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Eye On Boise

ACLU: State police had secret plan for ‘Operation De-Occupy Boise’

The Idaho ACLU says its ongoing lawsuit over the state's attempts to outlaw the “Occupy Boise” protest vigil from state property across from the state Capitol has turned up a multi-agency law enforcement plan dubbed “Operation De-Occupy Boise.” The group says the plan called for “arrests and detention of protesters, despite that the new state anti-camping statute only authorizes ticketing violators, not arrest.”

The state, in legal arguments filed with the federal court, argued against releasing the documents through the discovery process, saying they were subject to a law enforcement privilege, as they “reflect planned operations that the Idaho State Police developed to implement 2012 Idaho laws.” The state's attorneys wrote, “The anticipated implementation action was scheduled to occur shortly after … (the law) became effective on Feb. 21, 2012, but did not take place as a result of this Court's order that granted in part … (the Occupy group's) emergency motion for a temporary restraining order.” They argued that release of the plans could identify individuals involved and the state's methods for conducting “potentially complex enforcement actions.” The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill, ruled that redacted versions of the documents should be provided.

In a statement, the ACLU also charges that the state missed legal deadlines in its attempts to clamp down on gatherings or protests near the Statehouse through rule changes; you can read the ACLU's full statement here. The Occupy Boise group, marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, re-established its Boise encampment yesterday.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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