ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Anti-Wall Street protesters in Minneapolis will be able to affix signs and posters to the plaza outside the Hennepin County Government Center but cannot use tents or sleep on the plaza, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The protesters argued that the county’s rules against having tents, using electricity, writing with chalk, or posting signs were unconstitutional and violated their free speech rights.

But except for the ban on posting signs, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle sided with the county, saying the restrictions were reasonable. The judge granted the protesters’ request to block the county from enforcing the ban on posting signs but denied their other requests.

Kyle also ordered both sides into settlement talks. He noted that the protesters, who have been at the downtown Minneapolis plaza since Oct. 7, were unlikely to leave anytime soon and that the county has recognized that the demonstrators may assemble in the plaza “during any hour of the day.”

“Hence, the parties are going to have to ‘learn to live’ with one another,” Kyle wrote.

The county has said it was being respectful of protesters’ First Amendment rights, but that the plaza wasn’t a campground.

Alain Baudry, an attorney for the protesters, said the judge’s order means that effective immediately, the county can bar people from sleeping on the plaza. New rules that went into effect last week said protesters could no longer tape signs on county property or sleep on the grounds.

“I’m sure my clients are disappointed by the decision but we appreciate the judge gave the issue his considered attention,” Baudry said.

Dan Rogan, senior assistant attorney for Hennepin County, said the county was pleased overall with the judge’s ruling but would look at the decision on signs as the case moves forward.

“What we’re trying to do is get to a peaceful, reasonable resolution,” Hennepin County spokeswoman Carolyn Marinan said. “Nobody wants any conflict here unnecessarily.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (34)
  1. bobby says:

    People are not allowed to sleep outside on the plaza. That is just the way it is. Before the Occupy crowd took over, if a homeless guy was sleeping out there, they would have been forced to leave.
    These aren’t new rules made just for this group, they are everyones rules. This group just wants the rules changed for them. The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
    Your right to free speech is not being violated. Your right to protest is not being infringed on.
    You do have those rights, but they are not all encompassing rights to be able to do whatever you want, anytime you want. You have to follow the rules, just like the rest of us. Period.

    1. Who Died, and Left Bobby In Charge? says:

      The homeless, especially one on one, against the police is hopeless. It’s the officers word against theirs, and the officer always wins, even if he is wrong.
      The constitution doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t afford an attorney.

      1. AntiTeabagger says:

        IF you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. Get the law right before you complain.

        1. Michelle says:

          If you CAN afford an attorney, you have already lost….thousands and thousands of dollars.

    2. This insightful lesson says:

      in Constitutional Law and the Bill of Rights was brought to you by the all-knowing folks at Nary A Clue.

  2. Eventually a bath will have to be taken. says:

    The more radical they get, the less credibility they have.

    I find it rather entertaining to see various news stories across the country, e.g. the reporter asking the protestor what he/she is there for. More often than not the reply is either “I don’t know” or “Things aren’t working so we have to fix them.” Oh? Fix them how? “I don’t know but we need to fix them.”

    Mom and dad’s warm basement is going to start looking awfully good in the next few weeks. Carry on protesters, you’re making real progress there.

    1. Alistair Charleston says:

      Absolutely spot on, these lazy slackers are certainly worthless, and I bet nobody misses them while they’re off patrolling the city parks!

    2. Ha!! says:

      Man, you guys sound just like Archie Bunker. Welcome to the ’60s, comrade!!

    3. Slackers Unite says:

      I heard there was free food.

  3. Goober says:

    Best way to be done with them is just to ignore them. They will tire of not getting any attention and fade away.

    1. Mary T says:

      Dont think so. MORE foreclosers..MORE people losing there jobs…MORE Cops beating up protesters…MORE banks get MORE greeeedy!! =

      MORE protester! , maybe you and I will be out there soon..

  4. Free Country says:

    Typical progressive mindset, rules don’t apply to me, only to you.

    1. AntiTeabagger says:

      Then you can pay my taxes for what it is costing us. How about that. Just bring me the cash please.

  5. ohoh says:

    These bums are costing taxpayers a lot of $$$$$$$$, they have been getting thousands in donations, I say let’s get a lawyer and go after their assets to pay for the clean up and the police costs.

    1. ohno says:

      You won’t do that because you will have to spend even more of your precious $$$$$$$$, and on top of that you will have to give up some of your own freedom.

