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Occupy Sacramento lawyers to file federal civil rights lawsuit
by Dan Bacher
Monday Oct 31st, 2011 6:27 PM
79 people have been arrested for asserting their First Amendment rights at Cesar Chavez Park since Oct. 6 when Occupy Sacramento began.

Renowned civil liberties lawyer Mark Merin speaks at an Occupy Sacramento news conference on Monday, October 24.

Occupy Sacramento lawyers to file federal civil rights lawsuit

by Dan Bacher

Volunteer lawyers announced late Monday they will file a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Sacramento in federal court Tuesday on behalf of those arrested at Occupy Sacramento – and will ask for a temporary restraining to stop arrests at the Cesar Chavez Park demonstration.

"Similar federal lawsuits in other U.S. cities have resulted in an end to arrests," according to Cres Vellucci, Occupy Sacramento spokesman.

79 people have been arrested for asserting their First Amendment rights at Cesar Chavez Park since Oct. 6 when Occupy Sacramento began. So far about half of those have gone to court on misdemeanor charges (6 months in jail, $1,000 fine).

"When the District Attorney refused to file charges last week claiming no laws were broken, the City of Sacramento took over the prosecution," said Vellucci.

All were either defended by more than a dozen volunteer lawyers or the Public Defender office.

Details of the litigation will be released at a major press conference TUESDAY, 2 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse (5th & I Streets). Lawyers and plaintiffs will be available for comment.

Four more Occupy Sacramento protestors arrested for asserting their First Amendment rights at Cesar Chavez Park went to court today. Two of them are veterans, who made a statement about the horrendous injury to ex-Marine Scott Olsen at the hands of police in a raid at the Occupy Oakland site last week. Those arraigned were Daniel Garza (Iraq Vet), Gabriela DeOliveira, Sean Thompson and Kathryn Coke.

Vellucci also announced that Occupy Sacramento has filed a public records request to discover the true costs of the City of Sacramento's suppression of First Amendment rights.

"The costs should be much more than than in Phoenix Arizona, where the city spent over $200,000," said Vellucci. "We have 18-45 vehicles and 40-80 officers at protests at curfew at Cesar Chavez Park."

"We've also asked for all correspondence between police, city staff, mayor and city council about Occupy Sacramento. They have 10 days to respond (from last week)," noted Vellucci.

Activists at Occupy Sacramento have used increasingly creative actions to dramatize their protests of Wall Street control of US politics. Occupy Sacramento hosted two "Zombie Walks" on Saturday, October 29, two days before Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/10/30/18696099.php).

Shouting, "What Do We Want? Brains!," "Where do we want them? City Council!," over 200 "zombies" from Occupy Sacramento marched from the park through the streets of downtown Sacramento on the afternoon of Saturday, October 29.

For more information about Occupy Sacramento, call Cres Vellucci, 916-996-9170, or contact: http://www.facebook.com/OccupySacramento, http://www.occupysac.com, Twitter@OccupySacto

See OccupySacramento LIVE now at: http://www.livestream.com/occupysacto or http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dummey