IT’S A POLITICAL OCCUPATION, NOT A CAMPGROUND!
Occupy Asheville Defies City’s Attempt to Depoliticize Movement for Economic Justice
Asheville NC – Since the end of November, Occupy Asheville City Council Strategy Working Group has worked to oppose the City of Asheville attempts to criminalize or regulate its activities. Occupy Asheville exists in support of Occupy Wall Street, a protest movement for social and economic justice that has been gathering support across our nation. We are expressing our political views concerning our deep frustration and alarm at the crisis of corporate greed and personal profiteering within financial institutions associated with Wall Street and large banks; as well as frustration with federal and state governments that are complicit in allowing these institutions to strip the wealth from the bottom 99% of the population for the benefit of the very few.
The Occupy Asheville City Council Strategy Working Group asserts the following principals:
1. Occupy Asheville is a picket and political occupation, not a camp.
2. We reject in the strongest manner possible the idea of paying for free speech and protest.
3. Occupy Asheville is working to solve our own problems and challenges.
4. We seek the City's collaboration, not their regulation. There is no bureaucratic solution to a protest movement.
5. Occupy Asheville is important to Asheville and Western North Carolina because it is keeping the local, regional and national conversation alive about economic justice and corruption in our political and financial systems.
The exercise of political rights by Occupy Asheville is specifically protected by the Declaration of Rights of the North Carolina Constitution and we reject efforts by the City to criminalize or control our activities through regulation. These efforts at criminalization are an obstacle to other citizens who may wish to join these political activities, but who may be afraid of financial penalties, restraint by law enforcement and possible arrest.