Archive for April, 2011

There will be a workshop on the history of May Day/International Worker’s Day on Saturday April 30th at 4pm at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. The workshop will be on the history of May Day as a worker’s holiday. Specifically focusing on some of the more radical/anarchist historical aspects of the holiday- such as the Haymarket affair. This is Richmond’s 3rd year with a May Day Parade and Rally. But not everyone knows what May Day is, or what the significance of the day is. So come get some context for this amazingly organized awesome event! Don’t let radical history be forgotten or overlooked.

Don’t forget to go to the Really Really Free Market earlier that day, from 12 to 3pm at the corner of Main and Laurel in Monroe Park. (www.rvaradicalendar.blogspot.com) After that you can come to this workshop at the Wingnut – plenty of time for both!

There are other May Day related events and workshops going on throughout the weekend- you can find out more at http://www.maydayrva.org

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is located at 2005 Barton Avenue on the northside of Richmond. It is a sober, all ages space. You can call 804 303 5449 or email wingnut_collective@yahoo.com for more information

Richmond’s Really Really Free Market is celebrating 3 years this April!

Come join the community on Saturday April 30th from noon until 3pm at the corner of Main and Laurel in Monroe Park. Bring your excess and unwanted things- food, books, cds, movies, clothes, furniture, knick knacks, paddy whacks (no live animals though), to share with other people. Its good for the environment, its good for your wallet, and its good for building community. Anyone is welcome to come and take anything that they want or need- you don’t need to give something to get something.
The Really Really Free Market shows just one possible alternative to the capitalist market.

This weekend is also May Day weekend, which includes workshops on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a rally and parade on Sunday. There will be out of town people around, so hopefully the RRFM will be a fun place to hang out. You can find out more about these events at http://www.maydayrva.org

Please bring games to play, music to play, balls or frisbees to throw around etc.
Anyone interested in performing, giving workshops, tabling with free literature etc. is more than welcome to.
As always, folks are encouraged to make their own fliers to advertise this event.

This event and more can be found at http://www.rvaradicalendar.blogspot.com

April’s Copwatch meeting will be held on Tuesday April 26th at 7pm.

Anyone interested in getting trained to copwatch, in hosting a Know Your Rights training, in starting a copwatch branch in their neighborhood or something else is encouraged to come to this meeting. We will also be talking about upcoming fundraisers, future events, new literature and material, and new strategies.

Copwatch Mission Statement:

Richmond Copwatch is a non-heirarchical network of groups 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.

Richmond Copwatch’s Goals:

1) Reduce police violence by directly observing the police on the street, documenting incidents and keeping police accountable. We provide support to victims whenever possible. We also seek to educate the public about their rights, police conduct in the community and issues related to the role of police in our society.

2) Empower and unite the community to resist police abuse. We will do this by sharing information with the community, conducting “Know Your Rights” trainings, sponsoring rallies, supporting victims and other community based efforts to deal with the problem.

3) Encourage people to solve problems WITHOUT police intervention. We want to explore alternatives to calling the police.

4) Encourage people to exercise their right to observe the police and to advocate for one another.

5) Provide assistance in the formation of neighborhood cop watch groups in areas where they do not currently exist, and provide networking information for neighborhoods that do already have cop watch groups.

For more information, you can contact Richmond Copwatch by email at rvacopwatch@gmail.com or by phone at (804) 303-5449.

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is at 2005 Barton Avenue. You can find out more by calling 303 5449 or emailing wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

Last night was the 3rd annual Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project’s Bowl-a-thon bowling night at Plaza bowl. The Wingnut’s Queer Army team attended and had a great time duck pin bowling. Everyone involved in the bowl-a-thon helped to raise over 17,000 dollars (!!!!) to help women in Virginia afford abortions. This is the most they have ever raised, but it will still never be enough as long as the government and rich don’t value women and their right to choose. Abortion clinics in Virginia are still being singled out by TRAP legislation, and assholes like Cuccinelli are fighting to take away vital services from women everywhere. Feminists, radicals, anti-authoritarians, queers, and anarchists need to work to fight the restriction of women’s rights and push to make vital services like abortions MORE available to people of all backgrounds and classes.
If anyone wants to get involved with the RRFP or make any sort of donation it is never too late. The RRFP typically uses up its monthly funds during the first week of each month – the demand is far greater than their current resources. Help the RRFP and help women in Virginia:

http://www.rrfp.net/

MISSION
The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project seeks to further reproductive justice by providing practical and financial support for abortion services in Virginia and surrounding communities. RRFP strives to be a resource to the community by engaging in grassroots advocacy for the full spectrum of reproductive rights. (more…)

