Mon November 21, 2011
Lawsuit Filed Over City "Banning" Protesters
Two members of the Occupy Austin protest have filed a lawsuit against the city, after they were banned from returning to City Hall Plaza.
Rudy Sanchez and Kris Sleeman were arrested at City Hall in October and told they could not return.
They filed a lawsuit in federal court this morning, alleging the city's "ban" infringes on their First Amendment rights.
"It's really ironic, in a city that prides itself, supposedly, on its free-speech activities, we end up seeing them ban people from the free speech plaza," said Jim Harrington, one of the attorneys for the protesters filing the suit. "It's just shameful, I think, that this is going on."
The lawsuit asks the court to stop the city from banning people from City Hall Plaza.
A city spokesman says the city has been served with the lawsuit, but had no further comment, citing a policy of not discussing on-going litigation.
However, the city says since October 30th, 81 people have been issued criminal trespass notices and told not to return to City Hall.