The news regarding the treatment of demonstrators in New York, Oakland, and across the country should be upsetting to everyone who believes in freedom of expression.  As just one example--and one will not suffice--the New York Police Department destroyed the Occupy Wall Street library--5,000 volumes of donated books--in an act that echoes too closely the thuggish brutality and anti-intellectualism of places and times that ought not be repeated.

After an initial court victory, the Occupy Wall Street group suffered a legal set-back.  Fearing similar hostility, the Occupy Boston group went to court to obtain protection and was successful.

Against this backdrop, it was tremendously heartening to read that Portland, Maine has no plans to evict the Occupy Maine group that has been demonstrating in a local park for a number of weeks.  The ACLU of Maine's office is in Portland, and a number of staff members call it home.  As civil libertarians, we are lucky to live in a place that respects the First Amendment.  I walk through Lincoln Park, where the Occupy Maine group lives, most days on my way to and from my office, and the demonstrators have been very positive about their treatment from the police and the city government.  I hope that Maine can provide an example for cities and town across the country of how to treat people who are peacefully exercising their constitutional rights.