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Occupy Protesters To Challenge Oakland Stay Away Orders

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(Clockwise from left) Adam Weathers, Ahimsa Winthunder, Chloe Watlington, Geoffry Weiss, Jason Ozolins and Joanne Warwick. (Oakland Police Department)

(Clockwise from left) Adam Weathers, Ahimsa Winthunder, Chloe Watlington, Geoffry Weiss, Jason Ozolins and Joanne Warwick. (Oakland Police Department)

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(Editor’s note: This story was revised on March 13.)

OAKLAND (KCBS) – The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday it would file a lawsuit to overturn stay away orders issued against 12 demonstrators charged with crimes allegedly committed during Occupy Oakland protests.

“These are blatantly unconstitutional. There is truly no legal justification for what they are doing,” said attorney Katherine Hallinan, who represents one of the protesters.

Just 12 of the more than 400 people arrested on a variety of misdemeanor and felony charges stemming from a Jan. 28 protest were ordered to stay away from Frank Ogawa Plaza and the Oakland Convention Center as a condition of their release.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

occupy stay away 020312 2 Occupy Protesters To Challenge Oakland Stay Away Orders

(Clockwise from left) Joseph Briones, Joseph Hoover, Mario Casillas, Michael Lubin, Robert Ovetz (Oakland Police Department)

The ACLU contends the stay away orders violate the defendants’ rights to free speech and assembly, and Hallinan was confident the Occupiers would eventually see a favorable verdict.

“It’s only a matter of time before some judge has the strength to overturn them and follow the law,” she said.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office would not comment on the pending ACLU filing. A spokesperson maintains the stay away orders are necessary to maintain public safety.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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