At a public forum Thursday night, more than 30 local residents discussed Chapel Hill’s controversial bus advertising policy, with some calling for the end of political advertising.
The forum was held in response to a petition filed on Sept. 12 urging the Chapel Hill Town Council to revise its transit advertising policy after some residents were offended by the content of a widespread ad.
The ad — which runs on Chapel Hill Transit buses — that calls for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.
It was paid for by the local Church of Reconciliation as part of the “Be On Our Side” national campaign, which argues foreign aid to Israel is perpetuating the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The council did not make a decision at the forum, but many residents voiced their opposition to the ad and others like it.
West End Wine Bar owner Jared Resnick spoke at the public forum on behalf of several businesses on Franklin Street.
“Collectively, we share a strong belief that these ads are negative, detrimental and just overall bad for our community,” he said.
But some residents fear putting restrictions on ads would stifle free speech.
Janie Freeman, from the Salaam-Shalom committee at the Church of Reconciliation, said the purpose of placing the ad was to bring about discussion on the issue.