Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan and Asheville Police Chief William Hogan have announced that they will participate in a panel discussion on How to Exercise Your Right to Dissent to be held at UNCA on Thursday, Sept. 27. The top cops will join Asheville City Council member Robin Cape and City Attorney Bob Oast, representing the city, as well as UNCA Professor Dwight Mullen, Students for a Democratic Society President Kati Ketz, Attorney Frank Goldsmith and community activist and ACLU board member Clare Hanrahan. The panel will be moderated by Professor Mark Gibney, UNCA’s Belk Distinguished Professor of Humanities.
Sparked by a series of recent events, the UNCA and WNC chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union have organized a public-education forum on the rights of and restrictions on protesters in exercising their first amendment rights to express disagreement with government and corporate policies and activities.
Topics will include important local issues raised by the flag “desecration” case and the recent Bank of America protest. Questions addressed will include: “How can I exercise my right to free speech and free assembly within the bounds of the law? When do I need a permit? Where and how can I display a sign or banner? Am I allowed to demonstrate on private property? May I use a bullhorn or other amplification equipment?”
An ever-growing coalition of local organizations have endorsed the forum: Asheville Buncombe Citizens for Quality Government; Buncombe Greens; Carolina Animal Action; Coalition of Earth Religions for Education and Support; the Department of Peace; the Ethical Society of Asheville; Grandmothers for Peace; Katuah Earth First!; Mountain Area Information Network; Mountain Voices Alliance; the Peace and Earth Committee of Asheville Religious Society of Friends (Quakers); People Advocating Real Conservancy; Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign; Stop Tasers Now!; Students for a Democratic Society; the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville Human Rights Team; Veterans for Peace; Women in Black; WPVM 103.5FM and Virato Live!.
The event will be held in UNCA’s Highsmith Center (Room 221) on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Alex Cury at email@example.com or call 253-5088.
—Cecil Bothwell, staff writer