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.

A Commemoration of the Life of Bob Sheldon

Internationalist Books and Community Center founder, Bob Sheldon, was fatally shot twenty
years ago on February 21. The current volunteers, managers, and members are having a
special celebration to celebrate his life and the impact he made and continues to make on
our community.

Please join us in celebrating this inspirational man's life and work! Monday, February
21, 2011 at 6:30pm, gather at Interationalist Books and Community Center at 405 W
Franklin St in Chapel Hill. Our program includes sharing of memories, food, music, a
march to the location of the old store (with friends from Cakalak Thunder) & a candle
light vigil. We will also present The Bob Sheldon Award, created to honor those who live
life as Bob did; in the pursuit of social equality & justice. This year we honor Reverend
Kerry Bigelow & Mr. Clyde Clark of the Sanitation 2.


Monday, February 21, 2011 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm


Internationalist Books and Community Center 405 W Franklin St

"Fourth World War" - Movie Night at Internationalist Books

Come out and watch the documentary "The Fourth World War," a film about the struggle of poor and working-class people all over the globe who must battle both large corporations and oppressive governments in order to survive and win basic human rights. Filmed in the streets of Mexico, Korea, Argentina, Palestine, Quebec City, and other locations all over the world, this is an emotional and very politicized look at glaring injustice and the emerging movements that seek to combat it.

(Excerpt from the film)
We walked and these moments changed us. We saw the buildings burning and the pain in our neighbor’s eyes. We rushed bayonets in the mountain and lines of police in the city.

We were touched by too much death. We loved and felt alive. We heard the echo of our word in other voices. We watched the moon rise over the barricades.

We were wounded by the courage of small children. This is not the whole story or the only story.

It is an introduction to some of the people with whom we share this planet.

A much greater story remains to be told. A story that we will write together.




Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Internationalist Books and Community Center, 405 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Garrett Fitzgerald from the RNC 8 - To Speak on the Criminalization of Dissent

Garrett Fitzgerald of the RNC 8 to speak out on the criminalization of dissent!

Dinner catered by Vimala of Vimala's Curry Blossom Cafe!

Immediately before the 2008 Republican National Convention, police carried out dawn raids and snatched protest organizers off the street.

Eight of the arrestees, collectively known as the RNC 8, were charged under the Minnesota version of the US PATRIOT Act ( with "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism" on account of public organizing activity. After a lengthy support campaign, the prosecutors were forced to drop the terrorism charges, eventually dismissing charges entirely against three of the defendants and accepting misdemeanor pleas with the remaining four.

Having spent two and a half years on the front lines of one of the most important civil liberties court cases in recent US history, Garrett will speak about how dissent is being criminalized in the US. Don't miss!

More information:




Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Internationalist Books and Community Center - 405 W. Franklin St Chapel Hill

Human Relations Month Kick-Off

From the Orange County Human Relations Commission: 

Sunday, January 30th, 2011 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm 

A panel discussion will cover the topic “A Community Conversation on Immigration: What are the Implications for Orange County and Its Residents”.   

Panelists for the discussion - 

Keenon James is the Director of Special Projects at the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA).  He oversees the Association’s law enforcement training and technical assistance projects as well as provides guidance on state and national criminal justice and law enforcement policies.

Cristina Marcela Rivera was born and raised in El Salvador and moved, with her family, to the United States when she was eleven years old.  She graduated from East Chapel Hill High School and now attending Meredith College on full scholarship.

Marty Rosenbluth is an immigration attorney and the Executive Director of the North Carolina Immigrant Rights Project.  He is a nationally recognized expert on Secure Communities and 287(g) and has attended meetings both at the White House and ICE headquarters to discuss these programs with government officials.

Zaragosa Vargas is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He has written extensively about the Mexican American labor history and the Mexican American civil rights movement, which focus on race relations, politics, and labor.

The event is free and open to the public.  For additional information, contact James Spivey, 245-2488. 


Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


Carrboro Century Center, 100 North Greensboro Street in Carrboro.

Martin Luther King Day Service featuring Ben Chavis

Via e-mail from NAACP:

Dr. Ben Chavis To Keynote  The Chapel Hill—Carrboro  NAACP Annual Community Martin Luther King, Jr. Service at First Baptist Church

The  Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities will come together once again on Monday January 17, 2011 at the historic First Baptist Church on North Roberson Street,  to honor the legacy of slain Civil Rights hero and Nobel Peace Prize humanitarian, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This year’s keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Ben Chavis—long-time civil rights leader and one of the Wilmington 10  whose early-life story was masterfully woven together by Duke Professor, Dr. Tim Tyson, (a senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies and visiting professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke’s Divinity School and last year’s speaker) and published in Tyson’s best-selling book turned movie, “Blood Done Signed My Name.”  Dr. Chavis--an author, educator and global business leader—is the President of Education Online Services Corporation (EOServe Corp.), the world’s leading provider of online higher education for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across America, as well as other academic institutions of higher learning throughout the world.  Dr. Chavis is also the President, CEO and Co-Founder with Russell Simmons, of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), the world’s largest coalition of hip-hop artists and recording industry executives.  In 1993 and 1994 Dr. Chavis served as the Executive Director and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and remains a life-member of the NAACP.  In 1995, Dr. Chavis was the National Director and organizer of the Million Man March.  From 1995 to 1997 Chavis was the Executive Director and CEO of the National African American Leadership Summit (NAALS).  

The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday service will begin with a march and rally starting at Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill at 9:00 a.m.  The service at First Baptist Church is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.  During the service two prestigious awards will be given—the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award and the Rebecca Clark Award for Voter Registration and Civic Engagement.    This year’s theme  is “Not One Step Back: Renewing Dr. King’s Call To Conscience.” 


Monday, January 17, 2011 - 6:00am


First Baptist Church, Roberson Street, Chapel Hill



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