Cleveland Leader reports: Last Friday night, members of the group Occupy Cleveland, which have been demonstrating on Public Square in downtown Cleveland since early October, were told that they must vacate the premises as the permit they had been granted by the city expired at 10pm. Without a permit, city law prohibits camping out between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Several arrests were made, all while the demonstrators peacefully explained that they were expressing their 1st amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. On Wednesday, the group scored huge victory when a federal judge issued an injunction that would allow them to occupy the Tom Johnson quadrant of Public Square at all hours of the day for an indefinite period of time.
The success of the Occupy Cleveland participants in establishing their right to freely assemble and speak may serve as an example for groups facing similar situations in cities across the United States that are also participating in the global Occupy Wall Street movement. Oakland, Cincinnati, and Atlanta, to name a few, may be especially interested in this lawsuit and the subsequent agreement as their “occupations” of public areas were also raided and broken up by police, essentially halting their freedom of speech and assembly.