Perriello protests: Police warn of arrests for trespassing

news-protest-perriello-ofcA November 10 protest in front of U.S. Representative Tom Perriello's office made doing business difficult for the Glass Building tenants.

Congressman Tom Perriello faces a heated run for re-election in November for his votes on health care reform and the economic stimulus package. Locally, he faces another controversy from those who contend his Charlottesville office doesn't adequately allow constituents to assemble to petition their government.

The Jefferson Area Tea Party scratched a June 14 "Right to Redress Rally" after the group received a letter from Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo warning that protesters in the privately owned parking lot outside Perriello's office could be arrested for trespassing.

"I thought it would be irresponsible to show up [Monday] and not think that through," says Carole Thorpe, Jefferson Area Tea Party chair, who rescheduled the rally for June 21 and has appealed to the civil liberties group, the Rutherford Institute.

"We're not contesting that it's Ms. [Lisa] Murphy's property," says Thorpe. "I believe every group should have equal access. What we've seen is unequal access."

Thorpe refers to a May 19 demonstration and street theater in the parking lot of the so-called Glass Building by members of the left-leaning Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice in which no police showed up to tell them to leave the lot and which was filmed by Keith Drake with Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance.

"For two-and-a-half minutes a bunch of liberal protesters performed a skit," says Lloyd Snook, Murphy's lawyer. "Nobody complained. Lisa Murphy was not aware of it. No one seemed aware of it except Keith Drake."

Adds Snook, "It seemed like an ineffectual place to have a protest."

Snook himself attended a counter-protest in the parking lot on November 10, when a national group called Americans for Prosperity pulled a bus into the lot, which was filled with health care reform protesters–- and supporters, much to the consternation of business owners in the Glass Building.

After several large rallies in November, Murphy called the police, who warned the groups to stay on the public sidewalk approximately 180 feet from Perriello's office, or to assemble in the Congressman's office.

"Why is it when the conservative groups are there, the police are called," wonders Thorpe.

The same Longo letter went to the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, which has planned a June 16 protest of House legislation to fund an additional $33 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

"We don't plan to use the parking lot," says the Center's David Swanson. "We plan to go inside." However, he says he supports the Jefferson Area Tea Party's right to assemble, and calls the location of Perriello's office "unfortunate." (And he invites the Tea Party to join the CCPC in protesting government spending on the war.)

The Tea Party and the Rutherford Institute have called on Perriello to move the office from the back of the Glass Building on Garrett Street to a location where citizens can more easily petition their government without having to go on private property.

"It happens across the country that Representatives shield themselves by putting their offices on private property," says Thorpe. "It inserts a third party when it should be between the Congressman and us."

Perriello has no immediate plans to move, according to his press secretary, Jessica Barba, who notes the space is leased until January 2011.

"It's 90 degrees outside," she says. "I don't know why they'd want to stand outside when they're welcome to come inside and directly petition their Congressman."

Not the same, counters Thorpe. "I think being outside the Congressman's door is a unique platform," she says. "If we take it inside, it's beyond the media's attention." And protesting on the street doesn't carry the same weight because it's farther away from his office, she maintains.

"Something about that doorstep–- there's no confusion about why we're there," says Thorpe. "His name is over the door. That office represents him."

Perriello won't be in Charlottesville when the two protests are scheduled. "I'm confused," says Barba, "and not sure what their goal is. We've given them every opportunity to petition their Congressman."

She points out that Perriello has had more town hall meetings than anyone else in Congress. "If people feel 100 hours of town hall meetings are not enough," she says, "I'm not sure I can say anything to convince them."

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The Tea Partiers are simply the latest incarnation of the John Birch Society. What a shame it would be if they became the media face of Charlottesville, a place whose residents are overwhelmingly decent and reasonable people. The extremism of the Tea Partiers is anti-American and the local group of Tea Partiers should not have the name Jefferson associated with their antics.

Of course, it is Charlottesvile. One cannot expect equality in anything at all.

Ah, then there are the Democratic Party voters and their endless hate-mongering of people they do not know. Endless, juvenile sticks-and-stones.

All par-for-the-course here. Nothing changes, no progress, no common sense.

SamA- all of that money was approved by Congress. Guantanamo Bay is a necessity to keep that wonderful Castro democracy in check. ("You can't handle the truth"-Col. Jessep).

Never said he has to work out of his car, but 5 offices? And that is the norm for these wanna be elitists. After a session, they should go back to their farms, or vineyards, or Cape Cod estates, or whatever they own, and WORK! Just like their predecessors.

Remember, it is "we the people"..........

Why have we not had an apology from all the animals stealing oil from BP? They just jump in the oil and they won't even learn English and they are taking profits away from a very important corporation. Dumb birds...


Expressing opposition to Obama and his minions (inc the Pelosi puppet Perriello) is extreme and anti-American but I'll bet you had no problem whatsoever with the despicable, hateful things the libs said about Bush, did you? Look up the word "hypocrite" in the dictionary. It might be very enlightening to you. The motto of the Obamabots should be "Obey, resistance is futile".

Much ado about nothing. Perriello doesn't give a rat's rump what the majority of his constituents want or think, so why waste time protesting in front of wherever his office might be? Obama or Pelosi calls him, says "jump" and he says "how high?". Doesn't matter....the little puppet will lose November 2nd unless Jeffrey Clark has a tantrum and decides to run as an independent. That will be one expensive ego trip. Another two years for Perriello to help destroy our economy

It is clear: Perriello is NOT supposed to have an office!

Let's see.....I called and emailed T.P. about the healthcare response (except the form letter he sent to everyone after the fact). I called and emailed him about the Cap and Trade bill, with a question that was pretty time response. I'd say I have reason to be dissatisfied with his responsiveness, but I don't want to be called an "ignorant racist."

...and another thing. He had the gall to say in his letter that he sided with us instead of the special interests in Washington. I believe every fluff piece of mail I've received in the last year (you know, "Thank Congressman Perriello for being so wonderful...") was paid for by SEIU. It said so right on the mailers in small print. If SEIU isn't currently the most powerful special interest in Washington, I'll eat my hat!

One very important fact people seem to be overlooking. Whose parking spaces were the protesters blocking? III Esthetics and Hair Care, which has mostly ceased to operate (as detailed in this blog). Perhaps, just perhaps, it has nothing to do with unequal access so much as no one left to care.

@ Sally Grevalt,
I am not a member of the tea party, but I certainly agree with many of their greviences. What I see at the tea parties are all walks of life in America that are simply fed up with over taxation and endless government regulation. To make generalizations such as you have is patently simplistic.

Forget doing any more protest at Perriello's office's.Lets work hard to give him a pink slip on November 2nd.If Perriello won't listen to the people of the 5th lets elect someone who will.

Yeah, Periello is a Democrat: he should have to work out of his car! Oh, he does? Whatever. At least spending at Gitmo is reasonable. "The cost of the marquee, along with a smaller sign positioned near the airfield: $188,000. Among other odd legacies from war-on-terror spending since 2001 for the troops at Guantanamo Bay: an abandoned volleyball court for $249,000, an unused go-kart track for $296,000 and $3.5 million for 27 playgrounds that are often vacant.

The Pentagon also spent $683,000 to renovate a cafe that sells ice cream and Starbucks coffee, and $773,000 to remodel a cinder-block building to house a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant.

The spending is part of at least $500 million that has transformed what was once a sun-beaten and forgotten Caribbean base into one of the most secure military and prison installations in the world. That does not include construction bonuses, which typically run into the millions.

Also not included are annual operating costs of $150 million � double the amount for a comparable U.S. prison, according to the White House. Add in clandestine black-budget items, such as the top-secret Camp 7 prison for high-value detainees, aptly nicknamed Camp Platinum, and the post-Sept. 11, 2001, bill for the 45-square-mile base easily soars toward $2 billion." Not "wasteful washington spending". Nope.

I knew it would happen. As soon as Terry Teabagger was outed for posting ridiculous things to make us conservatives look like mouth breathing Neanderthals, he changed his username to King Ralph. Nice try, but I see through it and I know I'm not alone.

WOW- Let's get one think straight!

Perriello does lease anything- WE lease it for him. Not one dime comes from his pocket for that office- he lives in Ivy, why not work out of a "home" office, saving US some money.

If the expression tea-bagger is acceptable, then everyone should be permitted to use the expression "fudge" right before "packer" to refer to gay men. Also, we should be allowed to refer to "carpet" immediately preceding "licker" for gay women. If lewd sexual descriptions are allowed, at least let them be accurate.

realist, this 2010 not 2000 those jokes are a bit dated.

Here is a thought, how about if he moves his office across the street into Garrett Square/Friendship Court, he could rent out a whole unit. How many of those angry white people would dare set foot into a public housing project

The "protest" in front of the glass building was an exercise in free speech.

Lisa Murphy owns a piece of private property and does not want trespassers.

Tom Periello leases an office from the private sector, thereby stimulating the economy.

The tea party has a problem with which of these facts, exactly? I'm a little confused as to what these people are supposed to be upset about.

Is it about the fact that people expressed themselves in front of the glass building? Is that a good or a bad thing?

Is it about the fact that Lisa Murphy does not want people violating her property rights? Is that a good or bad thing?

Perhaps they are saying that Lisa Murphy should be forced to allow people she disagrees with to have a forum on her private property. Perhaps they are saying that because Lisa Murphy doesn't agree with their views, she should be forced (presumably by the government) to forfeit her right to peaceably assemble with whomever she chooses and are suggesting that her right to private property is not sacred and inalienably bestowed upon her by Our Creator?

Thomas Jefferson would frown greatly upon these psuedo-patriots, these fair-weather acquaintances of freedom, these tin-pot foster children of liberty!!


Doesn't matter. He will be out of office in 5 months anyway.
Maybe the group can take the property by using emminent domain laws. They only have to prove that it is for the good of most citizens.

