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Judge expected to rule today on permit for Occupy Augusta encampment

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Occupy Maine members gather in Capitol Park on a damp and chilly morning across from the State House, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, in Augusta. About 20-30 people have been camping in the state-owned park.
The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — By 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, a federal judge had not issued a decision whether to grant a temporary restraining order barring Maine police from requiring a permit for Occupy Augusta activists to remain at their encampment in a park near the State House.

The decision most likely will be issued on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen said earlier this week that she expected to issue her ruling on Wednesday. At issue is a request by Occupy Augusta activists to issue an order barring the Capitol Police from requiring a permit for the activists’ “tent city” in Capitol Park.

Activists, who asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order, say they have a constitutional freedom of speech rights to maintain a presence in the park, where they’ve been since Oct. 15.

But the state says issues including public safety justify the permit requirement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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