PORTLAND – The Occupy Maine protesters will hold a “general assembly” at 3 p.m. Sunday to decide what action to take now that the City Council has denied the group a permit for continuing its encampment at Lincoln Park.

The group could decide to file suit against the city and obtain an injunction to keep Portland from moving to evict the protesters, said John Branson, the group’s attorney.

He said city officials have given him “verbal assurances” that they won’t act before Occupy Maine decides whether to file a suit. Branson said he wants the assurances in writing.

The City Council on Wednesday voted 8-1 to deny the group a permit to stay at the park.

Despite the City Council’s rejection of the permit, police are in a “holding pattern,”  said acting police chief Michael Sauschuck.

The group had discussed holding a meeting at 6 tonight. However, the group decided to hold the meeting on Sunday because more people would be able to participate, said Matthew Coffey, 33, a protester.


“We want as many people’s opinion to be heard as possible,” he said.

Sauschuck said the city isn’t planning to try to force the protesters out before Sunday.

“The city has never wanted this to go into any kind of forcible eviction,” he said. “It may end up there, but that’s not our intention.”

He said police have had “a good working relationship, for the most part,” with Occupy Maine, despite some acts of violence among those living in the park and arrests in recent weeks.

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