“Were you simply short a couple of column inches of copy and needing to fill that space? Or have you, as journalists, forgotten that the First Amendment does have some prudent, historical limitations.”
“And I will not apologize for protesting, because the ability to dissent, the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to speak out against the government, is what makes America great.”
Newspaper boxes are back in the news, with a downtown business owner saying this week that he saw city of Asheville workers removing boxes from a downtown sidewalk late one night, and this morning, some Downtown Commission members questioning the right of newspapers to place their boxes downtown with any legal protection.
Last night I attended the Asheville City Council meeting where the highly charged "camping ordinance" was to be discussed. There were many arguments for and against the ordinance. City Council listened patiently while an impassioned audience expressed their views, which did not always fit the discussion at hand. The audience listened restlessly as an ordinance […]
Buncombe County approved the temporary return of three newspaper boxes to their former home outside the courthouse but is continuing to ban the others removed late last month. The move comes after Mountain Xpress and the Asheville Citizen-Times jointly retained attorney Amanda Martin to write a letter challenging the county’s decision.
Photos by Jerry Nelson, JourneyAmerica.org
Last week, Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene‘s office ordered the removal of 17 newspaper boxes in front of the courthouse, claiming they were unsightly. The move, according to North Carolina Press Association attorney Amanda Martin, was illegal and violates First Amendment protections on newspaper racks on public property.
The newspaper boxes after their removal. Photos by Jeff Tallman