Huffpost Chicago

Occupy Chicago Grant Park Arrests Tossed: Are We Free To Assemble? (VIDEO)

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In this Oct. 23, 2011 file photo, a protester is photographed by Chicago police after his arrest at an Occupy Chicago march and protest in Grant Park. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
In this Oct. 23, 2011 file photo, a protester is photographed by Chicago police after his arrest at an Occupy Chicago march and protest in Grant Park. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

A Cook County judge moved last week to dismiss the mass arrests of 92 Occupy protesters who demonstrated in Chicago's Grant Park last October.

In his ruling, Associate Judge Thomas Donnelly called the arrests -- made on the grounds of violating the park's 11 p.m. curfew -- unconstitutional because no arrests have been made at other events previously held in the park that went late, namely President Obama's 2008 election night rally, the Chicago Tribune reports.

News of the judge's verdict was met with skepticism by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who predicted that higher courts will reverse the decision upon considering the city's appeal.

Still, Judge Donnelly's action -- which, the Associated Press reports, also ruled the park's 11 p.m.-to-6 a.m. closing as violating the constitutional right to free assembly -- has raised some questions at the heart of the future of the Occupy movement.

On Wednesday, HuffPost Live welcomed a panel, hosted by Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, that weighed in on what Occupy protesters have learned from the movement and whether unwarranted arrests in future protests will continue despite the court action in Chicago. Among the participants were Salon.com reporter Natasha Lennard, occupiers John Knefel and Fatima Sbeih, organizer and journalist Micah Uetricht and Sarah Gelsomino, an attorney with the Chicago-based Peoples' Law Office.

Watch clips from the segment above or click here to watch the full conversation.

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