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.

Repeal the Anti-Lingering Ordinance

This is my first post on OP in a long, long time. But I'm fired up, friends. 

Tonight the Carrboro Board of Aldermen heard a report from the police chief that the anti-lingering ordinance in place since 2007 has been a success. No one has been arrested using the ordinance though many, apparently, have been threatened by the police and "educated."

There were five or six people in attendance in support of the ordinance and, unfortunately, I was the only member of the public there to speak against it. I called it a preemptive strike on civil liberties and below what Carrboro is all about.

And I mentioned that I know what it is like to be the victim of an assault and to live in a place where I had reason to be concerned for my safety when walking down my street.

I don't see the Carrboro I have long admired in this ordinance.

Human Relations Month Kick-off Event

According to WCHL:

Orange County is preparing to kick off Human Relations Month.

James Spivey, a civil rights specialist for the office of Human Relations in Orange County, said the theme this year will be “Power to the People: Race and the Environment in Orange County.”

Human Relations Month promotes strong community ties. The kickoff celebration will include a performance by the East Baile Latino Group.

The keynote speaker will be Mr. Omega R. Wilson, president of the West End Revitalization Association.

The kickoff is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Carrboro Century Center, located at 100 North Greensboro St. Everyone is welcomed to attend the event at no charge.


Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


Century Hall, Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.

Orange County and the "Secure Communities" Program

Hi OP. I'm a long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I attended the OC county commissioner's meeting last night and heard Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass defend the county's participation in the federal "secure communities" program, which provides access to the fingerprint databases of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the FBI. Here's what I took away from the meeting, along with info gleaned from local papers. (If I am mistaken, please jump in to clarify. This is not a subject about which I am particularly knowledgeable).

Bill of Rights Day

From Peggy Misch:


12 Noon, Monday, December 15, 2008

Bill of Rights Day

Peace and Justice Plaza, East Franklin and Henderson Streets, Chapel Hill

Proclamations read by two mayors and county commissioner; 10 amendments read by participants; words spoken by NC Senator Ellie Kinnaird, remembering Joe Herzenberg for his dedication to civil rights

Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Information:  942-2535


Monday, December 15, 2008 - 7:00am


Peace and Justice Plaza, East Franklin and Henderson Streets, Chapel Hill

Nov 11 Calendar and Veteran's Day

I was just reminded today is Veterans Day, so I immeadiately contacted my stepson who is an Iraq War Vet. Then I looked on OP to post a calendar event and saw that two very special events were taking place tonight, both topics of which I have strong personal and professional interest.

However, I was also disapointed that Vets Day was chosen as the day for these events. A lot of social injustice and other problems have been committed by our military, but I think it would be good to set aside this day as a day to focus on the justice needs of Vets, rather than -- or at least in addition to -- what these two events are about.



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