RALEIGH– In response to a lawsuit and motion for a temporary restraining order filed Friday morning by civil rights groups, a federal judge today granted a consent temporary restraining order following an agreement reached by the City of Graham, the Alamance County Sheriff, and plaintiffs. The order 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."
“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.”
“Our clients are relieved that they can now 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.”
Last week, the ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Lockamy Law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alamance NAACP Branch and 8 individuals against the City of Graham and Alamance County officials, challenging an ordinance that placed extreme burdens on the right to protest, including requiring a permit for all protests of two or more people, and placing restrictions on the ability of minors to protest. City and county officials had been enforcing this ordinance in response to recent protests against the city’s Confederate monument. The Temporary Restraining Order will remain in effect for 14 days, pending the Court’s decision on Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for July 20th at 9:00 am.
The TRO order can be found here: https://www.acluofnorthcarolina.org/sites/default/files/tro_granted-_7-6...