U.S. Hands Off Syria and Upcoming events

Posted: August 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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From the Defenders:

  Defenders Updates & Announcements    –  Aug. 29, 2013

5 pm, Friday, Aug. 30 – “U.S. HANDS OFF SYRIA! WE NEED JOBS, NOT WAR!” PROTEST
It looks like the Obama administration is having some problems lining up its allies to attack Syria. But all signs still point to a cruise missile strike, maybe over the Labor Day weekend when people here are distracted. So we’ve decided to go ahead with a protest now, before the bombs fall.
The I3ainbridge Collective and the Defenders are asking people to gather at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, in front of the Richmond Federal Courthouse, 701 E. Broad St. in downtown Richmond. We’ll have signs that say “U.S. hands off Syria! We need jobs, not war!” And please bring your own signs as well. At 5:30 we’ll start walking west on Broad toward Belvidere, then back to the courthouse for a 6 pm speak-out – an open mic for anyone who’s against the attack and wants to share their thoughts.
IF THERE IS AN ACTUAL ATTACK, we will also go ahead with the previous plan to meet the day of the attack at 5 pm, again at the courthouse, which is a main symbol of federal power in the city. Please share this event and invite your friends.
On Facebook, see “U.S. hands off Syria! We need Jobs, not War!”
This call was initiated by the I3ainbridge Collective and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality and has been endorsed by the Richmond Peace Education Center, Wayside Center for Popular Education and the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.
Note: We all condemn chemical or any other kinds of attacks on civilians, no matter who does it. But, without a shred of evidence, the Obama administration is accusing the Syrian government of being responsible for the chemical attack that reportedly took place in a suburb of the capital, Damascus. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition, which is dominated by groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, is losing its war against the government and is desperate for the U.S. to intervene. So who would benefit from using chemical weapons, at the very time that U.N. inspectors are in the country looking into previous claims of chemical attacks? And why is the U.S. so desperate to attack BEFORE those inspectors release their findings? It sure looks like the decision to intervene came first, followed by finding an excuse. Just like in Iraq.
By the way – Aug. 30 is the 213th anniversary of Gabriel’s Rebellion, right here in Richmond. It’s a very fitting day to take to the streets.

9-noon, Sat., Aug. 31 – MARCH ON RICHMOND FOR JOBS & FREEDOM
Join the Defenders at this march and rally, called by the Richmond Branch NAACP, Urban League of Greater Richmond, A. Philip Randolph Institute and Living the Dream, Inc.
9 am – Assemble at Festival Park, behind the Coliseum
10 am – March begins
11 am – noon – Rally at the Bell Tower at Capital Square
For more information: http://www.marchonrichmond.webs.com or email march@rvanaacp.org

Thurs., Sept. 5 – NEW ISSUE OF THE VIRGINIA DEFENDER HITS THE STREETS!
The (Late) Summer edition of The Virginia Defender will be out Thursday, Sept. 5. We could use some help in bringing the paper to stores, barber shops, beauty parlors and more. If you have an hour or two to spare, please call 804-644-5834 or email DefendersFJE@hotmail.com.

4 pm, Thurs., Sept. 5 – “SLAVE TRAIL” COMMISSION MEETING – Maybe
Richmond City Council’s “Slave Trail” Commission is charged with protecting Richmond’s slavery-related sites. Yet it hasn’t spoken out against putting a baseball stadium in in Shockoe Bottom, once the site of the second-largest slave-trading district in the country. It’s also supposed to hold monthly public meetings, but it hasn’t met since June. Its next scheduled meeting is at 4 pm Thursday, Sept. 5, East District Initiative, 700 N. 25th St. in Church Hill. We want to be there to ask the Commission members to take a stand against the stadium. Be prepared for the meeting to be postponed or canceled.

