In stark contrast to ongoing political spinelessness exhibited by Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris, his Keystone Kouncilors, and City Manager Maurice Jones, the University of Virginia (UVa) has just said “no” to Occupy Charlottesville (OC) in their attempt to appropriate University property for the purpose of a protest encampment.
As predicted by The Schilling Show yesterday, OC members planned to move their makeshift tent city to from Charlottesville’s Lee Park—where the protest has resided since October—to George Rogers Clark Park on the Corner, which apparently rests on University grounds.
An open letter to OC from UVa Chief Operating Officer, Michael Strine, makes it clear that the University will not tolerate violation of their property and threatens potential Occupiers with citation and prosecution. A University Police car stationed at the Clark site this afternoon shows that UVa means business.
Occupier Jon Grainger, in today’s Daily Progress said OC’s fallback location is the “free speech wall” on Charlottesville’s downtown mall, directly in front of City Hall—a site recommended by John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute.
Downtown merchants, at the height of their Christmas selling season, certainly would take issue with such relocation. In this event, how will Charlottesville’s invertebrate, incompetent City Fathers respond, now having painted themselves into a very tight Corner?
Read Michael Strine’s open letter to Occupy Charlottesville:
November 30, 2011
Dear Members of Occupy Charlottesville:
We understand from news reports last night that members of your group may intend to establish an indefinite encampment at the University of Virginia. By way of this open letter to your membership, we are providing notice to you as soon as reasonably practicable that such an encampment will not be permitted on the University’s Grounds.
While the University cherishes and protects robust exercise of the rights protected by the First Amendment, the University must continue to fulfill its core functions of education and patient care. The erection of camping structures on the University’s Grounds would impair our mission by diverting necessary resources from our core functions. Such an encampment also would create significant health, hygiene, and safety problems for the University community and the citizens we serve. Quite simply, the University is not a campground and is not set up to support an indefinite encampment.
By providing this notice to you in advance, we are hopeful that you can plan accordingly. The University will take enforcement action to prevent the attempted establishment of an encampment on University property including issuing Trespass Notices and the subsequent enforcement of such notices, if necessary. We also remind any of your membership who previously may have been issued Trespass Notices for prior conduct on University Grounds that such notices continue to remain in full force and effect and will be enforced.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer