Hundreds of protesters from Thomas Merton Center marched toward David L. Lawrence Convention Center as President Barack Obama and other world leaders were wrapping up their talks on Friday, Sept. 25, the final day of the G-20 summit. City officials issued the permit for that march only after a federal judge ordered them to do it.
"What you had here was the city playing games with permits," ACLU legal director Witold "Vic" Walczak said Friday.
Walczak negotiated with city attorneys for three weeks to get permits for the march and for another demonstration at Point State Park. In the end, he filed a lawsuit and won.
"If they had just issued the permit before we filed the lawsuit, there would be no attorneys fees. There would have been no lawsuit," Walczak said. "But the fact that they played games with people's constitutional rights -- they forced us to go to court, we got a good result, we are entitled to have our fees paid."
While the city would not cover attorneys fees that were sought in Friday's motion, it paid $3 million for an insurance policy that will fund most of the judgments and settlements that may be coming in other lawsuits.
"There's likely to be lawsuits over the arrests in Oakland on (Sept. 24 and 25). Those have not yet been filed," Walczak said. "And there may be litigation over the use of the LRAD -- the sonic cannon. We're not done filing lawsuits over the city's treatment of people during the G-20."
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office has not returned Team 4's calls for comment on this story.
City Solicitor Dan Regan told Team 4 that he had no comment and has not yet seen the ACLU's court filing.
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