Charlottesville Beyond the Lee Statue

By David Swanson, December 7, 2017, Let’s Try Democracy.

If you haven’t seen Charlottesville on the news lately, you should know that the Lee Statue and the Jackson Statue still stand, covered with enormous black garbage bags so that nobody can see them, but everybody can know there’s something ugly there. The state of Virginia forbids localities from removing any war memorials whatsoever, at least if you apply laws retroactively and have no courage. Nobody has made any move to repeal that state restriction, principally because nobody wants to make any sort of move against war memorials, and only half the public supports any sort of move against Confederate war memorials, which can be found all over Virginia, dominate Richmond, and show up in the U.S. Capitol in the form of Virginia’s Lee statue there in Statuary Hall, which nobody seems to care a fig about one way or another.

Meanwhile, as the fascists consider holding a 1-year anniversary riot next summer, local and state reports have been published about the fascist rallies last summer. I was eager to see whether either report would touch on the apparently taboo topic of letting crowds of people armed with all kinds of weaponry and threatening violence hold rallies in public places. When I’ve raised the matter, the City has claimed the state won’t let it ban guns, and has just said nothing regarding any other weapons. The local report says:

“Charlottesville should modify its permitting regulations to explicitly codify the prohibition of certain objects at large protest events and require permits for all events involving open flames. The Virginia General Assembly should criminalize the use of a flame to intimidate. The General Assembly should empower municipalities to enact reasonable restrictions on the right to carry firearms at large protest events.”

The state report says:

“Localities should adopt permitting processes for special events. Local permitting processes should incorporate, at a minimum: . . . Weapons restrictions . . . ”

The state report proposes this new law:

“Localities may prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in public spaces during permitted events or events that should otherwise require a permit.”

If action follows reporting, I will have to say I am pleasantly surprised by government bodies finally doing the obvious and sane thing despite months of public and media reaction that has seemed to focus on everything but.

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