Judge Says New Haven May Remove Occupy Protestors
Federal court Judge Mark Kravitz has denied a motion by Occupy New Haven protestors seeking an injunction barring their removal from the New Haven Green.
The judge says the City of New Haven will be allowed to begin enforcing its rules governing use of the Green as of noon Tuesday.
In a 26-page ruling, Judge Kravitz finds that the demonstration does fall under the First Amendment, and that the Green is a public forum, but also finds that of rules governing use of the Green have been enforced in a neutral fashion.
The judge writes that that the Occupy protestors are not in compliance with those rules, so the City may order them to remove the encampment.
He says while the protestors have indicated they will appeal to extend the temporary restraining order, the City’s interest in protecting the green and its trees, and the public’s interest in maintaining the normal permit process for safe and shared use of public space outweighs the protestors’ right to stay, since they are not being ordered to stop protesting, only being required to move their protest.
As of Monday afternoon, a lawyer for the demonstrators, Norm Pattis, said he did not yet know if the demonstrators he represented wanted to appeal to the second circuit court of appeals, or if they were tired of pursuing the case through the legal process.
In a written statement, Mayor John DeStefano said “the New Haven Green will once again be a place for all and not serve as a private residence for a few.”