Archive for January, 2011

Southern Barton Heights is a neighborhood with few options.  There are few businesses, fewer recreation options, and nowhere except the streets to hang out.  This leads to a massive amount of police harrassment of folks who are just hanging out and socializing, a lack of cohesiveness and communication within our community, and few safe places for children to play.

The need for a community center is an oft-talked about situation in Barton Heights, but none has really been forthcoming.  The neighborhood association drags its feet around and talks about how “someone should make such-and-such into a community center” or “couldn’t someone use this building for free community events,” and so on, but nothing is ever actually DONE to facilitate a neighborhood community center.

We would like to change that.

We currently have the opportunity to purchase a condemned building for fifteen thousand dollars.  It’s over 3,000 square feet and would make a GREAT community center.  Its condemned status doesn’t bother us in the least.  The Wingnut was condemned when we first bought it, and we got it fixed and up to code in 7 months.  We know about construction, one of us is a licensed contractor, and we bust our asses to get things done.  Just about anyone who knows us can attest to that.

We have five thousand dollars available.  We were hoping to be able to use it as a down payment and get a mortgage loan, but the type of loan we are able to get for the building requires us to also borrow enough money to cover construction/repair costs AND prohibits us from doing the repairs ourselves.  Yeah. Right.

So basically we’re at a point where we’re asking for loans from anyone might have some spare cash on hand.  We’d really like to get this building FAST, because so far the only people who’ve come to look at it are very clearly speculative investors, and while so far none of them have made offers on it, it won’t stay that way forever.

If you’d like to help us out, get in touch and let’s talk.  Got 50 bucks? 200? 2000? The whole 10k?  Let’s make this shit work.

Always in solidarity,
The Wingnut Anarchist Collective

The show at the Wingnut on January 6th was recorded by Mo, and now that recording is available for download on

The show was recorded in sections, by artist performing. Check it out!

This section has recordings of Rameysaurus and Alison Self:

And here you will find the recordings of the Baltimore String Felons and You’ll Never Guess What’s Going On:

The Richmond Police Department and the City of Richmond have dropped their lawsuit against us.


Sorry, I guess I’m not as excited as I should be.  This is the best possible thing the RPD could have done… for themselves.  Why?  Because it puts this situation out of the public eye as quickly as possible, and allows them to attempt to save face before exposing themselves to even more public ridicule and calls for the resignation of Chief Norwood.  (Not from us – we’d like to give him a “Best Anarchist of the Year” award for drawing so much attention to anarchist projects happening in the city.  Thanks and keep up the good work!)

But there are some other subtler and more interesting things to take into consideration when looking at the RPD’s decision to drop the case.  The court documents we were provided with claimed that the manuals and protocols we had recieved through FOIA “jeopardizes and endangers Richmond’s Police Officers and citizens,” yet one of the statements made to the media in regards to why the case was dropped was that the state didn’t want to “waste resources.”

If there’s one thing cops are good at, it’s protecting other cops.  If the reasoning behind the lawsuit actually had anything to do with keeping the pigs safe, there is NO way it would have been dropped just because it might be a little difficult to win.  The speed with which this case was dropped really just cements the fact that this case was a politically motivated attempt to intimidate a dissident group into turning over documents that we had received through THEIR OWN BEAUREAUCRATIC PROCESS.

Norwood claims that his objective in filing the lawsuit was to get the documents back quickly, but doesn’t even wait for the initial hearing date.  Did he expect us to see the legalese, the statements saying they wanted the documents back, and come rushing to his office crying “OH PLEASE DON’T SUE US, WE’RE SO SORRY!”





3 new titles are now available at the Wingnut Radical Lending Library. You can come check out our collection during Open Hours on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-9pm.

The monthly Richmond Copwatch meeting will be moved to the 4th Tuesday of the Month at 7pm at The Wingnut (2005 Barton Avenue). Tuesdays generally have fewer radical events scheduled. And this month, there might be a court hearing in regards to the FOIA’d RPD documents on the 24th.

So: Tuesday January 25th! We will be prepared to talk about Copwatch, training others to copwatch, distributing incident forms, scheduling Know Your Rights Trainings, the current court case with the Richmond Police Department and more.

In light of recent events, Richmond Copwatch is looking for donations of the following items:

Blank burnable disks

8 1/2″ by 11″ copier paper

Toner for our copier- GPR-2 toner for a Canon Imagerunner 400S

Ink for our printer- HP 60

USB Flash Drives

Banner making materials- paints, fabric, permanent markers etc.

Any donations can be brought to/mailed to The Wingnut at 2005 Barton Avenue. If you are unable to bring us something and want to donate there is a Paypal button on this site. Just let us know what you intend your donation to go towards- more FOIA requests, cameras, etc.

The real risk to public safety is a police force that refuses to be transparent and accountable.



January 6, 2011

ACLU to Defend Right to Keep and Publish

Documents Obtained through FOIA

Richmond police chief filed court papers Monday seeking return of

manuals and other information released to member of local anarchist group.

Richmond, VA – The ACLU of Virginia has agreed to represent Mo Karn, a member of a local anarchist group, who received notice earlier this week that Richmond City Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood is seeking a court order to compel the return of documents she obtained through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and to prohibit her from disclosing the documents.


Last September, Karn requested the information for Copwatch, a project intended to educate the public about police practices. The Richmond Police Department responded in December, supplying her with nearly 600 pages of police manuals and other documents, some of which had been redacted to exclude sensitive subject matter. The documents were then posted on a website,, managed by her anarchist collective in late December.


But on January 4, Karn was served with papers informing her that the City of Richmond and the Police Department had filed an emergency motion with the Richmond Circuit Court to force her to return of some of the documents.


Richmond Copwatch is the organization which requested through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act the documents which the Richmond Police Department is now taking Mo Karn to court over. The only reason Mo Karn is the defendant in the case is because an individual with a physical address has to make a FOIA request. Mo Karn, a member of Richmond Copwatch, happened to be the one to make the request.

Richmond Copwatch requested the police manuals and protocols from the Richmond Police Department in order to find out what the police are supposed to be doing so that we can hold the police accountable when they violate their own rules. We paid $89.25 for the information which was legally received through the Virginia FOIA. We made it available online so that others could use it without having to go through the FOIA process and fees.

So what is Richmond Copwatch then?

Richmond Copwatch is a non-hierarchical organization dedicated to ending police abuse. We believe that monitoring and recording police interactions with community members is a vital first step towards ensuring accountability and protecting ourselves and our communities. We are committed to anti-authoritarian principles and seek to transform the nature of the police and explore alternative methods of community conflict resolution. (more…)

You’ve got to give Charles Samuels and his group of knee jerk lawyers one thing… they’re tenacious as hell.  Not a month after the courts found Samuels’ noise ordinance unconstitutional, he’s got a new draft ready to go, and the sequel is just as long-winded, vague, and concerning as the first.

Here’s the new version:

Click to access Noise%20Ordinance%20Draft%20Version%201%20_2_.pdf

If you feel the need to sift through all of the lawyer speak of this new ordinance, (and I strongly suggest that you do), you’ll find all sorts of little questions that need to be raised regarding the constitutionality of the document.  For all of you who just want a rundown, we’ve got you covered.


Richmond Police Want Anarchists to Turn Over Manuals | Articles/Archives | Style Weekly.

Today’s article from Style weekly about the current legal situation involving the Wingnut, Copwatch, and the Richmond Police Department.