CINCINNATI, Nev., March 12 (UPI) -- The city of Cincinnati dismissed 300 criminal cases against Occupy protesters Monday while the protesters ended a federal lawsuit against the city.
The agreement between the city and Occupy Cincinnati protesters drew praise from local legal experts, civil rights lawyers and Occupy Cincinnati members, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The agreement designates a section of Piatt Park, a small downtown park where Occupy members were cited and arrested last fall, as a 24-hour public space for one year beginning 10 p.m. March 19.
Occupy Cincinnati, formed in the fall, had requested a permit for Piatt Park for continual protest against what it calls corporate greed and economic inequality.
After the Cincinnati Park Board denied the permit, five people filed the federal lawsuit against the city, claiming the park rules violated First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.
"If anything, this case brought to light that our park board rules were not current," said Cincinnati City Solicitor John Curp. "Those rules have been revised [and] ... are now valid and constitutional."
Curp noted the settlement forbids tents and encampments.
Rochester. N.Y., extended the deadline for clearing Occupy Rochester protesters from a downtown park until a court hearing, and Tennessee state troopers removed remaining tents of Occupy Nashville protesters.
Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards had said Sunday was to have been the last day protesters could remain in Washington Square Park, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.
But Occupy Rochester went to court last week to try to stop the eviction, and city officials said they could stay until a March 21 court hearing.
"We're going to wait for our day in court," city spokesman Gary Walker said. "But we're pretty firm in our position that the encampment needs to end and the park needs to be cleaned up."
In Nashville, about 15 Tennessee state troopers removed remaining tents and other Occupy items from Legislative Plaza early Monday.
The troopers made no arrests and issued no citations, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported.
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