Asheville NC – Occupy Asheville rejects in the strongest manner possible the efforts by the City of Asheville to regulate and fine the Occupy Asheville movement out of First Amendment expressive activities and occupation space in front of City Hall. Curfews, fines, permits, and ordinances are simply backdoor efforts to remove Occupy Asheville from the public eye. The token offering of creating free speech zones in the city is simply putting lipstick on a pig.
Occupy Asheville rejects free speech zones and pay-for-protest.We believe it is the human right of every person to be able to freely assemble and speak out about the issues that are important to their health, happiness, and living conditions.
The City of Asheville is not representing the interest of its citizens.
In a city where U.S. Cellular and Wells Fargo can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the City to get their corporate speech heard on public property and in our government, Occupy Asheville is bearing intense public scrutiny that should instead be directed towards the corporate criminals and profiteers that are destroying our communities.
Occupy Asheville is a political picket and occupation – not a camp.
The local and national conversation about Occupy has turned into a question of tents, tarps, and sanitation. The City of Asheville is directing the conversation away from the real issues. Instead of focusing on Occupy sanitation, let’s discuss the sanitation of public discourse about the real issues and what to do about them.
Occupy Asheville will continue to occupy and agitate.
Occupy Asheville is keeping the local, regional and national conversation alive about economic justice and corruption in our political and financial systems. We are a benefit to our community:
· Mobilized hundreds of people for protests of the Keystone Pipeline and corporate personhood.
· Built playgrounds and collaborated with Habitat For Humanity.
· Supported local postal workers and local jobs.
· Provided public education through workshops and skill-shares.
· Engaged local citizens about issues of diversity and disparity.
· Fed hundreds of people for free.
· Provided a space for homeless military veterans and given those without a home a new chance.
· Provided a model of government that is directly democratic and open to all.
“Regardless of the City’s decision, Occupy Asheville and the Occupy movement will continue to broaden the scope of its work and push for justice and change,” said Martin Ramsey, Occupy Asheville activist. “Where unjust laws exist, it is the duty of free people to challenge them.”
Since Occupy Asheville (OA) began on September 28th, as many as 40 campers have been camping overnight on public and private space around downtown Asheville in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street campers. OA currently maintains an overnight camp in front of City Hall downtown as well as regular General Assembly meetings, and active working groups at Pritchard Park and around the city. Occupyasheville.org