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.

Tim Tyson really nailed it in his commentary on the Yates arrests. "Barney Fife" vs. "Self-romanticizing hotheads"

Chapel Hill: Time for Appointment of an Independent Public Safety Review Commission

Many questions remain unanswered in regard to the Chapel Hill Police Department's deployment Sunday of a heavily-armed Special Emergency Response Team to clear a private building in Chapel Hill that had been occupied by a group of protesters. Seven people were arrested and charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering.

I submitted a petition Monday afternoon to to the Chapel Hill Town Council calling for the appointment of an independent commission to review the events leading up to yesterday's deployment of the SERT unit. Residents of Chapel Hill are divided, one camp outraged by what they deem to be an unmeasured response by a SWAT team and the other yielding to the professional judgment of the CHPD. Neither side has the facts to which the public is entitled in order understand the events that led to yesterday's display of lethal force by the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Official response from Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro to Sunday's police action

This press release was issued today...

The General Assembly of Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro, meeting at Peace and Justice Plaza, expresses outrage and disappointment at the disproportionate and disturbing use of force by the Chapel Hill Police Department.

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

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