ACLU challenges N.J. on confiscating protesters’ gear

There was no decision Wednesday from a judge in Trenton on a legal challenge to New Jersey’s actions against Wall Street protesters at a park across the street from the Statehouse.

The state violated the rights of the group known as Occupy Trenton by taking their tables, chairs, tarps and other equipment from the site of the World War II Memorial, said Bennet Zurofsky, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing the protesters.

“Before the state can take anybody’s personal property they have to have either probable cause or some exception to the search and seizure ban. Here there is no due process,” Zurofsky said. “They’re just making up rules and then they’re taking the property.”

Assistant Attorney General Robert Lougy said the state’s response was reasonable and was aimed at maintaining the park’s integrity and accessibility. He said the demonstrators have the freedom of expression but not the right to camp out in the park.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.