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October 13, 2011

Timely Webcast Explores Constitutional Right to Assemble and Petition

Colonial Williamsburg explores a basic right guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 with a live webcast about the timely subject of the right to protest. The webcast is hosted by well-known Hampton Roads public affairs broadcaster Cathy Lewis on the new “Connect” website

Alexander Purdie - editor and publisher of the Virginia Gazette, circa 1776, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Dennis Watson – discusses freedom of speech and the right to assemble with Henry Chambers, professor of law at the University of Richmond.

From the Boston Tea Party to the current Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations taking place across the country today, protest is part of the fabric of America. The very roots of the American Revolution can be found in protests against what the colonists saw as British tyranny. Purdie and Chambers also explore the evolution of protest in our culture, and the role of the press.

A toll-free 800 number will be posted to allow viewers of the webcast to participate live in the debate, or viewers can email their questions at any time before or during the webcast at and all are invited to blog about the questions on

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280