At 11AM on October 18, 2011 three dozen Carrboro residents gathered at the corner of Davie and Jones Ferry Roads in violation of the town’s anti-loitering ordinance. The ordinance makes it a misdemeanor to “stand, sit, recline, linger, or otherwise remain” on this corner “between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 a.m.” Day laborers impacted by the ordinance, attorneys underlining its unconstitutionality, and residents who believe the ordinance is contrary to Carrboro’s welcome, progressive reputation all called for its immediate repeal.
“This is one of the only venues where we can provide for our families,” day laborer Angel Martinez told the crowd. “Once we are asked to leave, there’s nowhere else we can go.”
SCSJ staff attorney Chris Brook opened the press conference by reading a letter signed by 115 Carrboro residents to the Board of Alderman highlighting that the ordinance “violates the civil and human rights of any person who would otherwise lawfully be present at the intersection.” Prior to its start, Carrboro announced they would not seek to enforce the ordinance to disrupt the press conference. Brook highlighted the problematic nature of this selective enforcement noting, “Our First Amendment rights are not being obstructed today, but day laborers’ rights are infringed upon every day.”
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