According to a letter printed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Tea Party Treasurer Corky Mann hand delivered an invoice for $8500 to city government. In the wake of the preferential treatment that has been granted to the “Occupy” protest in Richmond (which was finally evicted on October 28), the Richmond Tea Party wants a full refund for all city-imposed costs related to their annual Tax Day rally. John Pride, a member of the Richmond Tea Party and author of the article writes:
For each event at Kanawha Plaza we filed timely applications for governmental review and paid all required permit fees. We arranged for toilets, first-aid care, staging, lights and sound, off-duty police officers for security, event insurance and volunteers trained to support an orderly day of protest. We always left the property as clean as — or cleaner than — we found it. The Occupy Richmond group met none of these benchmarks while camped out in the same Kanawha Plaza between Oct. 15th and Oct. 31 (the morning they were finally evicted). So in the spirit of our founding principle of equal application of the law, the Richmond Tea Party is requesting a full refund from the City of Richmond for city-imposed costs related to these three rallies.
Other Tea Party groups—and anyone else who has held a protest in an “occupied” city—should follow the Richmond group’s example. They are right to demand that the law be applied equally to all parties, regardless of whether or not the city government agrees with the protester’s. If the city isn’t going to enforce their own ordinances, they shouldn’t have them on the books.
I have contacted John Pride with a request for comment. As of this publication he had not responded. This post may be updated pending his response.