Col. George Hare
UNC-CH Department of Public Safety
285 Manning Drive
Campus Box 1600
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1600
Dear Col. Hare:
I am writing with regard to my arrest at the Board of Governors meeting at the General Administration Building on February 10 of this year. As a former member of the Board of Governors and a citizen who is alarmed at the rapidly escalating costs of tuition at our public universities, I travelled from New York to attend the meeting. I confirmed a reserved seat for the meeting by contacting Bart Corgnati, Secretary of the University of North Carolina.
While the Board of Governors meeting was underway, I had to leave the room momentarily to use the bathroom. Unbeknownst to me, an order had been given to campus security officers not to allow anyone to reenter the meeting room. So I was surprised and angered when I got to the door and was barred by Officer J. S. Carroll. In the moment, I thought that I had been singled out for different treatment because of my vocal opposition to the tuition increases then under consideration. I attempted to explain that I had a right to be in the meeting room, that I was a former member of the Board of Governors, and to show that I had a reserved seat on the other side of the door. But Officer Carroll and other public safety officers barred the way, pulled me back, and dropped me to the floor after I attempted to open the door. I was then arrested and charged with second degree trespass and resisting arrest.
I would like to apologize to Officer Carroll for putting him in an awkward situation and risking confrontation with the other public safety officers. I understand now that they were complying with a direct order not to allow anyone back into the room.
After I served for two years on the Board of Governors, I was presented with a resolution honoring my service. It concluded with the following:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina expresses its heartfelt gratitude to R. ANDREW PAYNE for his valuable advocacy and enthusiastic service to the University.”
It was in the spirit of that advocacy and service that I returned to the University on February 10. It was not my intention to enter into a confrontation with the public safety officers. I regret that miscommunication and misunderstanding led to a rapid escalation of emotions as I attempted to reenter the meeting.
When lawmakers return to Raleigh next Wednesday, May 16 to begin their “short session,” North Carolinians representing various factions will converge on the General Assembly for a cacerolazo – a pots and pans protest.
What is a cacerolazo? “A form of popular protest that originated in Latin America which consists of a group of people creating noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils to call for attention.”
Many still outraged and disappointed over the Amendment One vote will take part: Bicentennial Mall at 10 A.M.
Jones Auditorium at Meredith College was standing-room only Monday night for Amendment 1: Religious and Political Dimension of Same Sex Marriage in NC – a panel discussion on the amendment’s religious, legal and civic motivations and consequences.
The panel included Maxine Eichner from the UNC School of Law, Nancy Petty from Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Caroline Mann from Meredith College, Anthony Biller of Coats and Benner, P.L.L.C., and Patrick Wooden of Upper Room Church of Christ. Continue reading →
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Vote Against Project is touring North Carolina and will be in Asheville Saturday, March 23rd. Visit the Altamont Theatre between 11am and 4pm to don the iconic Vote Against t-shirt and get your portrait taken for free. A $20 donation will get you your own VA t-shirt and support the project as they move across the state, spreading the message to vote against Amendment One.
Last week, behind the North Carolina General Assembly building, Honest NC’s Cory Livengood delivered the first of three impassioned speeches at the Ides of Love. “Before I started organizing this [march], I never would have considered myself an activist,” Livengood told the crowd, “and that is the problem, because it takes activity to instill change.”
Hundreds of like-minded activists took to the streets that day, marching from the NCSU Belltower to Halifax Mall. “For me this is about pride, not gay pride…but human pride,” said Livengood. He encouraged the throng of supporters to “talk to your parents, your cousins, your friends, your neighbors. Talk to them. It doesn’t have to be about being gay or being straight or whatever. It’s about how it’s okay to be anything, because we’re all in this together.”
CHAPEL HILL — Funny People for Love and Justice, a benefit for the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families in its stand against Amendment One, will be held April 1 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. Ten improv and standup comedy acts from across the Triangle will perform.
“This is going to be a party, basically,” says event organizer Greg Hohn. “We’ll have a mixture of fun entertainers and the bar will be open. Why, we’ll even have baked treats for sale to benefit the cause. We’re coming together to fight discrimination in our state. And it’s on a Sunday evening; what else do you have going on?”
Performers slated to appear include improvisers FatMouth, Mixed Signals, Nothing I’m Proud Of, Temporary Tag, members of Transactors, and Zen Fried Improv alongside standup comedians Adam Cohen, Jenny Chalikian, Tom Keller, and Brad Schnurr.
“Amendment One is rotten in so many ways,” says Hohn. “I felt somewhat powerless wondering what I could do to help defeat this proposal. Then I realized that I know a lot of talented, funny, and socially conscious people. Just like in the old movies I thought, ‘Hey, let’s put on a show!’
“Amendment One is no joke but for one evening we’re going to treat it like it is. We’re hoping we can help motivate people to turn out for the May 8 vote and defeat this effort to write discrimination into our state’s constitution.”
“Radical activists are targeting North Carolina! They’ve pulled out all the stops!
Here’s what they’re saying about us in the Daily Kos, a notorious leftist group:
I can’t imagine a more effective way to strike the fear of God into the hearts of marriage equality opponents than to see (another) southern state vote down an amendment like this. I should confess to being among those who’d written off North Carolina as a fait accompli and unwinnable. But on Monday, I spoke with organizers and their ‘Yes, we can!’ attitude was truly contagious (remember that?). But better than their enthusiasm, they seem to have a hatched out a strong pathway to success. At this point they have a staff of 30; 26 in seven field offices, and are making 20,000 voter calls a week. They have also looped in 117 groups into their Truth Squad that will participate in fact-checking the many lies that always emanate from the religious right opponents to LGBT equality. These organizers are getting increasingly sophisticated and aggressive and learning from mistakes of the past.
By mocking our efforts to defend God’s institution of marriage, it is clear that our opponents will stoop to any level necessary to ram their agenda down the throats of North Carolinians!
In addition to the opposition’s 30 staff members, 7 field offices, 117 partner groups, and 20,000 phone calls they’re making per week, our opponents are working with 225 congregations and are bringing in the NAACP as well as Chad Griffin – a paid media consultant who is the founder of the Americans Foundation for Equal Rights and also the new President of the Human Rights Campaign. The opposition is also using MoveOn.org to collect signatures andhas even gotten People For the American Way to blast their list with lies about the Defense of Marriage Act.
We need you to help us fight against the lies and distortions being spread by the radical activists. I urge you to give TODAY—time is running out!”