Following a meeting of its coordinating council last night, Occupy Asheville issued a letter asserting that its encampment in front of City Hall is “a representation of the people’s natural rights.” In the letter, Occupy Asheville doesn’t take the deal proposed by Council to voluntarily decamp, but says it “will pursue further dialogue” with the city.
Full announcement from Occupy Asheville below:
Asheville NC – Today, Occupy Asheville issued a public statement to the people of Asheville and the Asheville City Council in response to the call for additional dialogue from Mayor Terry Bellamy and the City Council concerning Occupy Asheville’s ongoing political occupation of land in front of City Hall. This 24/7 free speech picket has become a focal point for community organizing and solidarity with those affected by the largest transfer of wealth in American history and the crisis of corporate greed and personal profiteering within Wall Street and the federal government. The statement, prepared during three separate community assemblies was consensed upon by Occupy Asheville and reads:
January 31, 2012
Asheville City Hall, 2nd Floor
70 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801
Dear People of Asheville, North Carolina:
CC: Mayor Bellamy, Vice-Mayor Manheimer, and Councilmen Bothwell, Davis, Hunt, Pelly, and Smith
We the People of Occupy Asheville unite in solidarity with one another and the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement to oppose mass injustice. We seek to broaden awareness of the problems that exist in Asheville, the United States, and the world and generate peaceful solutions to those problems.
We the People of Occupy Asheville consider the 24/7 Occupation of City Hall a valuable physical representation of the people’s natural rights to freedom of speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Additionally, the Occupation of City Hall strives to provide a secular, non-hierarchical, and empowering refuge for marginalized people in our community.
We the People of Occupy Asheville envision the City of Asheville as a model of what is good and possible in our country when members of the community and public servants collaborate for the benefit of all people. We assert our rights as free-thinking people to speak and assemble freely in the time, place, and manner of our choosing and as best serves the needs of all people. We expect that City Council, as public servants, will also uphold these universal rights.
As always, the People of Occupy Asheville will pursue further dialogue.
We the People of Occupy Asheville