9:45 am, Mon., Sept. 9 – ATTEND JORDAN ROMEO’S COP-WATCHING TRIAL
Richmond activist Jordan Romeo reports that she was “briefly detained on the night of July 3rd while Cop Watching on my way home from work. I was charged with ‘Obstructing Free Passage’ while recording on the sidewalk.” Jordan is scheduled to go to trial at 9:45 am on Monday, Sept. 9, at Manchester Courthouse. It is NOT ILLEGAL to watch, photograph or video police officers, so long as it is done from a distance and does not interfere with their “duties.” Some cops don’t believe this is true. We need to convince them otherwise – or we’ll lose the right to monitor their actions. Jordan is asking for public support and WE WANT TO PACK THE COURTROOM. The cops need to know that we will stand with those who are trying to defend victims of police harassment and abuse. Please do your best to be there and show your solidarity with this brave young woman. On Facebook, see: Court Support – Jordan’s Hearing

Sat., Sept. 28 – RACIST FLAG TO BE UNVEILED AT ENTRANCE TO RICHMOND – Maybe
The Sandston-based neo-Confederate group Virginia Flaggers has announce plans to unveil a 10′ x 15′ Confederate flag (battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia – the one preferred by the KKK and other white supremacists) on a 50′ pole overlooking I-95 just south of Richmond. Stay tuned.

NO STADIUM IN SHOCKOE BOTTOM!
The campaign to stop Mayor Jones and a small group of rich developers from desecrating historic Shockoe Bottom with a baseball stadium is gathering some serious momentum. More than 1,300 people have now signed the anti-stadium petition. Street petitioning is taking place across Richmond. The African Ancestral Chamber has designed a stunning poster. The Defenders have produced a two-page leaflet “Questions & Answers about putting a baseball stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom.” Collective X has held two successful outreach efforts to fans at the Diamond. The campaign website is being constantly updated and meetings are taking place with various local organizations asking them to take a stand. YOU CAN HELP! We need people to collect signatures and distribute literature. To volunteer for these and other tasks, contact DefendersFJE@hotmail.com. Background information and frequent updates can be found at http://www.shockoebottom.blogspot.com

HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION TAKEN A STAND AGAINST THE STADIUM?
If not, please ask them to sign the Online Petition and also to consider releasing a formal statement. Either way, please let us know so we can publicize their stand on the website.

Aug. 6-October: MOBILE JUSTICE TOUR
A coalition of civil rights groups is sponsoring a 15-city tour of Virginia to raise awareness on and provide direct services for justice issues that affect people with criminal records. Launched off on Aug. 6, the Mobile Justice Tour is focusing on three key issues: civil rights restoration for those with felony convictions, removing questions about an applicant’s criminal background from initial employment forms, and programs for successful prisoner re-entry. Host organizations include Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD); Bridging the Gap in Virginia; Good Seed, Good Ground; Virginia Organizing; and the Advancement Project. Upcoming tour stops listed below. For more information: Lillie B. Kennedy, Moderator. Phone: 804.426.4426; Email: rihd23075@aol.com; Host Website: http://www.restorationcampaign.org
Sat., Sept. 7 – Lawrenceville – 11 am – 1 pm, Brunswick County Library, 133 West Hicks St., Lawrenceville, VA 23868
Tues., Sept. 10 – Petersburg – 4-7 pm, William R. McKinney Branch Library, 137 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, VA 23803
Thurs., Sept. 12 – Staunton – Noon-2 pm, Valley Mission, 1513 West Beverly St., Staunton, VA 24401
Thurs., Sept. 12 – Waynesboro – 6-8 pm, Roseenward Community Center, 413 Port Republic, Waynesboro, VA 22980
Tues., Sept. 17 – Richmond – 6:30-9 pm, Wesley Memorial UMC, 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223
Tues., Sept. 24 – Lynchburg – 3-5 pm, Main MLK, 2315 Memorial Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24501

And don’t forget to tune in to DefendersLIVE! with your host Ana Edwards every Monday from noon to 12:30 pm on Richmond’s WRIR community radio station – 97.3 FM and online at http://www.wrir.org.

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