Civil Liberties

Perhaps because of the large number of outspoken and thoughtful people in our community, we have often found ourselves at ground zero in battles over civil liberties. In the 1980's Chapel Hill elected the first openly-gay elected official in the state, but Carrboro bested that by electing North Carolina’s first out mayor a decade later.

More recently, Chapel Hill grappled with free speech issues in the wake of 9/11, approved and then dismantled red light cameras in 2003-4, and was challenged by fundamentalists over support for gay marriage in 2005.

When Being "the Man" Ain't So Easy: Satyagraha, Yates Motors and the Greensboro Massacre

I spent most of Sunday afternoon out at the Haw River just outside the mill village of Swepsonville about five miles upstream of Saxapahaw.  I managed to enjoy most of my time out there even though I was there was because I have been having trouble there with trespassers.  The land I own out there is the hydro-electric power plant that formerly powered the cotton mill in Swepsonville.

My hydro-electric plant has been out of operation for about 40 years and the windows in the building are almost completely broken out.  Inside the building are huge, deep holes in the floor where the generators once sat atop the turbines.  I have been gradually working on making the interior of the building safer by covering over the huge holes in the floor, but the building is definitely not a safe place for unwary visitors.

Discussion of Direct Action Tactics at Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro

Via Steve Dear on Twitter:

There will be a group discussion Sunday from 1-3 pm about the police attack at Yates bldg At Peace & justice plaza @occupychc #occupychc

Date: 

Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: 

Peace & Justice Plaza

Carrboro Residents To Hold Press Conference Tuesday in Violation of Anti-Loitering Ordinance, Release Letter to Town Board

Carrboro residents will unveil a letter calling upon the Board of Aldermen to rescind the town's anti-loitering ordinance at a Tuesday October 25 11 AM press conference on the corner of Davie and Jones Ferry Roads.  The letter, signed by more than 100 Carrboro residents, business owners, and day laborers, calls for the immediate repeal of the ordinance which "violates the civil and human rights of any person who would otherwise lawfully be present at the intersection."

Chapel Hill is occupied... kinda

#occupyCHC is in full swing at Chapel Hill's Peace & Justice Plaza. I spent about 6 hours downtown yesterday participating in the kick-off of Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro (a.k.a. #occupyCHC). It was a great event with well over 100 people participating. I'm sure there would have been way more if not for the football traffic and parking situation.

At at 2:30 we held a very participatory consensus-based meeting called the General Assembly. This is part of the extensive organizational structure including organized working groups and decision-making processes developed at Occupy Wall Street in New York (a month old tomorrow!) and passed along to the massive diaspora of occupations including "over 1,500 cities globally and over 100 US cities." For now General Assemblies are scheduled for 6pm daily at Peace & Justice Plaza, although this could change.

Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro

Date: 

Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 10:30am

Location: 

Peace and Justice Plaza, Franklin St. Post Office, 179 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

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