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Judge throws out Occupy Chicago arrests

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2011 file photo, a protester gets arrested during an Occupy Chicago march and protest in Grant Park in Chicago. A Cook County judge on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, ruled that arrests of more than 90 Occupy Chicago protesters in October 2011 were unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County judge has ruled the arrests of more than 90 Occupy Chicago protesters last October were unconstitutional.

The arrests came after hundreds of members of Occupy Chicago refused to take down tents and leave Grant Park when it closed at 11 p.m. But Associate Judge Thomas Donnelly tossed out the arrests Thursday, ruling the city often chooses not to enforce the curfew for events it supports.

Attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild who represent the protesters said the ruling "sends a clear message" that the city must respect First Amendment rights.

City Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew says the city is disappointed in the ruling and will file an appeal.

The protesters were an off-shoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement and were demonstrating against corporate greed.


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