Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro in an emergency general assembly meeting during Nomadic Occupy at Carrboro Town Commons Friday January 20 responds to a memorandum (attached) from CH town manager Roger Stancil as follows:
We reserve the right of citizens to assemble. We reflect the despair, dreams and sentiments of thousands of town residents angry with economic injustice and inequality at local and global levels. Roger Stancil as town manager is attempting to privatize public space with threats of arbitrary enforcement of ordinances that effectively prohibit free speech and assembly. This is a global issue that the Occupy movement organized to confront.
Contrary to Stancil’s statement., OCH/C has not vacated Peace and Justice Plaza. We meet as a General Assembly three times a week as we have since October 2011 and have clearly stated that we will consider encamping again as well as continuing to host teach-ins and marches, and maintain a regular presence. While OCH/C has worked with people within town government, Roger Stancil states that there has been a positive and “constructive dialogue” with OCH/C, when there has been no dialogue between the town manager and the General Assembly at any time. OCH/C has supported and participated in marches and actions to protest Stancil’s response to the Yates action.
We call all groups and individuals concerned with human rights and fundamental freedoms to demonstrate with us on Sunday January 29th at Peace and Justice Plaza at 2pm. The General Assembly of Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro of Peace and Justice Plaza will present a further report of our grievances with Mr. Stancil’s memorandum and invite others wishing to speak to join us.
-Occupy Chapel Hill General Assembly
Mr. Stancil’s memorandum
From: Roger Stancil
To: Donna Bell , Ed Harrison , “Gene Pease ” , Jim Ward , Jim Ward2 , “Laurin Easthom ” , “Lee Storrow (LeeStorrow.CH@gmail.com)” , Mark Kleinschmidt , Mark McCurry , Matt Czajkowski , Town Council , Penny Rich
CC: Amy Harvey , Catherine Lazorko , Dwight Bassett , Flo Miller , Jason Damweber , John Richardson , Ralph Karpinos , Roger Stancil , Sabrina Oliver , Toni Pendergraph
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 16:11:53 -0500
Subject: Ordinances and policies regarding use of public space
When the Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro Movement began occupying the public space at the Peace and Justice Plaza in October 2011, we opted to observe and monitor the area without actively enforcing some of the aforementioned regulations, including requiring permits for use of the space, limiting the length of time the space could be used by the same organization, and banning camping and staying on public property overnight. We also did not actively enforce regulations related to smoking in front of the Post Office/Court Building and affixing signs to public buildings.
The Occupy Movement vacated the Peace and Justice Plaza on January 10, 2012. The group’s decision to vacate the Plaza presents a timely opportunity for us to consider enforcement of adopted ordinances and established policies and procedures regulating the use of the Peace and Justice Plaza and all other public spaces and facilities.
The Town’s relationship with the Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro Movement has been positive and a constructive dialogue has been established with the group that we expect will continue into the future despite their lack of long-term presence at the Peace and Justice Plaza. Moving forward, I plan to ensure that all adopted ordinances and established policies and procedures regulating the use of public spaces and facilities, including but not limited to those mentioned in this report, are enforced by Town staff to the extent possible.
If the you need additional information, please let me know. If you have a different view or desire to review and possibly amend any of the existing regulations, please let me know so can add an item to a future agenda for discussion and guidance.
Attachments are at: http://councilmail.townofchapelhill.org/searchform.do
Demonstration for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro Calls the Community to Join Us.
We demand our human right to gather easily and often with each other without interference or threat of retribution. We call for an end of restrictions on assembly and a return to a free commons.
- Did you know all candlelight vigils are in violation of town ordinances?
- Did you know more than fifteen people standing on a sidewalk or in a parking lot can be fined or jailed?
- Did you know any gathering near a street can be ended by the police?
- Did you know you can’t gather on Peace and Justice Plaza on Sunday?
- And you must be a nonprofit corporation to apply for permits to meet on plazas and streets?
Ordinances and policies like these allow town officials to selectively and arbitrarily disrupt community events. These laws expressly interfere with the progress of meaningful, non-conventional and organizational attempts at social change. They can be used to stifle everything from worker’s rights protests to neighborhood block parties.
Help us end the privatization of public spaces by corporate town structures.
Help us Take Back the Commons!
Where: Peace and Justice Plaza – Chapel Hill Post Office (corner of Franklin and Henderson)
When: 2pm January 29th
What: Open Mic and Community Gathering
Bring: Signs, Banners, Noisemakers, Friends, Family and Your Voice
Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro