Norfolk Signs - Rally Against Eminent Domain
A Community Fights Eminent Domain Abuse
|People gather to support CRC and their first amendment rights.|
It’s clear that Bob and Kelly have the community behind them as multiple motorists enthusiastically honked their horns to demonstrate support.
Despite a sweltering heat wave blanketing the East Coast, more than one hundred dedicated activists rallied to show their support for IJ clients Bob Wilson and Kelly Dickinson in Norfolk, Va., on July 5. The City of Norfolk wants to seize a thriving, 78-year-old business—Central Radio Company—through eminent domain. Bob and Kelly put up a banner on the building to protest the city’s action, and now officials are demanding they take the banner down.
Unwilling to give up their First Amendment rights, Bob and Kelly pumped up the volume of their protest, volunteering Central Radio’s parking lot for the rally and picnic. They gave out t-shirts emblazoned with the text of the protest banner, and attendees held brightly-colored protest signs—all designed to grab the attention of passersby. It’s clear that Bob and Kelly have the community behind them as multiple motorists enthusiastically honked their horns to demonstrate support.
The rally received an incredible about of press coverage. Local radio stations hosted Bob and IJ attorney Erica Smith before the event, and local television stations and newspapers reported on the event afterwards. It is doubtful the city officials are unaware of the spotlight they are now under.
IJ hosted the rally with the Hampton Roads Tea Party, Tidewater Libertarian Party and other local groups. IJ’s director of activism and coalitions, Christina Walsh, emceed the event, with Bob sharing his story with the activists and Erica firing up the crowd with remarks focusing on the constitutional right of Bob and Kelly to protest government abuse.
The outpouring of support by the community continued even after the event when nearly every attendee helped disassemble tables and chairs, throw away trash and clean up the parking lot. Bob and Kelly were grateful to know they were not alone in their fight. Not only did they have IJ in their corner, but also the community their business has served for 78 years and counting.
IJ client Bob Wilson proudly stands in front of his sign.
|all photos by Eric Lusher|
IJ filed a suit in federal court defending the First Amendment right to protest government action on behalf of Central Radio Company, one of its owners, Bob Wilson, and its vice president, Kelly Dickinson. The city has ordered the sign to be removed. More about the lawsuit.