In response to a lawsuit and motion for a temporary restraining order filed early Friday morning by civil rights groups, including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a federal judge today granted a consent temporary restraining order against protest crackdowns following an agreement reached by the city of Graham, the Alamance County Sheriff, and plaintiffs.
which upholds the right to protected speech, states that the city’s ordinance
requiring two or more people who want to protest to obtain a prior “permit,”
“shall have no force of effect pending further orders from the Court.” The
order blocks the city of Graham and Alamance County’s enforcement of an
ordinance that requires two or more people who want to protest to obtain a
prior permit, and upholds the right to protected speech.”
“Our clients are relieved that they can again engage in peaceful protest in Graham without having to ask the chief of police’s permission,” said Elizabeth Haddix, managing attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “What remains now is to get rid of the unlawful restriction of protestors’ rights to exercise their First Amendment rights on the courthouse grounds, at the Confederate monument site.”
“This ordinance’s only purpose was to suppress the rights of protestors. People have a right to express dissent against racism, police brutality, and white supremacy.” said Kristi Graunke, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “The order issued today upholds their right to do so without fear of harassment or arrest.”
Last week, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lockamy Law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alamance NAACP Branch and 8 individuals against Graham and Alamance County officials, challenging an ordinance that placed extreme burdens on the right to protest.
The order can be found here.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommitee.org.