Four dozen Occupy Sacramento defendants charged with misdemeanor curfew violations pleaded not guilty today and had future court dates set for them by Sacramento Superior Court judges, officials said.
The protesters who had been arrested in late-night demonstrations at Cesar Chavez Plaza over the past month claim that the city's curfew codes violate their First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. The park demonstrations have been part of a national movement against income disparities and other issues.
Today's arraignments followed a meeting Wednesday afternoon between the City Attorney's Office and defense lawyers who are representing some of the Occupy Sacramento protesters.
"We are hopeful that we can talk to the city and have a resolution that recognizes and respects our clients' constitutional rights to free speech...in some way where there is recognition of the city's position as well," Occupy Sacramento defense attorney Linda Parisi said.