A Georgia man has filed suit against the Department of the Interior in the District’s federal court, seeking a temporary restraining order against the Park Police’s ability to enforce its camping ban in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza.
The suit filed Monday by Dane C. Primerano claims that enforcing the ban “will be a de facto prohibition upon the relevant assembly” and says “the term ‘camping’ is defined over-broadly.” His reasoning includes the argument that camping “encompasses activity that is unavoidable for destitute participants in a long-term political assembly, while … implicitly and wrongly suggesting that the behavior is somehow trivial, frivolous or optional.”
Destitution, Primerano’s suit alleges, is “the plaintiff’s state in fact.” Primerano said in court papers that he is unemployed and has $225 in a bank account. “We do not condition our sovereign citizens’ fundamental First Amendment rights on a capacity to pay market hotel rates,” the suit says.
In December, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled that the National Park Service must give protesters in McPherson Square some notice if it moves to evict them, except for in emergency situations, according to a lawyer for an Occupy D.C. protester.
This new case has been deemed related to that one, and Boasberg will address both at a hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.
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