Federal ruling may allow Occupy Boston protesters to remain

October 14, 2011 in Occupy Boston, Occupy Wall Street

BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – The rain didn’t stop several unions from coming out to support Occupy Boston protesters. There are more questions – and finally some answers – on why the group is being allowed to camp out on the Greenway without a permit.

Occupy Boston protesters receive donations like tarps and tents to stay dry. They have raised more than $11,000 online. Some told FOX 25 they plan on sticking it out through the winter. Boston Mayor Tom Mayor has not put a timeline on them and says they do not need a permit.

FOX 25 went digging and found one reason the group may not have to get a permit, may stem from a federal lawsuit.

Back in 1994, the city denied a white Supremist organization a permit to conduct an anti-gay parade in Southie. Four years later, a federal judge ruled the denial was a violation of the group’s freedom of expression rights. He also declared the city’s ordinance on parade permits unconstitutional.

City Councilor Michael Ross says the potential cost of lawsuits could outweigh the cost of police details – which raises another issue: more police are working overtime because of the demonstration, and that means you’re paying for some it.

Mayor Menino was unavailable for comment