Gaston County leaders to revise controversial protest ordinance

Gaston County leaders to revise controversial protest ordinance

GASTONIA, N.C. — Gaston County commissioners are revising a controversial protest ordinance.

Many believe the proposals stemmed from protests over the summer and the repeated calls to remove the Confederate statue at the Gaston County Courthouse.

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Commissioners introduced the original protest ordinance last month. It would have required demonstrators to provide a 30-day written notice and a $250 fee.

The amount would spike to $750 if the group had more than 500 people.

But the district attorney said paying to protest violated the first to free speech.

Tuesday night, commissioners are expected to scrap that plan and introduce a revised proposal. The county wants 24 hours notice if there will be 25 or more demonstrators on county property and no fee.

The ordinance would apply to any group wanting to demonstrate, regardless of the reason.

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