Trial Of Maine Family Separation Protesters Begins In Federal Court

Feb 26, 2019

The federal trial began in Portland Monday of four people arrested in Maine last June during a protest of the Trump administration's newly-implemented family separation policy along the southern U.S. border.

Attorney Logan Perkins, who is representing two of those arrested, says the four were part of a group of people demonstrating outside the U.S. Customs and Border protection offices in South Portland.

"At some point the four of them attempted to gain access to the building to actually go in and speak with the CPB officers," she says. "The rest of the group remained on the grassy area need the roadway far from the building and they were denied entry to the building."

After insisting they be allowed to go into the building to speak with employees, Perkins says, the four were arrested for failing to obey an order that they return to the designated protest area, which is a misdemeanor violation. 

Perkins says the protesters are claiming that the order violated their First Amendment rights. She says she expects the judge to issue a decision in the next six weeks or two months.   

Three of those arrested are listed on Facebook as members of the Maine Poor People's Campaign Coordinating Committee. 

The other defense attorney in this case is Leonard Sharon, who is married to Maine Public Deputy News Director Susan Sharon.