OccupyMaine charts its future

By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  September 26, 2012

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11/30 The Portland Occupation officially requests that the city council designate "a permanent 24/7 speech, assembly and community building zone" in about half of Lincoln Park. Jeff Inglis reported: "The decision to ask the city for formal approval was hotly debated on Sunday, with many speakers saying the First Amendment is the only permission they need to camp; others, whose position held sway, wanted to keep a good relationship with city officials, add a legal framework that could help the Occupiers to keep order on public land (at present they have no grounds to ask anyone to leave), and address the city's safety concerns about the encampment, which a court might find override the protesters' free-speech rights."

12/7 City council denies that request.

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12/19 OccupyMaine files suit against the city of Portland, arguing that the federal and state constitutions give protesters the right to stay in the park. "All of these tent-like structures were intended to symbolize and otherwise draw attention to the basic needs of citizens struggling to make ends meet, and to model for the general public community-based methods of addressing those needs," the lawsuit read.

1/7 The city responds, saying the occupation was conditional upon the maintenance of health and safety standards — which it claimed had not been met.

2/1 Superior Court justice Thomas Warren rules against OccupyMaine, saying the encampment is protected speech but the health and safety concerns overwhelm the free-speech rights.

2/6 An OccupyMaine activist burns an American flag in Lincoln Park, calling it "a symbol that no longer serves its purpose."

2/11 OccupyMaine cleans and leaves Lincoln Park.

LATE FEB OccupyMaine TV goes live on community television and occupymetv.org.

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6/22-24 OccupyMaine Summer Camp, complete with potluck meals, workshops, and nightly General Assemblies, takes place in Kennebunkport.

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