Protesters Cleared in Free Speech Debate

EUGENE, Ore. — Activists are reacting to a ruling in their favor — a judge threw out trespassing citations Thursday that were issued to 21 protesters this year.

The protesters were cited by Lane County during an event in January being held at Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in downtown Eugene.

The judge ruled the county’s actions violated the protesters free speech rights.

For the second time in a week a judge ruled the county’s actions against protesters violated state and federal constitutions.

Activists say they feel vindicated.

“For it to actually rule on the constitutionality was rather shocking but at the same time pleasant,” said Dale Hardway, activist.

Just last week the same judge dismissed a trespassing charge against a protester who stayed in the plaza after the county said it was closed for cleaning.

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