Occupy Charlottesville has asked City Council’s permission to protest 24/7 in Lee Park, Ted Strong reports for the Daily Progress. Occupy X groups have been popping up across the country in the past couple of weeks, beginning with Occupy Wall Street, with left-leaning protesters staging live-ins in public opposition to economic inequality and corporate power over government, especially since the September 2008 economic collapse. Lee Park has a 11 PM curfew, which prevents the protesters from remaining there around the clock, as is the norm for the Occupy protests. Occupy Charlottesville has been protesting in Lee Park since Saturday, but has asked permission to carry on non-stop, for a month. Given that Council doesn’t permit homeless people to remain there overnight, Councilor Holly Edwards said that she felt uncomfortable with the idea of allowing protesters, while Councilor David Brown expressed concern about the precedent that permission could set.
10/18 Update: Council agreed to give the group a permit to remain in the park through Friday night. It’s up to parks director Brian Daly to decide if they can stay longer.
Blogger Brian Rothamel has won his lawsuit against Fluvanna County over his use of the county seal, Sharon Fitzgerald writes for the Daily Progress. He brought a suit against the county back in January, courtesy of the Rutherford Institute, after they adopted a law prohibiting anybody from using their seal for any reason. The ordinance appeared to have been passed specifically to prevent Rothamel from illustrating stories about county business with the seal on FlucoBlog. (In the first few years of this site, I displayed the Charlottesville seal as the icon for news related to city government, just as Rothamel was doing for Fluvanna government news.) Federal Judge Norman K. Moon issued an injuction against the county to prevent them from continuing to enforce the law, writing that “the deprivation of Rothamel’s First Amendment freedoms easily outweighs whatever burden the injunction imposes on the county.”
The Progress article doesn’t include any quotes from members of the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors. I certainly hope that somebody gets their respond on the record. The law was unconstitutional on its face, and now that they’ve been smacked down by a federal judge, they’ve got some explaining to do.