Solidarity means attack!

But sometimes it also means showing up to court to support your friends and allies. Less fun, less flashy, but vital for building movements. Court sucks, but it is a lot better if people show up to support you. 2 different issues have upcoming court dates, and would really appreciate support from others at the court dates. And because intersectionality is a reality, we are posting both of these dates here.

From Richmond Copwatch being threatened with a lawsuit by the Richmond Police Department, to the Monroe Park Occupation having court on April 12th over Obstruction of Justice and Trespassing charges, to the May Day parade having to defend their right to free speech regardless of their ability or desire to give money to off duty cops in order to finance their own repression, to the Defenders and Richmond African Burial Ground
Organizing Committee having to go to court to defend their civil disobedience in an ongoing campaign to get VCU to stop parking cars on the graves of people of color – Richmond has a LOT of legal stuff going on in 2011. Legal issues, arrests, lawsuits, tickets, and court dates are all very stressful and time consuming. Any support from those not directly involved can go a long way towards morale and be a really great way to strengthen relationships across particular issues. So many people are involved in the struggle for positive change, social justice, anarchism, etc. and it is really inspiring to see how much activity we do have in Richmond. Support each other, because a lot of folks seem to be throwing down really hard, and would appreciate any support.

First, the May Day Parade has a court date in regards to the bullshit cost the Richmond Police Department want them to pay to get a permit for the rally and parade. This court date is on April 26th.
Second, the folks who were arrested during a civil disobedience blockade at the African Burial Ground in Richmond, who prevented cars from being able to park on graves, have court on May 25th.

From the May Day Coalition:

A PEOPLES RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY SHOULD NOT BE DETERMINED BY WHETHER OR NOT THE PEOPLE HAVE THE MONETARY MEANS TO EXPRESS THEM.

The hearing for this case will take place Tuesday, April 26 at 11:00 am at the U.S. District Court, 701 East Broad Street, in Judge Hudson’s courtroom.

We would like to request that all endorsing organizations and supporters please consider mobilizing your respective communities and create an overwhelming presence outside the court house in support of the lawsuit against the police. Bring signs, banners, and puppets!

This injunction if granted would mean that not only the May Day Coalition will be able to march unfettered by onerous fee’s in the future, but that no other organization will have to fear such deterrents of their right to free speech and the right to assemble.

And from the Defenders and the Richmond African Burial Ground Community Organizing Committee:

As you may know, on April 12th (the same day that the Monroe Park Occupiers had their court date) members of the Defenders and the Richmond African Burial Ground Community Organizing Committee successfully prevented cars from parking on the Burial Ground for an hour and a half. When the 20 police officers at the site finally figured out how they wanted to handle the politically sensitive situation, four of us were arrested and charged with trespassing.

That morning they were arraigned in Richmond General District Court. Rolandah Cleopattrah, Donnell Brantley, Autumn Barrett and I were given a trial date of Wednesday, May 25, 10 am, at the Manchester Courthouse, 920 Hull St., Richmond, VA 23224. There will be no other court hearing before this date.

We are asking all those who support pressuring Virginia Commonwealth University to close down the parking lot that continues to desecrate the Burial Ground to please attend this trial or else send messages of solidarity to the defendants c/o DefendersFJE@hotmail.com.

More information about the struggle to reclaim the Burial Ground can be found at http://www.DefendersFJE.org.

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