Marshall County commissioners pass resolution requiring permits to picket

The county commission passed a resolution on Wednesday saying that you need a permit to protest on courthouse property.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 5:26 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 6:17 PM

People protesting for the removal of a Confederate monument and flag outside the Marshall County Courthouse in Albertville will now have to get a permit.

County commissioners approved the change Wednesday following months of protests in Albertville. The protest organizer vows to press on.

"As an organizer, as a leader, I will continue to lead in this fight and we will not give up," said Unique Dunston, protest organizer.

This comes as the county commission passed that resolution now saying you need a permit to protest on courthouse property.

"In the last several weeks, we've had several protests in the Marshall County Courthouse, and it was getting to the point where I was scared there would be some issues, be some people arrested, be some trouble, and it was interrupting operations of the Marshall County Courthouse," said James Hutcheson, Marshall County Commission Chairman.

That's why the Marshall County Commission chairman says he decided to come up with this resolution requiring a permit to protest.

"To make sure everyone is treated fairly. Everyone has the opportunity to express their opinion, but also the courthouse operation is not interrupted," said Hutcheson.

The organizer of the group, Reclaiming Our Tim, has been organizing protests in the past at courthouses in Albertville and Guntersville. She says this resolution isn't stopping her cause.

"The resolution has already set a new fire inside of me. We will be wherever we choose to be, because it is our constitutional right to do so. So this will not stop us, this will not stop our plans, we will continue protesting," said Dunston.

She says she has already contacted her attorneys about this resolution.

"The attorneys I have consulted with in just the past hour are very upset and concerned and angry at this decision," said Dunston.

There have been many protests with protesters and counter-protesters gathering at the same time and having to stay on separate sides, sometimes even separated by sheriff’s deputies. 

In the resolution, the chairman says he has the ability to only allow one group to picket at a time. There are also rules and regulations on how groups can and cannot picket.

The chairman says as for the removal of the monument and flag, the commission has not talked about it.

"That has not been discussed as of the present. I don't know when it will be discussed," said Hutcheson.

The sheriff says he fully supports the resolution and his department is ready to handle any person or group in violation of it. Commissioners unanimously passed the resolution and it went into effect immediately Wednesday.

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