Occupy Dallas goes to court to maintain camp

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 2:40 PM

Occupy Dallas campsite

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DALLAS — For six days, Occupy Dallas protesters have established a strong presence in Pioneer Plaza downtown.

They remained late Wednesday afternoon, even though the group missed a deadline to show proof of required liability insurance.

Occupy Dallas participants and their attorney spent much of the day at the Federal Courthouse filing paperwork aimed at protecting their First Amendment rights.

"We feel that we're exercising our first amendment protection and seeking redress from the court to make sure that we can continue that First Amendment speech," said Occupy Dallas spokesman Glynn Wilcox.

Dallas City Council member Dwayne Caraway stopped by the campsite on Wednesday afternoon. He advised the protesters to get the $1 million liability insurance policy required under a special permit issued Monday by the city.

The permit gave the protesters permission to remain at Pioneer Plaza until 5 p.m. Friday as long as the insurance was in place.

A lawyer for the protesters said Tuesday that no insurance company could be found that would write such a policy.

Caraway said it's all about protecting the city and taxpayers from potential damages. "Nothing has happened because it's been given time to try to work things through," he said. "If they fail to get it worked through, or show effort toward trying to work it through, then the city has a right to go in and protect the property."

It's still unclear when the city might take action against the Occupy Dallas encampment. A judge is expected to take a look at the case on Friday morning.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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