Occupy Charlotte Breakfast

January 28, 2012

Occupy Charlotte members and supporters met this morning at the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille to raise money and garner support for the movement. Many people spoke to voice their support for the movement including local business owners, attorneys, and even the CEO of a local credit union.

There is much anticipation about the upcoming eviction date set by City Council when passing the DNC ordinances last Monday. You can read our coverage of that Council meeting here. The ban on tents and camping takes effect Monday the 30th.

CRC in the News

January 28, 2012

The Clinic’s work preparing for the upcoming DNC and our opposition to the ordinances passed on Monday hasn’t gone unnoticed.  Jennifer Moxley of News 14 Carolina visited our Friday meeting and ran this segment about our work: Charlotte Law Students Advocate Debate, Protest Ordinance.

Legal Dose – Episode 1

January 25, 2012

Recently, the Charlotte School of Law Civil Rights Clinic launched “The Legal Dose,” an internet radio show which addresses contemporary legal, political and social issues.  Michael Antypas and Monifa Crawford were the students primarily responsible for the content of the first episode. Charles Schmidt significantly contributed to the content as well.  Ashley Washington has joined the Legal Dose team and will be working with Michael this semester.  Jorge Lozano from the IT Department has been instrumental in assisting with all aspects of producing the show.  Look for more episodes in the near future!

This episode offers an interview with Evan Carney and Jason Huber on an attorney ethics complaint filed by the Clinic. Next up is the “Get to Know a Charlotte Law Professor” segment featuring Professor Tony Ketron.  The final segment is a report from the Charlotte Coalition for Justice Homeless and Mental Health Symposium with Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield and Charlie Schmidt talking about the issue.

You can listen to the inaugural episode of the Legal Dose here:  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/19282105.

Charlotte DNC Ordinances Approved

January 25, 2012

On Monday night, the Charlotte City Council voted on several proposed ordinances that were proposed in the wake of Occupy Charlotte and in preparation for the upcoming Democratic National Convention this September. Those ordinances, which can be found here, cause many everyday, innocuous objects to become contraband should the City Manager declare an “extraordinary event.”

For example, when an extraordinary event is declared, police will have the power to detain a person carrying an “object of sufficient weight that may be used as a projectile.”  Ch. 15 Art. XIV Sec. 15-313(c)(2).  The breadth of this provision is vast.  Just about any object, a cell phone for example, could potentially be a projectile.  According to Ch. 15 Art. XIV Sec. 15-313(c)(4), police would be justified in arresting a citizen for carrying a permanent marker should the officer decide to do so.  Someone can even be arrested for walking their dog should they happen to stray within the boundaries of the extraordinary event. Ch. 15 Art. XIV Sec. 15-313(c)(17). Some other items outlawed during an extraordinary event include helmets, bottles, and police scanners.  A frequently raised question regarding many of these prohibitions is why existing laws are insufficient to stop the illegal acts that the new ordinances are intended to abolish.  This question went unanswered.

The ordinances also strike a blow at the well-established Occupy Charlotte campsite. The settlement, which was established in September of 2011, will be disbanded under these ordinances. Under Ch. 15 Art. I Sec.15-26(b), “it shall be unlawful for anyone to camp on any public property owned by the city.”  This provision is not subject to the extraordinary event declaration, so will take full effect as of the effective date of the ordinances.

Two last-minute amendments were added before the ordinances were approved. The Council decided that the ordinances would be “reviewed,” but not necessarily modified or revoked after the upcoming presidential inauguration. The second amendment temporarily stayed the effective date until January 30 in the hopes that Occupy Charlotte protestors would vacate voluntarily before that time. From the reaction of the public in attendance, it seems unlikely that a voluntary departure will take place.

Calls for the Council to delay voting on the ordinances for 30 days to allow further discussions with community groups went unanswered.

The ordinances were approved 10 to 1.  In the interest of accountability, the Council Members that voted to approve the ordinances were Michael Barnes, Beth Pickering, David Howard, LaWana Mayfield, Warren Cooksey, Andy Dullin, Patrick Cannon, Claire Green Fallon, James Mitchell, and Patsy Kinsey. The sole councilman that stood against these overly broad and potentially unconstitutional ordinances was John Autry.

The newly approved ordinances will almost surely be subject to legal challenge in the coming days.  The Clinic will keep our blog updated with important developments as they emerge.

Welcome to Civil Rights Clinic Blog!

January 20, 2012

Welcome to the Civil Rights Clinic Blog.  From radio shows, to the Democratic National Convention, to attorney ethics and public housing, the Clinic is working to protect the rights of everyone in the Charlotte Community and beyond.

This blog has been established to keep the public informed of the work done by the Charlotte School of Law Civil Rights Clinic.  We will be updating the blog regularly with important milestones from our work.  We will also use it as a forum to engage the community and provide relevant news and information that may affect your life.

Thank you for paying us a visit, and we hope you will return regularly.  Feel free to contact the Clinic through the “Contact Us” page if you have any questions, comments, or would like additional information.  If you would like to be notified when new entries are posted, please click the “Follow” button in the right hand column.

%d bloggers like this: