELIBERATELY BREAKING THE LAW…can we, the TAXPAYERS, sue the ANTI-AMERICAN CRIMINAL LOSERS UNION (ACLU)?

    • Jake

      Interesting question, since I have never seen anybody sue America’s largest anti-Amercan law firm get sued before. What would happen if somebody took the ACLU to task?? Who made them more pure than God??

    • Hank

      No but you can turn them into the feds. They are currently under investigation for passing classified information to the terrorists in cuba. Of course not much will be done with Holder as attorney general.

    • Charles

      Are you asking a question? Yea, you can sue them. Are you going to pay the filing fee? Doesn’t mean you will win, but hey if you like wading in papers for the next 6 months go for it.

  • ACLU Sues Hennepin Co. Over OccupyMN Protest Rules « CBS Minnesota

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  • See BS

    Maybe the ACLU should be suing the Department of education for violating “Seperation of church and state”

    Public schools are liberal bible banging places.

    Sexual harassment laws violate free speech too

  • james2

    Obviously the ACLU doesn’t know that the weather will remove them without the rules of the county, and, the county has not enforced any of these rules. I say, go home ACLU. Things take care of themselves. Don’t waste my tax dollars. Thanks.

  • here they come again

    The ACLU, the ever vigilant watchdog for the liberal agenda. The folks that save us from the horror of small town Nativity scenes. Now they want to elevate civil disobedience to a constitutional right. What a crock. Where in the constitution or our state or federal laws does it say that protestors can squat in public places, taxing city resources and disrupting commerce?

  • A Voter

    Taxing city resources? Who does that better than law enforcement? How many times has law enforcement been sued for illegal actions, like violating constitutional rights.

    • What a joke


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