In a major embarrassment for the Chicago mayor’s office, all the charges against Occupy Chicago were dropped a few minutes ago. The opinion has not been released yet, but it reportedly upholds the fundamental first amendment right to free speech and assembly as trumping the Chicago Park District ordinances about closing hours. I attended the hearing on Chicago Occupy last spring, and the judge seemed to dismiss the constitutional arguments as nothing but “interesting theories.” Meanwhile, the Occupy Chicago protestors who had been arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted, and compelled to post bail were prohibited from travelling outside the state of Illinois while their case was pending.
Critical Inquiry will be hosting further comments on this development as the opinion becomes available. WJTM