Occupy Tucson files federal lawsuit against city

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Since October 15, members of Occupy Tucson have been receiving citations from the Tucson Police Department.

This week Occupy Tucson took its fight with the City of Tucson to a new level, the federal level.

The Occupy Tucson group has received more than 450 citations since the movement began almost a month ago.

"We had to do something.  We're kind of following the lead of Cincinnati and Occupy L.A., as many tickets as we have gotten so far over 400 we had we had to do something to get it to stop," said Occupy Tucson organizer Jon McLane.

Occupy Tucson filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Tucson on monday morning.

Paul Gattone is the attorney for some of the occupiers.

"The lawsuit was going to be necessary especially after last Thursday night with what happened over at Armory Park," Gattone said.

Gattone says, the ideal goal of the suit is to stop the citations that his clients are receiving now at Veinte de Agosto Park.

"We were hoping to get a temporary restraining order to stop the citations, stop any effort to push them off Veinte de Agosto Park," Gattone said.  "We're hoping that the court will agree with us and permanently enjoin them from doing that."

The City of Tucson released a statement:

The codes we are enforcing comply with constitutional requirements and are enforceable.  We will respond to the lawsuit and seek its dismissal.

There were plans to dismiss the occupiers from Veninte de Agosto Park because of the veterans parade on Friday.

However, the parade's path doesn't go by the park.  Gattone says it's another case of the city attempting to get rid of his clients.

"They're looking for any reason they can to try to move the movement out of downtown Tucson.  I think for the powers that be its embarrassing that they are there," Gattone said.

The occupiers say they plan to stay at the park and continue the peaceful resistance movement.

Now for some of the occupiers that have received citations.   They have a pre-trial court date for November 17.