Sandersville, the former homeless encampment in Charlottesville’s Lee Park, is no more.
Named for City Manager, Sam Sanders, the erstwhile tent city was formed in the wake of Sanders’ knee-jerk reaction to false allegations of brutality against the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD).
When Sanders unexpectedly reversed course and announced a resumption of Lee Park operating hours, community tensions were heightened over a possible Occupy-like showdown between police and park “residents.”
While that anticipated violent encounter never materialized (as police assisted campers in packing and relocating prior to deadline), another confrontation was materializing. An event dubbed “Pack The Park!” was promoted by local activists and called for a protest gathering in Lee Park prior to and during the scheduled eviction.
By 10:00 PM, scores of protestors were in the park holding signs and participating in curse-laden chants. Sentries were posted at the park’s corners to warn of approaching law enforcement.
At approximately 10:45 PM, activists returned to the park en masse and resumed chanting provocative, police-challenging mantras. When a seemingly hoped-for conflagration failed to materialize by 11:15 PM, the activists slowly dissipated, leaving only a handful of stragglers and a few wayward tents behind.