Full announcement from Occupy Asheville below:
To: Asheville City Council and the Asheville Police Department
The Occupy Asheville General Assembly has considered a request from City Councilman Gordon Smith and the APD to elect representatives from our group, who will communicate consistently with APD and City staff. This request was discussed at the General Assembly, on Friday November 11th. While the expressed interest in communication is appreciated, the proposal to elect official representatives was unanimously rejected for the following reasons:
First, it is not in the nature of the Occupy movement to elect official representatives at this time. Instead, we seek consensus-based communication, which allows all Occupy participants to have direct access to any discussions with the City of Asheville.
Second, our trust in the city has been diminished by recent actions taken by the APD. These actions include arrests of Occupy Asheville members for handing out flyers and jaywalking, when such ordinances are not otherwise enforced; isolated arrests of targeted persons made days after the alleged offenses; charges of resisting arrest when video footage confirms the arrestees were not resisting, and other acts of intimidation. We view these actions as violations of our rights to free speech and assembly.
We are additionally concerned about the defamatory comments made by an APD forensics technician regarding Occupy Asheville members, which included a direct allusion to lynching. Consequently, we are opposed to electing official representatives of Occupy Asheville as, in our view, such individuals may be subjected to harassment and/or physical harm.
In the interest of establishing a wider dialogue, we continue to invite the mayor, members of City Council and staff, and members of the APD to attend any General Assembly meeting to speak with us, as we invite all members of the public. Dates and times for the General Assembly, as well as other important information about the movement, can be found on Occupy Asheville’s public calendar at www.occupyasheville.org.
The Occupy Asheville General Assembly