The Wingnut will be participating in Richmond’s 3rd annual May Day Parade and Rally! This will be the 3rd year of Richmond Food Not Bombs being involved, and the 2nd year for the Wingnut. The parade and Rally are on Sunday May 1st, starting in our favorite park, Monroe Park.
If you are interested in helping to make signs, carts, etc. for this event please get in touch! There will be a lot going on, so any extra hands to help prepare Food Not Bombs that day, or to come back to the Wingnut after the parade to do cleanup would be sincerely appreciated.
We will also be hosting out of town guests at the Wingnut that weekend. If you are interested in a sober, all ages space (that has dogs) please let the May Day organizers know to send you to the Wingnut!

Here is more information:

May Day 2011 Richmond, VA | RALLY & MARCH

Sunday May 1, 2011
Monroe Park (VCU Campus)
Music / Gathering: 3:00 pm
Rally / Food Not Bombs / Speakers: 4:00 pm
Parade: 5:00 pm
Closing Ceremonies: 6:00 pm

Members of the Richmond, Virginia May Day Coalition, other organizations and individuals will stand united for working class families this May Day in historic Monroe Park near VCU Campus. This year’s demonstration will be a true a display of solidarity for the working class centered around education, action and progress. It will feature work shops, speakers, food, music, theater and more. (more…)

From http://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com

After nearly a month, the nine occupiers who were detained on the night of March 17th, during the upheaval of the Monroe Park Occupation, appeared in Richmond-Manchester Court before judge D.E. Cheek.
Arriving early, only one person chose to maintain their pro-bono lawyer, while six others eagerly fired their bewildered public defenders. Shortly into the morning’s docket, one of the two occupiers charged solely with trespassing was tried, and plead guilty, for a fine of $25.

After nearly two hours of anticipation, and five of the eight remaining persons being singled out and removed from the courtroom for the most innocuous behavior – nodding, gesturing, changing seats – all were called up to the stand for a trial which was not only entirely laughable, but most certainly emphatic of the people’s power to represent themselves.

Armed with legal precedent, and other vital evidence of the farcical nature of the charges levied against the defendents, the group (while representing only themselves as individuals) moved for dismissal of all charges. The charge of obstruction of justice was soon addressed, and Jones v. Commonwealth, as well as Atkins v. Commonwealth were cited in a most succinct and successful manner, under the argument that no individual actually physically impeded the process of arrest, but only made the arresting officers’ task more difficult by reserving their 5th Amendment right. Already, the youthful commowealth attorney was clearly fazed by the actions of a seemingly motley crew of contemptuous dregs. While the CA attempted to stammer out more inaccuracy and untruth to argue forth that charge, the judge bemusedly rejected his claims after the defendants briefly clarified that the obstruction of justice summons was issued prior to convening with the magistrate, therefore containing the circumstances to the same of the cited precedents.

Moving on to the trespassing charges, the defendants proposed the unconstitutional nature of the statute defining park hours and use of the park accordingly. The clause contained within said statute explained the possibility of use of the park outside of regular hours by obtaining a permit from the mayor’s office, but did not clearly define the requirements or discretion used for acquiring this permit. The judge did not choose to fully recognize this claim, but also did not have the power to rule the statute unconstitutional outright. The defense next proposed that since all conventional and advised forms of action (i.e., contacting city council) had been exhausted, direct action was necessary, as was the presence of the occupation at night to successfully express the dire nature of the concerns being raised. Therefore, it was most simply an exercise of free speech. Also, questions were raised as to the conclusions left to be drawn from the most curious police behavior experienced during the occupation.
The state having very little to say in their favor, and having had much of that belittled by the judge, it was not long before the court settled on the dismissal of obstruction charges, and a $25 dollar fine for all but one trespassing charge, which was dropped due to its own false nature. The remaining seven who were fined are appealing the charge.

On Saturday April 9 we had the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry. The Central VA Food Bank brought food to the neighborhood and the Wingnut and a few volunteers handed out food.

Of 175 vouchers given out, 112 were brought to the event and 68 people joined us without a voucher.

Those who attended represented 187 Seniors in our area, 213 children, and 267 adults.

In addition to distributing food at the Mobile Food Pantry, we have started to deliver food to those elders or disabled people in our area for whom coming out and carrying about three grocery bags packed full of food is too burdensome. We made 7 deliveries this month.

