Statement: We Got Banned From Parks

This past week, the Asheville Police Department delivered letters to defendants issuing a ban from ALL Asheville City Parks for a period of three years. These bans were issued on the grounds of “commission of a felony,” for which none of the recipients have been convicted. Some recipients had not been otherwise notified of pending charges.

This is one act of many in a campaign against our ability to conduct weekly food shares in parks, and aligns with the City’s broader attempts to restrict food access in public spaces across the city.

We, the defendants, would like to reiterate that the City’s efforts are NOT keeping Asheville safer. They are NOT punishing criminal activity. They are jeopardizing mutual aid efforts. When some members of our community are unable to meet their survival needs, we all suffer.

We will not be silent in the face of repression. We need everyone in our community to stand in solidarity against the city’s efforts to harm our homeless neighbors.


Call APD Chief Zack’s Office 828-259-5813

Call City Manager Deborah Campbell’s office at 828-259-5604

Call the District Attorney’s office at (828) 259-3410

Sample script: “In the past two months, 15 community members have come under persecution of the Asheville Police Department and the City of Asheville. Prosecuting felony charges, police harassment, arrests and bans from public parks are a waste of the city’s resources and do nothing to increase the safety of our community. These retaliatory actions undermine mutual aid efforts in Asheville and I (insert name if you want to) stand in solidarity with the defendants and the homeless community against your larger efforts to damage our networks of community support and make life unlivable for those on the streets.
These charges, APD’s recent repeal of 7-day eviction notices for camps, the City’s threats of regulating and restricting food sharing in public spaces, the closing of emergency low-barrier shelter options, and the lack of viable options by those displaced by these measures will not be ignored. I call upon the District Attorney, Todd Williams, to drop the charges against the Sanctuary Camp Defendants. I call on the City and APD to end their program of harassment of homeless community members and those who act in solidarity with them.”