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Norfolk VA crips protest ampitheather lawn ban

Thanks to Ivy Kennedy for alerting us to this story.

"Amphitheater, show some class!.
We want access to the grass!"

Chants of the Young Endependence Advocates could be heard above the crowd milling before the Def Leppard concert at the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater a few weeks ago. The protesters -- from the Endependence Center of Norfolk, Virginia, an independent living center, were angry that officials refused to allow wheelchairs on the grass, where concert-goers sit. "Warning -- Discrimination In Progress," read their signs.

The Center sued the Ampitheater in 1996 under the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming multiple access violations -- including the facility's refusal to let them onto the grass for lawn seating.

In 1997, the city of Norfolks agreed to some changes. "Lawn seating" was not one of them.

Mark Warner, project manager for the Virginia Beach Development Authority, told reporters that crips already had enough access and that lawn seating was off limits because it "isn't safe."

Allowing wheelchairs on the grassy hill, which seats 13,500 and slopes down from 60 feet, would be a liability, he said.

"What would you do with a wheelchair once you got it up there?" Warner asked. "They would be stuck in a corner where they can't move around. We have an obligation to provide a safe environment for all customers of the amphitheater."

More from Ivy Kennedy's website.

Thanks for posting this on your website.
-the group is from Endependence Center Inc. of Norfolk (Hampton Roads) not northern virginia.
-Not sure how I feel about you using the word crips. we are working on forward thinking not negative rhetoric.
Thanks anyways!!

I think it would be interesting to know what the slope on ramps were in comparison...and if it's too dangerous for for the "wheelie people", then NO ONE should be allowed to be on this dangerous slope...after all, if some "walkie" gets drunk or stoned and falls down, don't they have the same liability? smegmas.

kelly - interesting point. hahaha

Matt - (your name sounds familar) not sure why ragged edged posted it as "northern" and i had nothing to do with the "crip title either. i have mixed feelings about the usage of "crip". in my eyes it's kind of like the "N" word for african americans.

Interesting comments about Ragged Edge's use of the word "crip." We've been doing it for years, as have many in the movement. See my blog entry today for more.

Oh, and we corrected the mistake about the name of the Center. Thanks for drawing it to our attention!

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