Judge Says Occupy Murfreesboro Protesters Can Be Prosecuted

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — A municipal judge has cleared the way for prosecutors to proceed with a case against Occupy Murfreesboro protesters.
Murfreesboro City Court Judge Ewing Sellers on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss citations, based on protesters’ contention that the law violated First Amendment rights.
Occupy Murfreesboro attorneys Will York and Joan Hill argued the ordinance was overly broad and infringed upon the group’s right to speak freely and assembly peaceably, according to The Daily News Journal (http://on.dnj.com/yVxP8h).
The city’s lawyer, Adam Tucker, argued city government had a compelling interest in maintaining order on Civic Plaza.
Sellers said his ruling was guided by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that camping in a public park was not protected symbolic expression to raise awareness about homelessness.
Attorneys said they would explore a settlement.

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