Archive for July, 2010

Real fast, the plate numbers of the cop cars involved in an incident in Southern Barton Heights tonight.

At 7:24 139118L and 121443L searching a  woman’s purse in the Parking Lot of North Avenue Market and Deli

Neighborhood Liason unmarked white crown vic XNY9115  at 7:25 now 4 male cops at the scene

Cops followed person down North Avenue onto Battery. Now at 7:38, 139128L, 143373L, 139247L, 139118L all at corner of North and BAttery. (more…)

Yesterday, the Animal Rights community received some potentially positive news. The charges against the AETA 4 were dismissed. The 4 can still be re-indicted, so this is likely only a temporary reprieve. Those not familiar with the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act should take the time to read up on this bogus law. The case of the AETA 4 is the first time this law is being used to prosecute anyone, and so this case will likely set a precedent. The outcome of this case is extremely important, as what the 4 are being accused of are things like fliering and chalking, which are supposed to be protected speech.

This case is happening across the country, but it has the potential to affect activists in Richmond and activists everywhere. Not being able to catch people working underground has pushed the government and corporations to try to prosecute folks doing above ground work. This law and the rampant use of the word terrorist as a label are part of a movement to protect capitalist interests at any cost.

Will Potter writes the blog Green is the New Red http://www.greenisthenewred.com and that site is a really good source for up to date news on the persecution of animal and environmental activists by the government and corporations.

Here is his post on the Dismissal of the AETA 4. (more…)

In another case of police brutality and murder by the police, the Norfolk police have shot and killed an 18 year old, Jemarr Hassle. They shot him during a chase. Hassle had no day in court, he had no innocent until proven guilty, and he had no opportunity to live as an adult. Running from the cops is not punishable by the death penalty. Nor were any of the things he was accused of doing. It is unacceptable for the police forces to kill people over chases for non-capital offense crimes. This is yet another example of the police being out of line and abusing their power.

This murder is not an anomaly, it is the predictable result of the police state we live in. Racism, Classism, Sexism, Ableism, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Ageism are all reflected in the behavior of the police, who are the strong arm of the state.  The Anarchist Black Cross is for the aboilition of prisons. We also support prisoners as we can. Prisons are unjust institutions. They perpetuate the problems of our society. And the murder of people by cops is a part of this injustice. We condemn the Norfolk Police and the as yet unnamed officers responsible for this murder.

There has been more information released on this killing. What reports are saying is that Jemarr had fired a shot at  someone he attempted to carjack, or something along those lines. Until anything is confirmed though, the police should still be scrutinized. And regardless, his crime would still not have been a capital offense. Police have many less lethal options that they can use- lord knows they use them on protesters all the time.

Our condolences to the family of Jemarr Hassle.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Suspect Shot, Killed By Norfolk Police

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A Norfolk police spokesman has identified a man shot and killed after a chase.

A Norfolk police spokesman says officers have shot and killed a man involved in a chase.

Chris Amos says 18-year-old Jemarr Hassle was shot about 2:20 a.m. Sunday. No other injuries were reported. (more…)

Today was the first time the Wingnut Anarchist Collective brought the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry to Southern Barton Heights.

Prior to today’s event, the Wingnuts had distributed 100 food vouchers throughout the neighborhood. The Food Bank truck arrived at 12 and we helped the awesome folks from the  Food Bank set up the tables and distribution. By 1 there was already a long line of folks waiting for food.

Over 115 people went through the line today to get food. They represented 392 people in the Southern Barton Heights Neighborhood, based on the number of folks in the households they were representing.68 children, 153 adults, and 71 seniors.

Food that was given out included: Romaine Lettuce, Soup, Fig Newtons, Pop Tarts, Cereal, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Green Beans, Pears, Sweet Potatoes, Juice, Pasta, Crackers, Bagels, Pancake Mix, Salsa, and Turkey.

There will be 100 vouchers available for the event next month  at the Wingnut at 2005 Barton Avenue. The event will be on the second Saturday of August, which is August 14th, and 1pm, at the Parking Lot adjacent to the Goal Post restaurant at 2400 North Avenue.

These two videos were taken today by a member of the independent media.

Outfront of Richmond City Hall:

In front of the Richmond City Jail:

There was already some news coverage of today’s protest in Richmond. Channel 8 aired some stories which we haven’t seen yet but which will hopefully end up online. The Richmond Times Dispatch has already posted an article on their website, which we are including a link to below.

There will be a more complete reportback with pictures from us later. But the bare bones is their were about 30 people there and the protest and march were fine, with no arrests.

Link to Times Dispatch article, or just look below.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2010/jul/09/jail09gat-ar-287099/

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PLEASE show up to this.

Friday, July 9th
Demonstration in memory of Oscar Grant and in solidarity with prisoners suffering under inhumane conditions in the Richmond City Jail.

4pm-Demo at City Hall (8th and Broad)
5pm- March down Broad Street to Richmond City Jail- noise demonstration in solidarity with prisoners

Bring banners in memory of Oscar Grant, signs, fliers, etc

Bring ways to make noise so the inmates know we are out there. Buckets, sticks, guitars, horns, megaphones, boomboxes, etc.

Some information about Oscar Grant:

Oscar Grant was a young black man murdered by the police on Jan 1, 2009 in Oakland CA. Following reports of a fight on a BART train, transit police arrived, and detained Oscar and one other person.  Oscar Grant was prostrate, cuffed face down on the ground.  He was allegedly resisting arrest, and Officer Johannes Mehserle drew his firearm and shot him in the back.  The murder was recorded by several passengers on the train, and led to widespread riots in Oakland and international solidarity actions.  It also led to the first EVER murder trial for a police officer in the state of California.
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The Richmond City Jail needs to be EMPTIED NOW!!!! The inmates need to be let out, today.

2 deaths in one month due to the horrendous conditions at the Richmond City Jail are  2 TOO many. No one should get the death sentence for committing misdemeanor crimes. One person who died in June in the Richmond City Jail had not even gotten a chance at a trial.

The Jail is overcrowded. The jail is too hot. 120 degrees is TOO hot. Giving the inmates ice and water 4 times a day is not enough. Inmates do not receive adequate food, water, medicine, or medical attention. The Sheriff and other officials pride themselves on their ability to cut spending on the inmates- thus providing fewer of the services necessary to keep the inmates healthy, and alive.

The inmates in the Richmond City Jail need to be released NOW! They do not have time to wait for the bureaucracy to figure out ways to fix the current jail or construct a new one. People are dying.

The Richmond City Jail needs to be emptied and closed down. Adequate repairs etc. will not be possible with inmates still inside. And the risk is too great for the inmates.

If the sheriff and city officials all acknowledge that the conditions in the jail are horrendous and unacceptable then it is LONG past time that something be done about it.  Let the prisoners go. It is the only humane solution at this time. We have months of summer left, with many days of over 100 degree heat expected. If we, as a city, allow inmates to remain locked up in Richmond City Jail then we are accountable for their pain, suffering, and deaths.

EMPTY the Richmond City Jail NOW!!!!

On June 30th an inmate at the Richmond City Jail, died. RIP Kerry Wayne Bennett.

That was the 2nd death in the month of June in the City Jail. Previously, Grant R. Sleeper, died after being moved from the Jail to the Hospital.

These are not the first inmates to have died at the Richmond City Jail due to overcrowding, poor facilities, intentionally cruel management, lack of access to food, water, medicine, and medical care etc. The Richmond City Jail is an atrocity.

The proposed solution to the torturous conditions at the current Richmond City Jail is the construction of a new jail facility.

We call for the immediate release of all prisoners currently being held at the Richmond City Jail. Moving them to a different facility, even as a temporary measure, will undoubtedly result in the overcrowding of that or those facilities. It will likely also result in the removal of those inmates from the Richmond area which will make it more difficult for them to receive support and visits from their family, friends, and lawyers.

In the long term we also oppose the construction of a new jail facility, particularly if it is an expanded facility. When our prisons and jails are all over crowded, we question the need to have so many people imprisoned.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is an autonomous Collective committed to prison abolition and prisoner support. As anarchists we are oppossed to all systems of oppression and repression and have concluded that prisons serve no positive function in society. We actively seek to abolish the institutionalized slavery of the Prison Industrial Complex. We are dedicated to working in solidarity with prisoners and drawing connections between a multitude of struggles.

http://www.criticalresistance.org has more information about reasons for supporting the abolition of the Prison system in the United States.

This Article, from the Richmond Times Dispatch has more details:

Richmond, Va. —

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate what it calls “punishing” conditions at the Richmond City Jail after the deaths of two inmates last month. (more…)

This form is designed to collect grievance information from the people who ride the bus pertaining to public transportation in the Greater Richmond are The Richmond Transit Riders Union would like folks to share their issues, ideas, complaints, praise, etc.with GRTC’s service in particular. This data will be used to convince city officials that there are better ways to improve the transportation system other than raising the fares and placing the responsibility of funding overwhelmingly on the shoulders of the transit-dependent working class community.

Please put the web address below in your browser in order to fill out the RTRU Grievance Form.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dGZlRU5kTU9ybndTZXp0UjIydXQxV3c6MQ#gid=0