Before you start screeching research Va emminent domain laws.
The lack of property rights in this state is ridiculous.

Lesee, the Tae Party is all about individual property rights and how the gummint is robbing them, support a man who think businesses should have the right to discriminate, but feel cheated of equal access when someone exercises the rights they happen to support.

Oh, wait, it's all about we can do to others but they can't do to us. I forgot.

I wonder where Perriello is supposed to have his office, if NOT in some private office.

@ watical obedient wefty

I don’t understand how people can blindly follow such a raciest administration, can you not see the writing on the wall.
It is you the follower who will be singled out next.

Periello is a fantastic human being, period. But the teabaggers need someone to blame/something to do...

@Not a Bagger

After Clinton's shenanigans in the Oval Orifice, err Office, Dems are more oriented to using terminology related to oral sex.

The Upstart is absolutely right - if Thorpe's issue is really "inserting a third party" between the Congressman and the protesters, then she should have no problem going inside and protesting in the Congressman's office. What she wants is the media attention (i.e. a third party, only a different third party) involved. Take your pick. Do you want a media show or do you want to communicate directly with your representative? So Perriello's office is next to a privately owned parking lot - deal with it. Make it a two-pronged attack with a protest in another location, followed by a direct visit to Perriello's office. Boom. Problem solved. This is a non-issue.

If the Tea Party is so concerned about upholding the US Constitution, maybe they should try reading it once in a while. Specifically the last line of the Fifth Amendment ... "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." And sorry, there's no proviso that renders the Constitution null and void if it causes less-than-adequate media coverage of your protest event.

TJ- if TP is such a fabulous human being, then why does he not do the right thing- as mentioned above? His position certainly does not require an office (yet alone 5 offices) outside of his home- actually- we as the funders of these un-needed offices should require that they work out of their homes and the one taxpayer funded office in DC- the virtual office is indeed a money and energy saver.

Perriello has 5 offices- he can only use one at a time.......................perhaps he thinks manning those offices is "creating jobs"

@ wow, I believe that was a publicity stunt perpetrated by the DP.
It has their MO all over it.

Am I missing something? It's a private parking lot, private property, and the rightful owner is allowing some people to assemble there and not others?

That's perfectly acceptable. What is the deal?

Stop politicin' yo

Wait. The street is too far away from the office, but inside the office isn't good enough? Thorpe says "it should be between the Congressman and us" but still does not want to go into the man's office. This makes no sense.

If you want the public's attention, stand on street corners or on the mall. If you want the Congressman's attention, make an appointment, call into one of the conference call town hall meetings, or go to one of the physical town hall meetings.

Perriello work for John Podesta and Center for American Progess. If they want to get Tom he will be there collecting his campaign cash. Usual suspects the unions, emily list, and la raza. Best thing for Tom would be for a la raza to catch Tom out in DC and have an expericne to remember for our hoegrown boy.

Perriello should do the right thing.......close the office, save the taxpayers the rent and work out of his house- then he can make the rules, letting everyone and anyone on his property to support or protest his deeds or lack thereof.

@Casey Keenan:

Shhhhh! Please don't confuse Sally Grevalt with facts. She lives in her own little dream world where all who oppose Dear Leader are ignorant racists foaming at the mouth.

Any american citizen who pays taxes should be thrilled and excited that there is a third party movement. It is a sign of a healthy democracy.


You just keep telling yourself that as you whistle past the graveyard. Anybody who doesn't like Dear Leader's policies or the votes of his acolytes like Tommy Boy HAVE to just be ignorant racists according to those who think like you. It couldn't possibly be that they oppose his radical policies and associates. Usually 45-55% of the electorate oppose ANY sitting President's policies and vile epithets aren't hurled at them. But THIS time around, if the approval rating is less than 100%, those who oppose just HAVE to be ignorant racists. You sound like Andrea Mitchell, who labeled all those in southwest Virginia the same way you label Tea Party supporters. I guess if you're in central Virginia you're just a dumb hick, a step above ignorant redneck. So you might look down on tea party people, but the snotty elite liberals up north look down on YOU. How does it feel?

wellduh obviously hasn't researched VA's eminent domain laws. They don't allow any such thing.

Quick, name someone you know who is smart that is a member of the so called Tea Party??? They are just a bunch of angry white people or

God, what a bunch of freakin' babies. Grow up.

I would love to see pictures or documents that show Pelosi puppetry when it comes to our Congressman. This is just silliness that ignorant people spew to scare those even more ignorant.

He leans does the 5th district. Granted, most people who comment on blogs/websites are passionate about one side or the other, but the fact remains that this district has been moderate for many years.

Make that "doesn't lease anything....."

"why not work out of a ââ?¬Å?home” office, saving US some money"

Because the teabaggers tried to blow up his house.

Of course, we see a list of hate-filled messages from Democratic Party voters who have the unmitigated gall to call themselves "Liberals".

"Blow up his house" - ah you mean the fuel line on his brother's outdoor propane grill. That's ok, we understand that Democrats think all Italians look alike.