First it was illegal occupation of Lee Park, then underage drinking in an on-site tent, on the heels of unpermitted construction, followed by requests for rape whistles, and now, Occupy Charlottesville (OC) may be violating State health laws in regard to food provision.
In an October 24 Special Event Application, group representative, Bailee E. Hampton, stated in her own writing that “there is no official food distribution” at the demonstration.
Good thing, because if there was, the Application informs the applicant:
“A Temporary Food Permit will be required by the State Health Department (Thomas Jefferson Health District) located on Rose Hill Drive…”
In addition, a Special Events Certificate of Approval issued to OC by the City of Charlottesville includes the following language regarding food:
TEMPORARY FOOD PERMIT
No food or food items may be distributed or provided to participants without obtaining a Temporary Food Permit from the Thomas Jefferson Health District–Environmental Services Division. This is a State requirement. Food permits must be posted for public view unless otherwise requested by State Health Department.
Yet, a November 2 Occupy Charlottesville press release entitled “OCCUPY CHARLOTTESVILLE SEEKS HELP FROM COMMUNITY” directly contradicts the City’s conditional terms of Occupancy:
We would like to formally invite the public to attend our Occupation, and we challenge those who seek to divide the bottom 99% to come spend even one night in the cold with us. There is an especial need for social workers, teachers, security volunteers, counselors of all kinds, cooks, cleaners, campers and anyone seeking solidarity, community or camaraderie. We would like to welcome questions and comments in person at our camp, and are happy to engage in polite discussion at any hour. Please come in a spirit of nonviolence and respect, and bring your friends. There is free food and beverage available to anyone, as well as coats and blankets, books and tarps. All are welcome. [Emphasis added]
A recent picture of the encampment’s open “kitchen” area (see below) shows what appear to be fresh bananas and bagels amidst prepackaged foods and other food supplies, openly displayed and seemingly placed for the taking. Local Health Department officials confirm that as of yesterday, no Temporary Food Permit had been issued to Occupy Charlottesville.
OC protest organizer, Evan Knappenberger, stated in a November 3 Daily Progress story that the group is a respecter of law:
“We believe in law and order,” Knappenberger said, explaining that both the city and the Occupy Charlottesville movement feel strongly about keeping Lee Park both safe and clean.
If so, where is the State-mandated Temporary Food Permit for Occupy Charlottesville’s self-described food preparation and distribution services?
If not, where is the Thomas Jefferson Health District and where is equal protection under the law?
Occupy Charlottesville’s illegal commandeering of Lee Park may have been given a pass by politically sympathetic City Hall Marxists, but State forgiveness of health-related transgressions is much less likely—especially considering the open and flagrant nature of continuing OC violations.