Archive for the ‘Anarchist Black Cross’ Category

On September 27th, several of us went to the Manchester court building to support Jeremy at his preliminary hearing for the charges filed against him by the VCU Police. For those of you who might not know, Jeremy was arrested on charges of slashing 7 VCU car tires, worth $1,330.00, making the charge a felony destruction of property. Jeremy and his public defender, at the hearing, were allowed to see some of the evidence that VCU has against him, and surprise surprise, without having any physical evidence (besides a few pictures of Jeremy AFTER he had been arrested and the picture of a tool confiscated after his arrest), the judge ruled that the case would be continued in a Grand Jury hearing on November 7. The Commonwealths’ attorney, Christopher Toepp, is the same friend of the police who tried to convict those arrested in the Monroe Park Occupation at the beginning of the year, as well as the Defenders in the African Burial Ground protest. He lost both of those cases,  but Jeremy was also told that he specifically requested this trial because “he wants to see it done right” and that he is looking for a felony conviction and jail time for Jeremy.

Jeremy will be sticking with his public defender for the time being, and has been fundraising for the last month or so to raise money for another attorney. Unfortunately, lawyers are unrightfully expensive, and the person he has in mind to represent him requires a $2,500 retainer fee to even start working on the case. Any help would be greatly appreciated, whether it be financial, advice, a friendly word, or  helping to put on a fundraising event to benefit his legal fund.  Also Jeremy has requested that as many people who can attend further trial dates as supporters is essential and appreciated, the more eyes and ears during this ordeal the better.  There has been no word yet as to whether or not Jeremy will be able to attend the Nov. 7 date, as it is usually private to the judge and attorneys involved.

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so using our handy PayPal button on the website, and be sure to specify what you want the money to be used for.

Thanks everyone for your support so far and in the future!

To update on Jeremy’s predicament with the VCU Police:

After the arraignment on Tuesday morning (to which several people from the city showed up in solidarity), Jeremy was released on a $5000 noncommittal bond, and a court case was set for September 27th, at 11 AM. We encourage anyone and everyone who takes umbrage with not only VCU Police, but all police everywhere, to show up to this and any subsequent court cases Jeremy might have to endure. These charges are publicly about a few car tires, but privately there is a deeper trend of police oppression at work. We believe that this trend must be brought to light, and must be talked about openly among all communities in this city, not just those with an anarchist message.

Jeremy is currently exploring other avenues of legal help, and has a couple good leads, but unfortunately a good lawyer for a serious charge is almost never cheap. Jeremy has requested any form of support that interested or sympathetic parties might be willing to donate, be it spreading the word about the case in your home town, sending a kind word or relavent literature to the Wingnut, and of course monetary donations towards legal fees would be greatly appreciated as well (we have a convenient Paypal button on the website… if you tell us exactly where you want your donation to be used, we will make sure it is allocated accordingly.)

After a long and relatively uneventful night of doing Copwatch for first fridays on Broad Street, S and I were ready to make the trek back to the Wingnut to review the footage acquired over the course of the night. It had been an evening of very large groups of very bored pigs, standing in groups of up to ten up and down Broad St., most likely very upset that there were no younger folks of color to push around to pass the time on a Friday night. After a humorous impromptu interview with the 4th precinct commander, Mike Strawder, S and I had made it back to our bikes, parked in front of the New York Pizza restaurant. S had unlocked his bike, and as I bent to unlock my bike, I felt handcuffs close over my left wrist as another pair of hands closed around my right arm. I looked up, and there were at least 15 VCU and Richmond police officers surrounding S and I, and I was promptly told that I was under arrest and that I had a felony warrant out on my head, though they were not, at that moment, very forthcoming about what I the warrant was for. S jumped to his feet and immediately had his camera trained on the officers and myself, and watched as they moved me to an alley “where  no one could see me”. My pockets were searched, my knife confiscated, and my bag taken from me as two undercover agents kept their video cameras trained on me throughout the ordeal.

(more…)

Here is some coverage from our friend Kontra:

http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/weekly-sedition-mysterious-rabbit-puppet-army-ryan-harvey/

Here’s a review from RVANews:

The Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army Invades RVA
by Hayley DeRocheJuly 13, 2011

The Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army is not, alas, a shadowy army of bunnies with strings holding them down. Instead, the MRPA is a puppeteer performance collective based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that is a part of the Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective. The shows tell stories that are social justice parables. I went over to the Wingnut House (home of some of Richmond’s anarchists) to see one of their shows.

First up: Hansel and Gretel

This old story is given a new look with the puppets (Gretel is a raccoon, Hansel a fox, their mother a purple unicorn, and so on and so forth). Times are tough in this economy for the little puppet family, and cutting corners is necessary, but when their evil green-faced monster father suggests cutting the kids out of the budget their mother is distraught. But times are hard, and if the kids have to be abandoned, then so be it. (“How would you kids like to go see a movie….Pirates of the Caribbean…..4…..in Raleigh.” brings chuckles at the Pirates reference, groans at the 4 reference because really, we needed 4?, and more chuckles at the intonation of Raleigh.) So, little Hansel and Gretel are dropped off, but Hansel, being wily like the fox he is, tags streets as they go so they can find their way home again much to the delight of their magical mom. But this time, when they get left at the Durham theater, they are truly abandoned. Nobody offers them help until Mr. Turbine–who ends up locking up poor Gretel in a cage.

