Judge: Occupiers can stay, can’t camp

27 Feb

Occupy Boise is using the above poster to protest the bill that evicted their encampment outside the old Ada County courthouse.

A federal judge handed the Idaho Occupy movement a major victory this morning, issuing a ruling that will allow Occupy protesters to stay at the old Ada County Courthouse, as long as they don’t sleep and camp on the state property.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill released the ruling, granting the protesters’ request for a temporary restraining order. He will hold an evidentiary hearing in about a month.

The ruling comes in the face of a bill, signed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter last week, that banned sleeping and camping on state-managed grounds. Many contend that the bill was drafted specifically to rid the city of the Occupy Boise group, which took up city resources and was considered by some to be an eyesore.

But according to Winmill, evicting the tent city is a violation of political expression. The protesters will still have to remove their other “camping” gear, however, no later than March 2.

After today’s decision, the protesters in Boise gathered at the old courthouse, discussing what exactly this ban will mean for their presence. They will have to remove cooking equipment and anything that could be considered camping gear, in addition to posting non-camping, non-sleeping protesters at the site around the clock.

So as long as they play by the rules, Boise won’t be getting rid of the protesters any time soon.

[via IDS]



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