Occupy Tucson gets setback in courtPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Occupy Tucson protesters headed back to court Monday, continuing their fight to stay in a downtown park, even after they've been cited.
After Monday's ruling, the decision could put protesters up against some more serious charges.
It's day 30 of Occupy Tucson and despite more than 500 citations issued, a change in venue and rainy weather, protesters say they're not giving up.
"The message is growing and the support is growing," said protester Dave Croteau.
But occupiers got a setback in court Monday.
A judge ordered protesters not to return to the same park, if they've already been cited there twice.
Occupiers who violate the order could face misdemeanor charges.
"I will likely continue getting tickets and face the additional charge because it's illegal and immoral," said protester Jonah Clarke.
Jonah Clarke is one of about 100 protesters now being represented by a defense lawyer. He says the judge's order violates his first amendment rights.
"The first amendment decision hasnt been made yet and so he's putting a second charge on something that may not be a crime," Clarke said.
"The city's park regulations are on the books for a reason, they're to protect the parks, make sure that they're available to all the public," said city attorney Mike Rankin.
In the meantime, occupiers are trying to come up with a game plan. Jonah Clarke says they may decide to move from park to park, to avoid charges. Which, he says, could actually help the movement.
"I personally think we should practice being a mobile organization and that we should be able to relocate whenever we want to, to target specific other entities," Clarke said.
Whatever protesters decide to do, there's no question the movement has impacted tucson.
City attorney Mike Rankin says the protest so far has cost the city up to five figures, if not six.