2011-12-02 / Maine

Portland panel nixes park permit for Occupy


JOHN SCHREIBER holds a sign supporting OccupyMaine on Thursday afternoon in Monument Square. 
SETH KOENIG / BANGOR DAILY NEWS JOHN SCHREIBER holds a sign supporting OccupyMaine on Thursday afternoon in Monument Square. SETH KOENIG / BANGOR DAILY NEWS PORTLAND (AP) — Portland’s Public Safety Committee has unanimously recommended that the City Council reject OccupyMaine’s request for a permit to remain camped in a city park.

The 3-0 vote came Thursday night after a five-hour meeting that included more than two hours of public testimony.

The council will vote on the permit at a special meeting Wednesday.

John Branson, a lawyer for the protesters, says he intends to submit an amended permit application to the council. He maintains that the encampment is an expression of free speech and constitutionally protected.

City officials have raised safety and health concerns over the encampment in Lincoln Park.

One member of the committee called the encampment a “public safety disaster.”

Police say there have been 16 arrests at the park connected to the protest.

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