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Opponents of right of way ordinance pack Kingsport meeting

MATTHEW LANE, Kingsport Times News • Nov 6, 2019 at 11:01 AM

KINGSPORT — One of the largest crowds ever to come before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen did so Tuesday night. Men and women of all ages, from all walks of life, were united under a common purpose: to protest the city’s decision to prohibit structures placed in the right of way.

Those who showed up at City Hall called the move a direct attack on the Ballad Health protest that’s been taking place outside Holston Valley Medical Center for nearly 190 days. Dani Cook, who has been spearheading the protest since May, said the city is weaponizing its ordinances and described the amendment as a “declaration of war on our peaceful protest.”

Many comments drew rounds of applause and emotions ran high at times during the two-and-a-half hour meeting. There were several outbursts, some back and forth between the protesters and elected officials, and at least two threats from Mayor Pat Shull to remove disruptive folks. Our partners at the Kingsport Times News have more.