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December 7, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Judge rules police can't bar protesters from capitol campus

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Washington State Patrol cannot bar trespassing protesters from the state Capitol campus, as the police force has been for the past couple of weeks.

The state patrol was using the “trespassing admonishment” to clear out protesters without arresting them, said State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins. Now that a temporary restraining order is in place, he said, the patrol will arrest any protesters who have to be forcibly removed from state buildings or property.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been in Olympia since Nov. 28 to protest state budget cuts. Since then, the patrol has kicked about three dozen off campus for 30 days, Calkins said. About 16 have been arrested, many for violating the order to stay off the Capitol, he said.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Jan. 5.

Comments | More in Government | Topics: occupy, State Legislature

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