City of Wilmington Sued Again

New Update: The ACLU of Delaware successfully negotiated an agreement between The City of Wilmington and Occupy Delaware. Under those terms, Occupy Delaware agreed to remove all belongings and vacate Spencer Plaza by September 10, 2012.

The activists decamped by late July and are no longer occupying Peter Spencer Plaza. The group continues its protest in other forms.

The ACLU of Delaware is committed to the protection of the freedom of speech in Delaware and thanks all of our supporters for their commitment as well.

ACLU of Delaware has submitted a complaint against the City of Wilmington to Chancery Court on behalf of Occupy Delaware and asked the Court to reopen the lawsuit brought against the city last November.

ACLU-DE also asked the court for an injunction preventing any action to exclude Occupy Delaware protesters from Peter Spencer Plaza.

The new complaint says that the City of Wilmington violated the written agreement it made with Occupy Delaware on November 10, 2011 when they directed them to leave the plaza on April 23rd.

The city’s actions also violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Delaware Constitution.

The law suit was filed because the city threatened to evict Occupy Delaware protestors from the plaza, refused to withdraw the threat of eviction, and rejected out of hand the compromise Occupy Delaware proposed to allay some of the city’s concerns.

The City of Wilmington made an agreement with Occupy Delaware protestors in November to allow access to Peter Spencer Plaza for as long as they wish to use it. They cannot now renege on that agreement,” said Kathleen MacRae, ACLU-DE executive director.

In a news release on April 23, 2012, Mayor James M. Baker made a number of assertions and statements that the ACLU believes to be factually incorrect. Occupy Delaware is in Spencer Plaza with the city’s permission and blessing—they have not seized public property.

 It is clear that there is no compelling basis for the city’s dismantling of the peaceful protest in Peter Spencer Plaza. The city made an agreement and has a constitutional obligation to allow Occupy Delaware continued use of the plaza,” MacRae continued.

The ACLU of Delaware has attempted to negotiate with the city to allow Occupy Delaware continued use of Spencer Plaza but we have not been able to reach an agreement. We are compelled to sue the city once again to protect the free speech rights of the Occupy protesters.

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