Dozens rally at courthouse for free speech case

      EUGENE, Ore. - About a dozen people gathered in front of the Lane County Courthouse Thursday, rallying to support Emily Semple and Terrill Purvis. Many of those at the rally said they were there to support free speech.

      The two are plaintiffs in a case against the General Services Administration and two of its employees.

      In July 2012, Semple was arrested for being in the Federal Plaza without a permit.

      That case was eventually dismissed, but Semple says she and Purvis were later cited for protesting in the Plaza after the 11pm curfew.

      The two say they filed a case against the GSA in order to protect their freedom of speech.

      "We feel that our first amendment rights are still good at night," says Semple, "and we should be allowed to protest on federal land at any time without a permit."

      Purvis says the goal of the suit is to establish case law, for future free speech issues.

      "I'm here not only for myself, but for the people to further in the future be able to come and do their protest, whatever that may be," he says.

      Gerri Badden, a representative for the defendants, declined to comment on the litigation. Attorneys for the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

      Judge Michael McShane is expected to rule on the dismissal in two weeks.