If you ever plan on participating in or watching a parade, festival, or protest, you have reason to be worried. If phrases such as “free-speech zones,” concern you, you have reason to be worried. If you are homeless, know someone who is homeless or care about the disenfranchised, you have reason to be worried. And most of all, if you value your First Amendment Rights, then you need to pay close attention to what is occurring in Charlotte.
On January 23, 2012, the city council voted to adopt new ordinances in preparation for the Democratic National Convention. The mayor and city council have told the public that these ordinances are necessary for the DNC, which will take place September 3-6, 2012 in Charlotte. What they have not told you, is that not only have these rules been implemented 8 months ahead of the DNC, but they will remain permanently thereafter. Long after those affiliated with or protesting the DNC have left our city, Charlotteans will be left with a set of laws that will permanently limit our ability to express ourselves at parades, festivals, and protests. Continue reading