Events v. Assemblies

Dear Occupy Bangor,

In a campfire conversation this morning, I asked Logan, “Are there any city rules or ordinances that Occupy Bangor is willing to be governed by?”

She replied, “None that are on the books.”

If you want to drive, you must have a license.  If you want to build a house, you must have a building permit.

If you want canopies and a fire in a public park, you must have a permit.

–But will applying for an event permit diminish our first amendment rights as an assembly?  Would it screw up our attempt to get a TRO?


I say that as a non-lawyer, who cannot give legal advice.  Just as Logan is a non-lawyer who cannot give legal advice.

I also asked an EX-lawyer, who cannot give legal advice.  This guy is now a university professor.  He replied:


Hi Conrad,
I’m left a little confused by your question.

A TRO is something that you apply to a judge for (not really something that you worry about “accepting”, since it’s what you’re asking the judge for).

I don’t know what the legal claim is upon which Occupy Bangor would be seeking the TRO. Is it that the Parks Chapter of the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face? Or that it is being applied to Occupy Bangor in an unconstitutional manner? Or that the Parks Ordinance leaves too much discretion in the hands of Tracy  Willette?

Or would the TRO have anything to do with the (suspended) Parades and Assemblies part of the Ordinance? (unlikely, I thought,since the City has suspended its enforcement, so that you don’t need to TRO to stop its enforcement.) So I’m confused by your question about a TRO being a step toward getting an assembly permit.

Would applying for an Event Permit diminish your rights? If you apply for an event permit, it seems to me that you are admitting that you fall within the ambit of the Parks Chapter of the Ordinance. (It certainly seems to me that you do in fact fall with that definition). I don’t really understand the question about applying for an assembly permit, since I understood that enforcement of that Chapter of the Ordinance has been suspended. Has anyone from the City asked you to apply for a Parade and Assembly permit?

If the Parade and Assembly Chapter were in effect, I think that you might be subject to both the Parades and Assemblies and the Parks Chapters–I don’t see why they would be mutually exclusive.

Again, I hope that this information is helpful to you.


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