The total amount of those represented was 667 people.

Vouchers for the May food pantry were given to anyone who had already been delivered a voucher for April. Those without vouchers were added to the May delivery list; anyone within the delivery range will be given a voucher. Those who fall outside of it (again) will be contacted to pick one up after residents of Southern Barton Heights and the surrounding area receive theirs.

For information on how to start a Mobile Food Pantry in your area, contact Warren Hammonds (whammonds@feedmore.org) of the Central VA Food Bank. It’s very easy to start one! All you need are a location, volunteers to hand out the food, and a method for voucher distribution: here we deliver, but other groups distribute them via faith centers, community service and neighborhood associations, or other organizations.

To get a voucher for the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry, just give us a call at (804) 303-5449 and we’ll put you on our voucher delivery list!

Walter Bond is a political prisoner that we have been meaning to write about for a while now. When we read his statement to the Court upon his sentencing we were awed, inspired, and proud. We failed to re-post that statement in a timely fashion. However, because he is now being held in solitary confinement, it seems a good opportunity to revisit his statement and introduce or update people on Walter Bond and his case.

Walter Bond is an animal liberationist and an anti-capitalist. Basically, Walter Bond set fire to a sheepskin factory in Colorado in the name of the Animal Liberation Front. His brother then snitched on him. He was later sentenced to 5 years in prison. He is now being kept in solitary confinement because of the classification of the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front as domestic terrorist groups- despite their policies of not harming humans or other animals physically.

If anyone is interested in writing Walter letters with the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross please come out on Tuesday April 12th at 7pm at the Wingnut. Walter’s birthday is April 16th.

For more frequent updates or details, please visit his official support website:
http://www.supportwalter.org

Walter Bond still has Federal and other charges pending, some of which he has plead not guilty to. The charges over his head make his final statement in court even more amazing. Here is his statement from Court, which was given on February 11th, 2011:

“I’m here today because I burnt down the Sheepskin Factory in Glendale, CO, a business that sells pelts, furs and other dead animal skins. I know many people think I should feel remorse… for what I’ve done. I guess this is the customary time where I’m suppose to grovel and beg for mercy. I assure you, if that’s how I felt, I would. But I am not sorry for anything I have done. Nor am I frightened by this court’s authority because any system of law that values the rights of the oppressor over the down trodden is an unjust system. And though this court has real and actual power, I question its morality. I doubt the court is interested in the precautions that I took to not harm any person or by-stander and even less concerned with the miserable lives that sheep, cows and mink had to endure, unto death, so that a Colorado business could profit from their confinement, enslavement, and murder.
(more…)

Today we are headed up to Charlottesville to pick up 27 new trees, bushes, and vines to be planted in the Wingnut Orchard. We will also be planting wildflowers to support pollinators and hopefully getting honeybees from a friend to have out there as well.
Tomorrow night (Friday) some of us will be going out super late (midnight or so) to put all of these purty plants in the ground. So bring some coffee or caffeinated tea and join us if you want!
We will be going up to Hanover on a regular basis to take care of the Orchard. If anyone has interest in helping, painting signs, tending bees, tending chickens, building water collection devices, building organic bug traps, hanging out in the country for a couple hours, etc. please let us know so you can get involved!
Here are the varieties we hope to get today:

(Kenneth) Yates Persimmon
Hardy Kiwi
Illinois Everbearing Mulberry
LSU Purple FIg
Hardy Chicago Fig
Celeste Fig
2 Trentberry Huckleberry
Yadkin Blueberry (more…)

Just a reminder that the next monthly Anarchist Black Cross Meeting will be at 7pm on Tuesday April 12th at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.

If you are interested in working with a non-hierarchical organization to do prisoner support as well as advocate for prison abolition please come out to find out more.

Some possible agenda items include the new Anarchist Bail Fund, buttons, new literature, the Denver ABC’s conference in August, the Richmond City Jail and more.

Also, earlier on the 12th, 9 people who who ticketed or arrested during the Monroe Park Occupation have court. You can find out more about that court date at http://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com
We encourage people who can to go to the Manchester Court building at 9:30am that morning to support people. If you can’t make it there will be news and updates from that court event discussed at the ABC meeting.

You can email rvaabc@gmail.com or call 804 303 5449 for more information

The Wingnut is located at 2005 Barton Avenue. It is a sober, all ages space.