Letter writer: Where were Asheville politicians at protest?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Did any of Asheville’s politicians, including City Council members and the mayor, who claim they are against HB2, have the guts to join protesters at the governor’s “Open House” [at the Western Residence May 14]? None that I saw.

Did any of them actually get inside the mansion to express their concerns about HB2 to the governor? I have seen no reports that any did, but could not get inside myself, so I am not sure.

I want to publicly ask Asheville’s mayor why she did not join protesters, and if she did not go inside to talk to the governor about HB2, why the hell didn’t she, if her opposition to the law is any more than putting out statements to the media that she is against it?

This goes for the Asheville City Council members who were MIA on the road with us outside the mansion as well.

— John Penley

Editor’s note: When contacted by Xpress, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer offered the following response: “HB2 is a bad law for North Carolina and North Carolinians — it is plainly discriminatory. The Asheville City Council passed a comprehensive resolution condemning HB2 and calling for its repeal. Council took this action because we felt it accurately reflected our concerns as well as the concerns of the residents of Asheville. The governor is aware of all the cities in North Carolina that have adopted similar resolutions. At the time of the governor’s visit, however, I was attending Asheville leader Isaac Coleman’s funeral.”

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9 thoughts on “Letter writer: Where were Asheville politicians at protest?

  1. John Penley

    The Funeral was at 11 am. and the protest lasted until 1:30 pm. I am also sure that as an activist himself Mr. Coleman would have been supportive of the Mayor and City Council members leaving it a little early to talk to and protest the Governor while he was in Asheville. Also, both the Mayor and city council members I am sure could have asked the governor about a meeting after the funeral to talk to him. I know that as a pretty well known activist myself [my organizing against Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland is getting national news coverage] I would want people to attend a protest for an important issue even if that meant that they had to leave my funeral early.

    • Lulz

      LOL, your problem is the inability to see the insanity of your convictions and the outcome of your greed. And the need to lie, persecute, vilify, hate, isolate, blame, etc. with those who have different opinions and viewpoints to make a buck. To the point that your words such as racist, bigot, and homophobe no longer have any meaning or worth. When protests now are professionally organized and those doing the protesting don’t have a rhyme or reason to be there but for being cool while destroying everything in sight, then that says how readily dumb they are. Merely because the observers of such behavior are rather sickened by it and will reach a point of saying enough is enough.

  2. John Penley

    This was the second protest on HB2 and I photographed the first one at Pack Square and I didn’t see any of you at that one either. Let’s be honest that resolution is basically Public Relations and has absolutly no effect on the Governor. There was plenty of media that got in to the “open house” and had you and the City Council shown up and confronted him on it that would have had a much stronger effect than a resolution which like I said was just public relations to make it look to the public like you were doing something.

  3. Asheville Resident

    John Penley is a professional protester. Our mayor and city council have work to do and can’t join Mr. Penley on his many, many protests.
    AS the unofficial leader of what is known as the East Village “slacktivist” movement, John Penley routinely protests: real estate developers, wine bars, wine bars owned by Bruce Willis, landlords, Republicans and the evergreen that is yuppie scum. “Frat boys throwin’ up or takin’ a p – – s on your building,” he says. “Drunk, blockin’ sidewalks, not lettin’ baby carriages pass . . .” The 56-year-old Penley also enjoys shouting down obnoxious NYU students, inserting himself into neighbors’ landlord disputes and making daily calls to newspapers and networks about area goings-on.

    • Lulz

      LOL, shocked I tell ya. And of course the more riled up people get with misinformation, the more money he makes.

  4. Yep

    love lieberals who try to make clown council feel guilty! ROFLMAO! eating their own these days….too funny, but hey, it’s
    Ashevil !

  5. john

    Maybe city council members did not attend the protest because they realize that this is 2016, not 1960. Protests have become meaningless in an age where we have media, better lines of communication, and even something as simple as email to communicate with political leaders. The protest accomplished nothing, communicated no message that the general public hasn’t already heard, it did not raise awareness about an issue, and no real change will come about from any of it. It’s 2016. The revolution is over. It was televised. The revolution is now for profit. …and it’s boring.

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