Defendants’ statement issued June 6 (view on instagram)
On June 3, Asheville Police Department issued a press release “updating” the public about this case, and sharing the legal names and dates of birth of 10 more defendants. Gross! And wow, y’all, our community did not stand for it. You stood up for us. You noticed that they doxxed us. You noticed that this is a profound waste of public resources. You told them and we THANK YOU <3
For those who want to support us, we need you! Always always, we need you to tell your friends near and far what’s happening. The city doesn’t like negative attention on our tourist town. We also need financial support for legal fees (Venmo @avldefendantfund) and to sustain local mutual aid work, which is the ultimate target of this police retaliation spree (Venmo @avlsurvival)
We also need your voices! APD and the City are invested in a narrative that paints us as out of town baddies. But we’re your friends and neighbors. We’ve lived here a long time. We give out food and gear in parks and take care of our community. We need APD and the City to hear that you see what’s happening, and you are standing with us. If you take issue with advocacy and food sharing being addressed with felony charges, years of being banned from all city parks, and having personal information distributed online please spread this far and wide!
Call District Attorney Todd Williams at 828-259-3410, tell him you know we are folks who contribute to this community in material, neighborly ways, and ask that these absurd charges be dropped. He has the power do this.
Write to the whole City Council at AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov and let them know you see the pursuit of these charges, and the extrajudicial park ban and fake appeals process, as an extraordinary waste of tens of thousands of dollars of public money. Tell them this is disheartening proof that our city both refuses to take care of the folks who live here and is willing to criminalize the folks who attempt to provide some of that care. Tell them this is further evidence of APD working directly against residents of our city. Tell them it’s upsetting to hear talk about “reimagining” public safety while as they do nothing to address continued abuses of power or the unmet needs of people in our community.
And while APD tries to divert resources and focus from the housing crisis and into these irresponsible felony charges, they continue to violently displace people camping together. At least one encampment was served with 24 hour notice to vacate today. There is nowhere for people evicted from camps to go! Stop the sweeps!
APD has asked the public to “share information about this case,” so please also text them anonymously (text TIP2APD to 847411) and let them know what action step you took to support us once you learned of their harmful and incompetent work.
And as always, keep showing up in the real, material ways this absurd repression is trying to deter. Remember, all we have is each other <3