The following statement from Virgil Vaduva was released regarding the April 24, 2010 Tea Party scheduled for 4:00 PM at the Greene County Courthouse in downtown Xenia, OH:
I received several telephone calls and emails regarding our plans to meet despite the fact that Greene County officials denied our application for holding an event on the lawn of the Courthouse. The catalyst for this rally was the Court’s dismissal of the lawsuit filed against the City of Xenia over illegalities related to the passage of Issue 7, a 28.5% income tax increase for Xenia residents. The suit dismissal prompted the urgency of our action and decision to hold this rally as soon as possible, before the May 4 election when the levy is on the ballot. Greene County’s policy makes this kind of political dissent and demonstration impossible, and it makes no exception for our circumstances. It is therefore important for us to meet before May 4, at this public location, which is the symbol of Law and Justice in Greene County, Ohio.
I also recognize that the requirements placed upon the use of public spaces by the Greene County Commission are not as a result of state or local law, and they are instead the result of policy and procedure created to allow for smoother operation of county facilities and departments and for the stewardship of public spaces. As such, it is unfortunate that it is being used by bureaucrats now for the purpose of stopping a Tea Party meeting from taking place.
As with any government intervention in the lives of its citizens, this policy is having the unintended effect of denying the First Amendment rights of Greene County residents willing to express their political opinions, dissent and petitioning of their government. In fact, the intended consequence seems to be that of denying political opponents the right to dissent, oppose and criticize, something which is a fundamental right expressly protected by our Constitution, a principle that is uncompromisable and unchanging.
My belief is that our country is where it is today as a result of a series of compromises made over a long period of time, compromises which add up to a large loss of freedom for Americans, loss of rights to our property and income, and a large amount of government control over our lives. As a nation we are at a crossroads; the time for government saying “no” to us is over, the time for us to say “no” to government has come. Further compromise of any kind, on any issue related to free speech, right to assembly, right to own property and educate our children as we see fit will erode the U.S. Constitution out of existence. This is our opportunity to send a message to both Republican and Democrat politicians and bureaucrats, at any level of government, and let them know that while we will always obey the law, we are unwilling to accept their policies and stifling of our freedom and liberty.
I call on the Greene County Commission, especially my opponent, Commissioner Alan Anderson to reverse the denial of our application and waive the 14 day requirement which is interfering with our Constitutional rights and our desire for peaceful assembly and speech. As we do not need access to any county buildings or equipment, and we do not need security, we will carry on with the meeting as planned, hoping that before April 24 the Commission will reverse this decision.
We hope to see everyone on April 24 at 4:00 PM at the Greene County Courthouse.