- Do private citizens need a permit to demonstrate in opposition/support of the pipeline project?
The County does not have an ordinance regulating picketing or peaceful demonstrations on public properties or rights-of-way, however:
Parade permits are required in order to restrict or block public roads. If you desire to hold a parade, submit a parade permit application to the Chief of Police.
If you expect that the gathering will attract 500 or more people, contact the Community Development Department at 540-772-2080 to discuss the process for obtaining a special use permit for an outdoor gathering.
If you plan on holding a gathering at a public park, you may need to reserve the park facilities.
- Where can people demonstrate peacefully in Roanoke County?
Any publicly-owned park or government-owned property provided that freedom of movement, ingress or egress, or the ability by other persons to conduct business or other lawful activities are not interfered with;
Persons interested in using a County-owned park should coordinate with the County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (540) 387-6078 to avoid conflicts with groups who may have previously reserved areas of the park for sporting events, picnics, or other purposes;
Or along any public road provided that the demonstration does not impede or block the flow of traffic.
Or on private property (with the owner’s consent) and in public places. However, participants may not obstruct the free passage of others; you may not obstruct vehicular and pedestrian traffic in roads, in parking lots, driveways, etc. without first obtaining a parade permit from the Chief of Police.
- The County respects people's rights to assemble. What type of behavior is unlawful?
The County always recommends that you are courteous and use good manners. Participants may not threaten or use violence. Title 18.2, Chapter 9, Article 1 of the Code of Virginia
sets forth Virginia’s criminal code regarding riot and unlawful assembly. The following actions would violate the law:
Blocking access to properties, businesses, driveways, public buildings or roads (Roanoke County Ordinance Sections 12-52 and 12-54)
Interfering with or blocking freedom of movement of persons engaged in lawful activities (Section 18.2-404, Code of Virginia)
Physical assault (Section 18.2-57, Code of Virginia)
Inciting violence (Section 18.2-408 Code of Virginia)
Damaging or defacing property (Section 18.2-137, Code of Virginia)
Wearing a mask in public (Section 18.2-422, Code of Virginia)
Failing to disperse if ordered to do so by law enforcement (Section 18.2-407, Code of Virginia)
Please be sure that all trash and rubbish is properly disposed of during and following your event. There should be no unlawful disposal of trash on a public road or on a neighboring property. (Section 13-13, Roanoke County Ordinance)
The Police Department will enforce any court orders and violations of law as required by the Code of Virginia.
|Disclaimer: This webpage is for information purposes only. For emergencies, please call 911.