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GLN IN THE PRESS

Judge Rules For City In Anti-War Protester Case

Bernie Tafoya Reporting - LINK

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780) -- Anti-war protesters lost and the city won a round in court today in its attempt to make its disorderly conduct law stand-up.

Anti-war protester Andy Thayer was arrested nearly a year ago for refusing a Chicago police officer’s order to leave the corner of Oak and Michigan while trying to talk to reporters. He is alleged to have been using a bullhorn and not dispersing when Chicago police ordered him to. Thayer and co-defendant Brad Lyttle challenged the legality of the city's disorderly conduct law.

Today, Judge Mark Ballard ruled the city’s law is constitutional but Thayer believes higher court rulings will back him up on appeal. Judge Ballard cited a number of previous decisions to back up his own ruling, including at least one decision regarding a disorderly conduct arrest of a bystander during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

This year, anti-war protesters have received a permit to march down Michigan Avenue for the 3rd anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. The march takes place March 18th.

Thayer and Lyttle next appear in court March 24th. If they haven't filed an appeal of today's ruling, Judge Ballard will set a date for trial.

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