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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace : Protest Activity

Chicago Peace Activists Win Key Legal Victory Over 2003 Protest

The people united… Efforts and struggles continue in court over the legendary 2003 Chicago peace protest on Lake Shore Drive and the subsequent repressive police response. On March 10, activists and National Lawyers Guild attorneys won another key victory when a Chicago federal judge rejected a class action request in a City of Chicago countersuit against hundreds of peace activists.

Quoting a newswire post: "In response to a class action suit brought by hundreds of anti-war protesters who were illegally arrested that night, the City of Chicago took the unusual step of counter-suing against the demonstrators."

An attempt to have the counterclaim dismissed was itself dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall dismissed the class action request in the countersuit. The city claimed that activists were "liable for the expenses incurred by the city in responding to such alleged legal violations as failing to obtain a permit for the march, obstructing traffic and jaywalking.".

This setback marks the latest in a series of legal setbacks by the city and the police efforts in the wake of the 2003 protests. All charges against protesters were dismissed, and a lawsuit against the city by some 500 peace protesters itself won class-action status. Read more

Additional Resources: Chicago Free Speech Zone Coverage | National Lawyers Guild - Chicago chapter | The Emmy nominated film: "Where We Stood - Chicago's Resistance Against The War In Iraq", 2, 3


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