Protest nothing? Organizers head for the hills
If there's one thing locals thought they could count on, it was "Buy Nothing Day." In recent years, organizers of the anti-consumption rally were tossed out of Barracks Road Shopping Center and then moved on (with their giant masks) to scare passersby on Route 29.
Organizers pick the day after Thanksgivinga day retailers call "Black Friday"– to spread their message against over-consumption. The name comes from a traditional consumer bonanza massive enough to send businesses' account books into the black.
In 2001, Charlottesville ralliers unfurled a banner containing that famous quotation about "living simply so that others may simply live."
Detractors point out the economic ramifications of Buy Nothing Day's concept. "If people bought nothing at holiday time, stores would hire fewer people," says Chamber of Commerce President Timothy Hulbert.
"We would be in the anti-Buy Nothing category," adds Hulbert, who professes ignorance of the event.
Hulbert (and everyone else) will miss the event this year, as it's going hiatus-ville.
"I'm gonna be out of town," explains organizer Alex Davis, who reports that key fellow organizers are also otherwise unavailable to put on another big show.
Last year, he says, over 70 people, 30 puppets, and a stilt-walker distributed over 500 flyers and– no doubt– turned a few heads along Emmet Street.
But despite the fact that there won't be a really big show, "I'm going to try really hard to get something happening for Buy Nothing Day this year, even if it's just handing out flyers," vows Davis.