Many protesters who were involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement were arrested for frivolous charges during their demonstrations. These protesters then filed suit against the city in federal court stating that their right to free speech and free assembly were violated. The Huffington Post states, “Over the course of multiple protests in New York, many Occupy supporters were arrested in situations in which the police blocked or “kettled” demonstrators and then charged them with minor violations like obstructing the sidewalk”. This is the latest and largest settlement regarding the 2012 arrests, a $583,000 settlement was reached Tuesday, June 10. Over $1 million has been spent by New York City settling Occupy lawsuits such as this.
Twenty one current and former University of California, Davis students have been awarded almost $1 million in a settlement with the University of California regents following a 2011 pepper spray incident. Viral outrage over the incident was sparked when videos and images of a U.C.-Davis officer spraying defenseless students were posted to the internet. The students, seen seated in a group, were participating in an Occupy protest to display their displeasure in increasing tuition prices and decreasing services. Each student will individually receive $30,000 as well as a handwritten apology from Linda Katehi, the chancellor at U.C. Davis. In addition to the settlement $630,000 was set aside for the 21 plaintiffs, another $250,000 will be issued to pay for legal fees and costs to the lawyers involved in the suit. Moreover, the suit has since been recognized as a class action and will offer portions of an additional $100,000 that has been set aside for any other students who come forward with claims of being sprayed.