RALEIGH - Organizers of the ongoing Occupy Raleigh movement recently applied for a permit to demonstrate on the grounds of the North Carolina State Capitol for eight consecutive days, ending October 30. So far their application has been denied.

In a sign of support for citizens peacefully exercising their civil liberties on public grounds, Katy Parker, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, submitted a letter October 24 to North Carolina Department of Administration Secretary Moses Carey, Jr., asking the department to "grant this permit application in the spirit of full and robust debate."

"Indeed, we encourage your Department to lessen its permit restrictions for all groups seeking permits for demonstrations on the State Capitol grounds, regardless of the content of the message of the particular group or the viewpoints espoused therein," the letter states.

"The right to free speech is one of the most important rights found in our federal and state Constitutions, and I would presume that the State would want to support its citizens who are exercising this critical right," the letter continues. "Thus, to the extent that any group seeking an extension of time during which to protest can show that their members will keep the State Capitol grounds free of trash and will not interfere with access to buildings or with other already-scheduled demonstrations, we see no reason why the State would not consider implementing content-neutral rules that would provide for extended demonstrations."

Read the entire letter here.