Paul Stam: Protesters disrupted legislature

March 13, 2014 

Regarding the March 7 editorial “The people’s property”: I question your argument that protesters should be acquitted or charges dismissed because the property belongs to the people.

I sit on the back row of the chamber, just a few feet from the doors to the lobby. On May 6 and May 13, chanting and singing in the lobby made it very difficult to hear the proceedings for the first 20 (May 6) and 30 minutes (May 13) until protesters were gradually removed. If I had needed to participate in the debate or even hear it, I would have had to leave my assigned position.

The consequence of your editorial position is this: Protesters can go to the lobby of the Wake County courthouse and sing and chant outside the courtroom at the trial of their fellows. The judge would not clearly hear the proceedings. Do you really want justice or legislation derailed by “direct action”?

Protesters claim their legislators are not listening to them. My experience is that of most members: Not one person identified as a protester contacted my office to discuss any issue at all before going to the lobby to sing and chant and disrupt the proceedings of the House.

Will you rethink your position when you realize the consequences?

State Rep. Paul Stam


The writer, a Republican, represents N.C. House District 37.

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