A Superior Court judge has upheld the city of Portland's decision to deny Occupy Maine a permit to stay in Lincoln Park. Occupy Maine in December filed the lawsuit against the city after councilors rejected the group's application for a permit to camp overnight in the park.
The city today plans to issue a notice to vacate Lincoln Park to the demonstrators, who are part of an international movement for socioeconomic fairness, giving them two days to comply, according to a press release from the city. Use of the public park is restricted to the hours of 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m., and a permit is required for events lasting more than three days. Occupy Maine members have been camped there since October and were seeking a permit to remain for another 179 days, arguing a constitutional right to free speech and assembly. Judge Thomas Warren ruled that not allowing overnight camping does not impinge on First Amendment rights, according to the Portland Press Herald.
An attorney for the group said members had not made a decision about their response to the ruling, the paper reported.