Friday, September 12, 2014

Judge sides with Occupy Eugene: ‘1st Amendment does not go to sleep at 5 p.m.’

Published time: September 11, 2014 21:32

Photo by Will Vanlue / flickr.com
Photo by Will Vanlue / flickr.com
A federal judge ruled that the General Services Administration (GSA) wrongly infringed on the First Amendment rights of Occupy Eugene protesters by severely restricting the hours and days they were allowed to demonstrate.
The group, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, sued the GSA for denying a permit so its members could protest in a public plaza in Eugene, Oregon in 2012. The members believed that the reason their application was denied was that the government had targeted Occupy Eugene for its messages concerning financial fairness, homelessness and demands for corporate accountability.
On Wednesday, US District Judge Michael McShane issued a summary judgment in favor of the movement, but denied that they were targeted.
"The First Amendment does not go to sleep at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon and wake up at 8 a.m. on Monday morning,” McShane wrote in his decision“Although GSA may generally use a permitting scheme to oversee access to the Plaza, GSA's permitting process, given the facts present in this action, was not narrowly tailored to serve any significant government interest, and was therefore unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs."