Former councilman threatens to remove cars himself from VCU lot

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The fight to remove cars from a controversial VCU parking lot shifted into a new gear today, when a former city councilman threatened to do the job himself.

Sa'ad El-Amin took VCU to court, yet again, urging a judge to immediately remove cars from state property that covers an old African burial ground.

As the reigning champion of the TV sound bite, Sa'ad El-Amin did not disappoint.

SA'AD: "If they don't get those cars off the parking lot peacefully, then we're prepared to do it by any means  necessary."

ANDY: "What does that mean!?"

SA'AD: "What does that mean? It means ANY MEANS NECESSARY! But I suggest when we get ready to do that, that you better not have your car over there!"

We've heard this kind of rhetoric before, but today, following yet another court appearance, El-Amin appeared to be running out of patience.

"Every minute that there is a car on there is a further indication of the disrespect that this Commonwealth has for living people of African descent."

Earlier, El-Amin argued that VCU and the state are committing a misdemeanor by parking cars here; what he described as "desecrating" the burial ground of his ancestors. A representative of the Virginia Attorney General's office responded, "If we could move the cars, we would. But we have nowhere else to place them."

And that's not all.

The state argued that El-Amin doesn't have the proper authority in this case, because he can't prove that his ancestors are actually buried there.

Furthermore, last December, the state already agreed to give up the lot in a cash deal. However, the deal is not yet final, and cars continue to park there.

But El-Amin wants them gone immediately...and he repeated a PG-13 message we've heard from his camp so many times before.

"Get VCU's asphalt removed," he said, emphasizing a certain syllable.

Whether that happens, is up to a judge, for now.

"Let the folk know that the war continues," El-Amin said.

The judge expects to make a decision on the lot's future by the end of the month.

In the meantime, VCU students and staff continue to use the lot, located near Broad St. The state still plans to give up the lot later this year.

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