AUGUSTA — Occupy Augusta is leaving Capitol Park after a nearly two-month stay.

Occupy movement membersbegan disassembling their encampment today following a federal court ruling Wednesday night saying the group to needed a state permit to remain in the park.

The ruling denied Occupy Augusta’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop police from enforcing a permit for the group to remain in a Capitol Park encampment.

Capitol Police have asked Occupy Augusta members to remove all of their tents and the structures by the end of the day today and to have that portion of the park cleaned by Friday morning.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen says allowing the activists to continue indefinitely to occupy the park “would ultimately tend to suppress, rather than promote, the free exchange of ideas.” Torresen said Capitol Park, which is managed by the state, should be available to all comers to communicate their ideas, not just Occupy Augusta.

Occupy Augusta, which began occupying the park on Oct. 15, claimed the permit required by Capitol Police was legally unsound and that requiring it violated their free speech and assembly rights.

Torresen’s ruling followed one in Massachusetts, where a judge rejected a request by Occupy Boston protesters for an injunction barring the city from removing them from their encampment.

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