Class Action Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court on Behalf of Occupy Seattle Protesters

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URL: www.occupyseattle.org

Class Action Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court on Behalf of Occupy Seattle Protesters

December 6, 2011.

Attorneys from the Seattle law firm Keller/Rohrback have agreed to represent protesters who have been banned from state property by the Washington State Patrol during demonstrations at the state capitol building in Olympia, Washington.

The case has been filed with the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA (CASE NO. C11-5994RJB).

United States District Judge ROBERT J. BRYAN ordered the first hearing to convene at 11:30 AM Dec. 5th at the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma.

The attorneys are asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to stop the WSP’s practice of banning protesters who have not been charged with any crime.

The Occupy Seattle legal team has stated that these actions by the WSP violate the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as guaranteed by the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Protesters who have been detained by police are being warned that they are prohibited from entering the state capitol campus grounds and nearby parks which are owned by the State of Washington.

Protesters who have subsequently challenged the WSP ban by attending the demonstrations have been arrested at the state capitol and charged with criminal trespass. They have been prohibited from visiting the capitol campus for one year.

Journalist Mark Taylor-Canfield is the lead plaintiff in the case. He was detained by Washington State Patrol officers on Nov. 28th and banned from the capitol campus for 30 days. Taylor-Canfield and his lawyers maintain that the WSP ban also violates the constitution’s guarantee to freedom of the press because his is being barred from covering the protests as a journalist. Since he can’t attend the demonstrations at the state capitol without facing arrest, he is being prohibited from serving as a witness, conducting interviews with protesters, or doing live reports from the scene.

The plaintiff also maintains that the “no trespass” orders are being given to persons without due process of law. Therefore, the lawsuit claims that both the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendments have been violated by the Washington State Patrol in these cases.

5 Responses to Class Action Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court on Behalf of Occupy Seattle Protesters

  • John Ellis says:

    The fact that we must go to court to claim our freedom under the Constitution, proves for an absolute that we have neither freedom nor a Constitution.

    For it is not a people Constitution that we have, put a property Constitution that guarantees freedom only to property and to those who own property.

  • REPUBLIC says:

    I will not make any comments about John Ellis flactuates, but I will ask this question.

    Did OS have a valid permit to protest at the steps of the Capitol?

    If so, then OS has the right to sue the State for violating the rights of OS.
    I personally do not condone people’s rights being violated. If anyone wants support I will attend the lawsuit in court.

  • candyman says:

    Mr Ellis seems to be the online version of the wino muttering to himself on the corner. Sometimes he has interesting things to say but they’re hard to find hidden away in the surrounding off-topic or completely incoherent rambling.

    • John Ellis says:

      So the new paid actors come, the old paid actors go, and if they be but one poster that never changes, who would ever know?

  • John Ellis says:

    But, if life is a free gift from nature that no man has a right to, that no man has an any excuse for thinking its something he deserves, then should not the correct statement be,

    “WSP violated natural law guaranteeing freedom of speech”

    For we are the most conceited, arrogant, bigoted, “exceptional” and baby bombing society of ingrates the world has ever known — all because of a fake morality and state religion called “Creator… unalienable rights.”

    For the moment we can convince America that this day of life is more then any man deserves, from that point on we would see a society where everyone had a firm grasp of the reality that everything we own belongs to those who have less then us, where everyone felt terribly guilty if ever they missed an opportunity to give all they could give. What true “pursuit of happiness” is all about.