UVA Protesters Move Off Madison Hall Grass

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

April 18, 2006

After a week of protesting, for what they deem a living wage at the University of Virginia, students were told to move their stuff on Tuesday morning.

While no resolution on the protest was given to students, their day continued as planned.

The students who have set up tents outside Madison Hall as their home are gone, but not too far. They honored their so called eviction letter by moving from Madison Hall, by they now sit across the street near the Rotunda.

Students who spoke to Charlottesville's Newsplex say their fight for living wages is far from over.

"It's crucial that our campaign is visible because there's such strong public support for it," said Abby Bellows, one of the organizers of the protest.

Abby Bellows, along with many other University of Virginia students, have been protesting UVA's living wages for a week.

"There's just a lot of energy for this," said Bellows.

The energy got an unlikely jolt after UVA officials sent a letter telling students to remove their tents from outside Madison Hall.

Jesse Schofield, helping his friend move a tent, explained the consequences if this letter was not followed."If [my friend's tent] is not taken down by 10 a.m., it's going to be confiscated. I am just trying to help her keep her tent, really."

Other students like Schofield came by to remove tents. They hauled the gear away making several trips to another location.

One of the protest organizers was asked if the fight was over, and she said absolutely not.

"So, we're moving across the street right now, and [we're] going to maintain a visible presence there. Right now, we're checking out some of the legal issues about whether it's legal for the University to ask us to leave tenting from this property," added Bellows.

Bellows goes on to say that she and others are checking out legal issues to find out if it is legal or not for UVA to ask them to stop from tenting at Madison Hall.

The students plan to continue their fight with even more energy. There will be another rally near the Rotunda Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

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