Superior Court Extends Temporary Restraining Order to Protect Occupy Boston Camp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org BOSTON — The following statement about today’s hearing in Suffolk Superior Court, in which Judge Frances McIntyre kept in place a temporary restraining order to protect the Occupy Boston camp at Dewey Square until issuing a written decision on or before Dec. 15, may be attributed to Howard Cooper, an attorney from Todd & Weld, who filed the suit as a cooperating attorney with the National Lawyers Guild-Massachusetts Chapter and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. “The Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square is a uniquely expressive response to the problems we face as a society today. At a time when many feel that our government is broken, the protesters have set up a small community to demonstrate how people can associate together in a more democratic, egalitarian and just way. In deciding to go to Court, the protesters have sought protection from interference with their efforts to communicate their message.” The following statement may be attributed to Urszula Masny-Latos, Executive Director of the NLG, Massachusetts Chapter: “If the main issue that the City of Boston has regarding Occupy Boston is ‘safety,’ then the City should work with Occupy and create an acceptable and workable plan for addressing all health and safety-related issues, rather than seeking the ultimate closure of the Dewey Square encampment.” The following statement may be attributed to Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts: “We are pleased that Judge McIntyre has clearly recognized the civil liberties issues at stake and is being thoughtful and deliberative about this important and novel situation in Boston. With the temporary restraining order now in place until the judge issues a written decision on or before Dec. 15, we hope that city officials will agree to work with Occupy Boston to address any health or public safety concerns in a way that allows this historic exercise of freedom of speech, the right to petition, and freedom of assembly to continue.” The ACLU of Massachusetts and National Lawyers Guild-Massachusetts Chapter, through attorney Howard Cooper of Todd & Weld, filed a motion for the temporary restraining order granted last month, seeking to head off the possibility that Occupy demonstrators would be forcibly removed, as they have been in other cities. For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts’ work on behalf of Occupy Boston, go to: http://aclum.org/occupy