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Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

Salt Lake City Overreacts By Shutting Down Occupy SLC Encampment

16 November 2011 Published in Legal Advocacy
 

On Saturday, November 12, Salt Lake City Police joined by Salt Lake County Sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies, forcibly evicted over 100 people from their 38 day encampment at Pioneer Park. The eviction followed the tragic death of a homeless camper in his tent whose body was discovered on Friday, November 11. The ACLU of Utah had been working closely with both Salt Lake City and the Occupy movement to ensure that the 1st Amendment rights of the protestors were protected, and believes that the City had alternative means of addressing its concerns. While recognizing the city's responsibility to respond to health and safety concerns, we were disheartened by the city's unnecessary crackdown onthe Occupiers whose overnight encampment was a fundamental aspect of its expressive message. In a letter to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank, the ACLU of Utah expressed disappointment in the City's actions and requested a meeting to discuss the event and how to allow meaningful avenues for SLC Occupiers to continue their campaign. Last night, the ACLU joined occupiers at the City Council to further express its concerns and its hope that Salt Lake City will once again promote First Amendment activity instead of stifle it.

Read the letter (PDF) to Chief Chris Burbank 11/15/11 >>