(more…)

To better prepare for the police presence at the May Day march, we will be hosting a Know Your Rights Training, geared specifically towards the march, for anyone who wants to attend. Knowing your rights when in a situation where police contact is likely is the best groundwork to have for making sure that you are not pressured by the police to give up more of your rights than they have already taken from you.

This will be more of an open discussion and planning session specifically for the march, not one of our more general workshops. Anyone who is planning on volunteering for Copwatch, Anarchist Black Cross, as a medic or bike marshall, or as a police liaison should consider this workshop an essential refresher in preparation for Sunday’s march.

Also, there will be coffee and donuts!

As part of the annual Wingnut Memorial Day Party In Memory of People Murdered by the State, we are starting an annual anti- police brutality march.


Bring banners, signs, drums, puppets, noise makers, musical instruments, etc. Especially anyone who wants to bring signs in memory of a particular person or persons who have been the victim of police brutality.

Folks with cameras, video cameras, etc. who want to help with Copwatch should get in touch ahead of time.

The march will leave the Wingnut around 7pm and go through Southern Barton Heights. The idea is to return to the Wingnut before dark.

Like all Wingnut events, this is all ages and sober.

And no worries, the march is not the end of the Memorial Day party, just a part of it.

A C L U O F V I R G I N I A

M E D I A R E L E A S E

April 20, 2011

ACLU Sues Richmond Police Over

Onerous Costs on Parade Organizers

Richmond, VA – The ACLU of Virginia today filed a request in federal court on behalf of activists in Richmond for an injunction ordering the Richmond Police to allow them to hold a May Day parade without having to pay for off-duty police officers.

“Nowhere in the city code does it say that Richmond police have the authority to assess fees on parade organizers,” said ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg. “The police cannot arbitrarily impose costs on individuals exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Kenneth Yates and other organizers are planning a May Day march through Richmond city streets and submitted a parade permit application on March 21. Although city code requires police to issue or deny the permit within five days, Yates did not receive a response until April 11. At that time, he was told that in order to march, his group would have to pay $296 for two off-duty police officers and two police cars. The group does not have the funds to pay for the officers.

The ACLU sent a letter to the Richmond Police Department on behalf of the group informing them that the Richmond parade ordinance does not authorize them to require a person to pay for off-duty police in order to march. Additionally, the ACLU said that applying such a requirement without specific guidelines is unconstitutional. The police did not respond to the ACLU’s letter.

“Without clear guidelines, police may be imposing fees on some groups and not on others,” said Glenberg. “We are concerned that police may be chilling free speech in Richmond.”

This issue is not a new one. Last year, May Day parade organizers were told they would have to pay for off-duty officers in order to march. Ultimately though, the police relented and granted organizers a permit to parade in the street without having to pay for off-duty officers.

“Organizers followed the rules and applied for their parade permit just like everyone else,” added Glenberg. “Richmond police cannot just move the goal posts and add another obstacle that is not authorized by law.”

Yates is represented by Glenberg and ACLU of Virginia Dunn Fellow Thomas Fitzpatrick.

A copy of the ACLU’s complaint can be found online at: http://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/YatesvNorwoodcomplaint.pdf. A copy of the preliminary injunction memo can be found online at: http://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/YatesvNorwoodPImemo.pdf.

Contacts:

ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg, (804) 644-8080

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.

Do you like pie, and wish that you had someone to eat a pie with?

Well here’s your chance! Come out to Sprout at 10pm on April Fools Day (April 1st) to participate in a pie/blind date auction to benefit Anarchist Black Cross. We’ll be auctioning off homemade pies to the highest bidder, and the winner of each bid gets a date with whoever made the pie! Also, for a small donation, anyone will be able to throw a pie at a member of ABC. There will also be a dj providing dance music between pies.

Sprout is located at 1 North Morris Street in the Fan. The event will begin at 10pm. No cover charge. Sprout will have drinks (alcoholic and non) as well as a late night food menu available.

All funds will be going towards an anarchist bail fund, to be used in case any of you crazy folks get into a bind.

For more information, or if you’d like to be one of the pie makers for the event, give us a call at 804-303-5449.

Or shoot us an email at rvaabc@gmail.com

December’s Anarchist Black Cross Meeting will be on Tuesday the 14th of December at 7pm at the Wingnut.

We will be talking about what people would like to see the Anarchist Black Cross in Richmond involved in. In particular, we want to talk about doing monthy demonstrations outside of the Richmond City Jail to let the inmates know that they are not forgotten. If you have ideas for how you think political prisoner support or prison abolition should be approached in Richmond please come and share your ideas!

We will also be writing letters to queer and trans prisoners in Virginia! (more…)