Occupy Cleveland protesters can march around the clock in the city’s Public Square, a federal judge said Wednesday. Lawyers for the group were granted an injunction to stop Cleveland police from interfering with protests after the city parks’ 10 p.m. curfew, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Eleven protesters were arrested last Friday for violating the curfew. The city and lawyers for Occupy Cleveland met with U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster, who ordered the city to issue a permit until the end of next month, which exempts the protesters from the curfew law.
Marchers will be allowed to demonstrate on the square but not camp there. Polster's order won't affect the 11 pending criminal cases, but Terry Gilbert, an attorney representing one of the protesters, said city officials should in “good faith” dismiss the curfew cases.
Occupy Cleveland lawyer J. Michael Murray, said the agreement was a victory for free speech rights.
“This will enable them to exercise all their constitutional rights without fear of being prosecuted,” he said.
Ken Silliman, chief of staff to Mayor Frank Jackson, said the city reached the agreement to make the lawsuit go away, but didn’t lose much by saying the protesters could stay.
“The city's 10 p.m. law remains in effect,” he said. “The city retains just as much authority to enforce our camping prohibition.”
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