Tarps must come down from the statues of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson in Charlottesville, Virginia Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore ruled Tuesday.[Judge Orders Tarps Removed From Confederate Statues in Charlottesville
NYT, February 28, 2018]The judge found that Charlottesville City Council’s to covering the statues “in mourning” for Heather Heyer
, killed after the repression of the last year’s Unite The Right rally
, is tantamount to removal, a violation of state law. (BREAKING NEWS: Tarps came down at 6 a.m. today).
The tarps were removed multiple times since their inception by rebel Confederate heritage activists. So City Council erected unsightly fencing around the monument and declared the space a No Trespassing zone [Orange fences placed around Confederate statues, by Isabel Lawrence, Newsplex, September 19, 2017]. Subsequently, Confederate activists have been repeatedly arrested [Man arrested for third time for trespassing at Justice Park, by Lawson Gutzwiller, WDBJ 7, February 23, 2018] and several banned from the parks.
Meanwhile, the Left is openly proclaiming its intention to violate the law, as in Durham, NC where anti-Confederate gangs, including Redneck Revolt member Dwayne Dixon tore down a Confederate monument in broad daylight—notwithstanding which the prosecutor (black) dropped all charges.
Other issues discussed in the hearing, from my notes:
- Whether the Robert E. Lee monument could be considered a “veteran’s memorial” and thus protected by state law—Judge Moore decided it is.
- Whether the city can be sued for damages. Although the judge had initially found that the tarps did not damage the statues in any way, he took a closer eye Tuesday at the statute provision indicating that municipalities are barred from preventing the “preservation” of monuments. Putting up the tarps may have done so and thus opened the city up to financial liability.
- Whether City Councilors could be sued individually or as a collective body. The judge decided they could be sued as a collective but deferred to a later date on whether they could be sued individually. The crux seems to be the argument of whether Council acted with “intentional and willful misconduct” in the matter of the statues, a condition which would wave their legislative immunity.
- Judge Moore ruled that the renaming of Lee Park to “Emancipation Park” was within the city’s authority but that it may have acted improperly by renaming Jackson Park, where there were conditions on the gift of the land.
- Judge Moore declared that his rulings are based on his assumption that the monument attorneys are likely to prevail on the merits of their case.
The actual trial for that case is tentatively being considered for January 2019.