      1. AntiTeabagger says:

        My money is precious, I work my tail off to provide for my family. So , because you want to be lazy I have to give you a chunk of my bread? Move to another country then!

      2. AntiTeabagger says:

        Meathead!! Bring me another beer!!

        1. ohno says:

          You’ve had enough, sober up, and feed your family first.

  6. Murph says:

    FBI arrests senior citizen terrorists in Georgia! I guess even the old folks have still got some fire in their bellies! How is it that people we elect to Congress can be so stupid as to act and do the things they are doing? The entire country is becoming one big powder keg of anger and most of it is now focused on the do nothing Congress! Declare martial law now and put the sabotuers in the can until they are cured by daily visits from Marcus and other miracle healers!

    1. Votes for sale says:

      Most of it is focused on the do nothing but spend to buy votes congress and the do too much damage and buy votes president.

  7. Kilgore says:

    It will be interesting to see if a strong leader arises from the OWS movement who will bring a clarity to the current amorphous anger that exists. I think many Americans (Democrats, Republicans, etc.) feel that they have little say in their government especially against the likes of multi-nationals or the uber-wealthy. The OWS movement seems to tap into that anger. The OWS movement may fizzle or morph into something else, or we may be watching the birth of a powerful new political group. Time will tell.

    1. Billy Bob says:

      I wonder if this POS said the same of the Tea Party? Full of bs…..

      1. Kevin says:

        WWho the heck are you to call a person ecpressing an opinion a POS. Get a life. Did your mother ever teach you decency

    2. AntiTeabagger says:

      They will die off, they have no leadership, no agenda and no objectives or goals in which to reach for.

      Most of them are of the ME generation crying because their parents handed them everything and now that they actually have to get off their tails and work, they cry and want the so called “rich” to pay for their needs.

      Yeah, my tax dollars are going to pay for extra security and Judges because these idiots are clueless.

      Way to go!

      1. insignificant says:

        huh?…perhaps i missed something,as i thought the protests had something to do with banksters bail-outs after their dirty dealings,and in the meantime their customers are gettin’ foreclosure notices,’cause the job market went south with the housin’ market,eh?…yer sayin’ their all dead-beats ?…’n’ theirs also stories o’ big bro sendin’ in some thugery to make these protests look bad,but on the other end o’ a pigs a$$ ,ya probably get yer dis-info offa ‘cco,eh?

    3. Ha!! says:

      Why those nattering nabobs of negativity!! Spiro Agnew; show us what you can do!!

    4. Pepper spray please! says:

      OWS is Obama’s People! Therefore, they are already part of a political party. They are the same party as Obama. Vote for Obama, get more OWS. Vote for Obama, get more unemployed bums.

  8. Kevin says:

    Aint liberalism grand? Batter up?

  9. Billy Bob says:

    No kidding….I say if you want spoon fed teet lickers down there… should pay for them…I opt of of this liberal casturation winter camp…….maybe the rainbow lovers at cco should go down there and give free back rubs…..

  10. Keep It Up Lads!! says:

    Us OnePercenters are just loving you guys carrying our water for us. Don’t have to worry about slamming those OWS hippies when we have you fellers doing it for us.

    Though some of my buddies are a little worried you’ll figure out some day just how much we keep putting it over on you guys. The rest of us figure you never will quite get it. Ever.

    So thanks again!!

  11. Pepper spray please! says:

    Where’s the pepper spray when you need it?

  12. Kevin says:

    There are a lot of people on this board that give the human race a bad name. Yes there are vagrancy laws that need to be followed, but people have a right to be. There are people making all sorts of assumptions about people they have not met. People want to do violence to others for having an opinion. Get a life, maybe even a soul wouldn’t hurt

    1. Steve McBat says:

      F99k them….batter up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. tellthemno says:

    Dear Judge Kyle: Thank you, thank you, thank you. This Complaint has little or nothing to do with the squatters, it has more to do with the extreme liberal agenda of the elitist attorneys who “represent” the squatters pro bono. I read the Complaint – it’s a total joke. They have a message they want to convey and decide to do so by thumbing their noses at the laws – so they’re told, hey, go ahead and share your message, just not by setting up a homeless shelter in the middle of the govn’t plaza. Waaaaa, scream, fit, tantrum – but that’s how we waaaannnnnt to do it. Spoiled, entitled brats who grew up never hearing “no.” So again – Judge Kyle, Thank you.