Although PHAR residents arrived during normal business hours, lights in the housing authority offices were out.
Even police initially couldn't get cowed housing staffers to open the door.
photo by lisa provence
Nothing says May Day quite like a protest. Around 50 public
housing residents and supporters, chanting, "C-R-H-A, stop evicting
us today," marched the Downtown Mall on May 1 to deliver a message
to the city housing authority– only to find that the agency had
locked the doors, cut off the lights, and were pretending they
The Rally for Dignity and Justice in Public Housing, led by red
t-shirted Public Housing Association of Residents members who were
joined by anarchists, socialists, living wagers and Legal Aiders,
gathered in front of City Hall. By then it had swollen to around 75
people. Noticeably absent: elected officials. Only one City Council
candidate showed up.
Several in the crowd carried signs that said, "Evict Connie
Dunn," referring to the executive director of the Charlottesville
Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Angry residents denounced what
they called "disrespectful treatment" by the housing authority.
"They treat people like animals," decried march leader and PHAR
staffer Brandon Collins. "Are you animals?"
"No," shouted the protesters.
Crescent Hall resident Miss Mary Carey, as she was referred to
by other residents, said she's been complaining about mold in her