Tell Governor Northam to Move the Lee Statue from Richmond
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The Virginia Department of General Services is considering making regulations permanent that were enacted on an "emergency" basis in 2017 regarding how the state will permit protests and demonstrations at the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond.
Portions of these regulations are unconstitutional, in that they are not neutral to the content of speech being exercised, allow previous, recurring events to be "grandfathered" without a permit, and are required for as few as 10 people, among other issues.
The answer to the problem of how to balance public safety and the right to free expression at this public forum is not to enact burdensome, illegal regulations. No regulations will be needed at all if Gov. Ralph Northam uses his executive authority to remove the statue from Monument Avenue.
The governor has the ability under state law to declare the monument — a towering Jim Crow-era symbol of racism and oppression — to be surplus property and dispose of it how he sees fit. One option would be to donate it to the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, the site of Lee’s surrender, where it could be viewed in its proper context by those who want to see it.
Gov. Ralph Northam