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Civil rights group to settle with city of Florence over ordinances used to curb protests

Project Say Something said they expect the city council to pass new ordinances that clarify and add protections for protestors.


From 2020 to 2021, the civil rights group Project Say Something demonstrated against the erection of a Confederate monument in Florence, only to be met by city law enforcement using parade and noise ordinances in “inconsistent, arbitrary, and discriminatory ways.”

The group ultimately took the city to court over these issues; now it appears the group and the city are ready to settle the suit.

The tentative settlement includes several key provisions:

  • Acknowledgment by the City of Florence that the unamplified human voice is not subject to the noise ordinance.
  • Explicit clarification by the City of Florence that Project Say Something’s activities do not constitute a parade.
  • Placement of the new noise and parade ordinances on the City Council’s agenda for a vote in September 2023.
  • A stipulation to file for dismissal once the new ordinances are adopted, anticipated to be in October 2023.

Although the settlement is “tentative,” Project Say Something leaders say they are confident the city will follow through with the terms.

“Camille Bennett, founder and executive director of Project Say Something, has worked closely with the city throughout the negotiation process, ensuring that the content of the ordinances protects the constitutional rights of all members of the community,” the group said in a release Monday.

The organization is now urging citizens to show up at tonight’s city council meeting to support the new ordinances. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m.

“This landmark resolution is a testament to the perseverance and dedication of Project Say Something in upholding First Amendment rights,” the group said in a release. “The organization remains committed to promoting social justice and equality, and this settlement represents a significant victory in that mission.”

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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