Letter: Mayor must rescind Asheville’s curfew immediately

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Esther Manheimer, the mayor of Asheville, must immediately rescind the curfew that was announced on June 2. These restrictions, beyond the fact that they are draconian limits on Asheville residents’ First Amendment rights, do the exact opposite of “ensuring the safety of our community.”

Curfews across the country have unleashed a barrage of extreme police violence in the last week. On May 30 in Atlanta, six police officers brutalized two black college students who were in harmless violation of their city’s authoritarian restrictions. All six of these officers have since received criminal charges for use of excessive force.

The disturbing state terror we witnessed in Atlanta is far from an aberration; anyone with access to social media has likely seen horrifying videos of newly emboldened police officers savagely beating and terrorizing people across the United States who are violating their cities’ curfews.

The mayor’s curfew puts Asheville residents, especially our already over-policed black communities, at increased risk of police violence. Mayor Manheimer should consult the precautionary principle and ask herself: “If this curfew, like it has in cities across the U.S., results in more police violence and therefore begets more protest, will it have been worth it”?

— Clay Hurand


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11 thoughts on “Letter: Mayor must rescind Asheville’s curfew immediately

  1. Johnny to the A

    “On May 30 in Atlanta, six police officers brutalized two black college students who were in harmless violation of their city’s authoritarian restrictions. ”

    Did you notice that those police officers included African American officers? Police aggression transcends race or maybe you didn’t notice?

    • Peter Robbins

      Custer used Crow scouts, but that didn’t stop ideologues from making the Little Big Horn look like racial profiling. It’s so unfair.

    • george bazley

      A valid point you make; also, I think it’s important to keep in mind the risk involved in these mass protests, now , not only for those directly involved, but for others as well, especially the immuno-compromised and other such demographics; is the cost of the cause worth the very lives involved it’s trying to uphold and protect, honor?, as well as the lives of others not even involved at all, for all practical purposes? Who has the right to make and carry through with these potentially devastating, life taking decisions? A tough quandary, of course, with no easy answers, but at least we should be considering risk management and alternatives such as protesting in car caravans, as has been suggested by a disease specialist interviewed by npr. As seemingly necessary and tragically ironic as it may be, fighting for one’s right to life while blindly endangering the lives of others, collectively, on a potentially massive scale, without giving pause to consider safer alternatives or any other such modifications, is a course of action, however pure in motive and parsimonious in means, that does not bode well for the overall human condition. When improving the crucially defective wheel, or even reinventing it altogether, is it really necessary to burn every car in sight to the ground?

  2. NFB

    “On May 30 in Atlanta, six police officers brutalized two black college students who were in harmless violation of their city’s authoritarian restrictions. ”

    Not to excuse “excessive force,” if it indeed was excessive, but if the students had obeyed to curfew then they would have been OK.

    Honestly, all this whining about “authoritarian restrictions” of a temporary order sounds a lot like the whining from the far right about stay at home orders during the pandemic (and their claims that mask requirements infringe on their rights to expose others to a potentially fatal disease) infringing on their liberty.

    Maybe there really is something to the Horseshoe Theory after all.

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    Please advise just which communities are over policed? First time I have heard that …

    • James

      Let’s see.. you know which community is over-policed when the ones with water bottles are roughed up and have their supplies destroyed by police while the ones running around in the public streets with guns capable of killing lots of people in a short period of time are given police protection. Does that enlighten you?

      • Enlightened Enigma

        No, that did not answer the question…which COMMUNITY..not which protest…

      • Lou

        Exactly, though all of these people crying “it’s not about race” are likely white and privileged with a penis. They are the likeliest now to scream the loudest when their perceived superiority is in any way threatened. Such an old story, like how the South lost and they can’t order most of us around anymore. Suck it up buttercups. White ain’t right any more…never really was.


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