Occupy San Diego Files Injunction Claiming SDPD Violated Rights; Former City Attorney Agrees

by on November 16, 2011 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, San Diego

Press Release from Occupy San Diego

Today, November 16, 2011, free speech attorneys, LGBT rights group Canvass for a Cause, and members of the National Lawyers Guild representing Occupy San Diego protesters filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego and the San Diego Police Department in Federal Court seeking the court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the city and the SDPD.

“The SDPD are currently arbitrarily telling people who walk through the Civic Center that if they set down anything—their purse, their bag, a chair, or in one case even a tomato plant—, they will be arrested,” said Bryan Pease, a free speech attorney in San Diego. “The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech and the right to peacefully assemble—municipal code section 54.010 and how it is being enforced by the SDPD is unconstitutional.”

Attorneys are hopeful of their eventual success, “Even if the court does not grant the TRO because they want to allow the city time to prep their arguments, this is a text book case of unconstitutional enforcement of a municipal code and I believe we will be successful at the preliminary injunction hearing,” said Pease.

To help Occupy San Diego’s case, former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre spoke in front of City Council publicly calling out the municipal code: “The provision being used by the SDPD to thwart public assembly was not intended to be so used and abridges the right of those involved to peacefully assemble. There are First Amendment rights being violated and legal research will bear it out.”

Similar lawsuits are being filed all across the country. “This movement has become the impetus for a dynamic, constructive change forward and we are here to ensure that the rights of the occupiers are preserved and asserted. With the coordinated nationwide crackdown on Occupiers everywhere, many of the Occupations are seeking legal help from the National Lawyers Guild and other civil rights attorneys including at Occupy Wall Street ” said Hasmik Geghamyan, the San Diego Chapter Coordinator of the National Lawyers Guild, “Because there are local NLG chapters all across the county, at every Occupation, it is easy to share information, keep updated, and provide moral support for each other—what we’ve found is that a legal remedy in these situations is often the most effective.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

mike turco November 17, 2011 at 3:33 am

uniforms and guns are what define america. homeland security has 200000 employes. add to that an endless list of badges and guns. its going to be a hell if a ride.


Joe Hill November 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

“…a legal remedy in these situations is often the most effective.” “Often”?, well perhaps it would have been better to use the word “sometimes”. The courts and the entire legal system are highly contradictory arenas when it comes to conflicting “rights”. When fundamental human rights, like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are in conflict with the “right” of the ruling elites to continue to buy off, buy up, corrupt and rig they system to funnel wealth away from most people and into their own swollen pockets, the courts cannot be a RELIABLE remedy for justice. Of course, it makes sense to try. It makes sense for the movement for democracy to use all tools at our disposal.

But we also need to keep in mind the lines in the declaration of independence about the right of the people to alter or to “abolish” any government which does not meet our needs. The American Revolution was not “nonviolent.” The “Arab Spring” has emphasized peaceful protests and appeals for nonviolent redress of grievances. But the movement there has responded to violent police and military repression by FIGHTING BACK.

Just as it is true that the global corporations (including banks) are not “persons” (except in the warped legal minds of corrupt judges and politicians), it is also true that the corporations have no morals, no heart, no conscience. The movement is right to do everything we can to keep it peaceful and to minimize injury to anyone. The movement would be wrong to not practice self-defense.

An Injury to One, Is an Injury to All!


Hooligan. November 21, 2011 at 12:44 am

Many thanks to the National Lawyers Guild, Canvass for a Cause, Activist San Diego and all the Unions and others, (especially the OB Rag Blog) that have given all of us at Occupy San Diego so very much support. You”re amazing!! Thank you!


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