Archive for the ‘Neighborhood Resources’ Category

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.)

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This Fall, there will be a 3 part class on Colonization and Decolonization, meeting at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective on Tuesday nights at 8:30pm.

Autumn is a season when there are many reminders of colonization and the history of oppression, racism, and genocide that Amerikkka was founded on. From Columbus Day to Thanksgiving there are plenty of celebrations of colonization. We are choosing to take time to learn more about the real history of colonization and indigenous peoples during this season. We welcome folks with an interest in learning more about these issues to participate in this 3 part class.

The meetings will be at 8:30 pm on Tuesday September 20th, Tuesday September 27th, and Tuesday October 4th.

Richmond does not have a full fledged Free School, although this is something that folks at the Wingnut and others have been talking about for a while. We found the manual “Colonization and Decolonization – A Manual for Indigenous Liberation in the 21st Century” by Zig-Zag aka Gord Hill (Author of 500 years of Indigenous Resistance), and decided that we would like to do a class with the text. The text is already divided into 3 sections making for 3 hour long sessions. (more…)

On July 9th Richmond Food Bank showed up in Southern Barton Heights with enough food to provide for 200 households in our community. Here’s how it went:

Of the 200 vouchers handed out, 136 were handed in for food. In all, those with vouchers represented 227 adults, 298 children, and 88 seniors; accounting for 613 people total.

 

Having seen that there were some organizational issues to be worked out with how the Pantry has worked in the past, this month, we did things a little differently.  We have noticed over the last few months a trend in folks from Southern Barton Heights not receiving vouchers, while others from well outside of the neighborhood were receiving one, or even more. This is not to say that we don’t want other people to have food, on the contrary if it were up to us, we would live in a world where everyone had enough to keep themselves and those around them fed.  Sadly, we are only able to guarantee food for 200 families, which is by no means a small amount, but unfortunately doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the issue of hunger in our communities. So, with that in mind, we have revamped the process by which we are handing out vouchers, in an effort to better serve our immediate community. If you have, in previous months, received a voucher for the event, yet you did not this month, please keep in mind that if you are outside of our range of delivery you will either need to contact us at 804-303-5449, or come to the mobile food pantry event the second Saturday of every month and sign up to have a voucher delivered to you.

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…)

Not too long ago, our friend stopped by to help with the massive library reorganization project we were undertaking. Here’s what she had to say about ours, an several other libraries in the area.

http://rvanews.com/news/art-anarchists-archives-2/48412

We encourage visitors to our library on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-9pm! If anyone wants to become involved in organizing the library or bottomlining open hours please get in touch. We also accept donations of books and zines that are radical and anarchist in subject matter!

Our numbers for the June 2011 Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry have been counted.

On Saturday, June 11th, we gave out individual food portions to 191 people!

They represented the households of 140 adults, 157 children, and 56 seniors!

We also made deliveries to six households in our area for people who are elderly, disabled, or otherwise unable to attend the food pantry or carry all the food home with them.

We’re getting our system down to a science, increasing our ability to reach out to and fulfill this basic necessity for families in our area. However, there is a clear need for similar programs in different areas of the city as well; every month we meet people from throughout Richmond and beyond who come to the mobile food pantry in Southern Barton Heights.

Fortunately, setting up a Mobile Food Pantry in your area is really easy! To start one 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, a handful of volunteers to hand out the food, and a method for voucher distribution: here we deliver them by bicycle, but other groups distribute them via faith centers, community service and neighborhood associations, or other means.

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 delivery list!

In order to educate the children and give them a broader respect for various world cultures we will start having a weekly storytelling night at the Wingnut. It is our belief that most racism is built upon ignorance of other cultures and beliefs,  so the most effective method of combatting racism is through giving children an understanding and respect of cultures throughout the world at a young age through sharing their myths and folktales. We also hope to help children increase their skill at reading and gather a deeper interest in books so as they grow older they may choose what they wish to learn and further discover the joys of reading on their own.

In order to make storytime interesting we are building a collection of books of myths, folktales, and children’s stories from a variety of cultures. To kickstart this program, we just bought 10 books, which will be added to our Radical Lending Library and used in the Wingnut Storytime program.

If you would like to help us with this program, please just get in touch. Right now we will be trying out a couple different times for this (and it may end up being something that happens when kids are around or during Open Hours) but we will update as the times get set.

So far we have:

Tales of the Badia: Bedouin Folk Tales From Lebanon Tales of the Badia: Bedouin Folk Tales From Lebanon

Rami Zurayk

Aboriginal Myths: Tales Of The Dreamtime Aboriginal Myths: Tales Of The Dreamtime

Alexander Wyclif Reed, A.W. Reed

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela

Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest

Gerald McDermott

African Folk Tales (Dover Children's Thrift Classics) African Folk Tales (Dover Children’s Thrift Classics)

Hugh Vernon-Jackson, Yuko Green

The Magical Monarch of Mo The Magical Monarch of Mo

L. Frank Baum

Moroccan Folktales (Middle East Literature in Translation) Moroccan Folktales (Middle East Literature in Translation)

Jilali El Koudia, Roger Allen

Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales: (Forgotten Books) Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales: (Forgotten Books)

George Douglas

Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition Aesop’s Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition

Aesop, et al

Japanese Fairy Tales (Tuttle Classics) Japanese Fairy Tales (Tuttle Classics)

Yei Theodora Ozaki

There are lots of books we have found that we would like to use for the program and we are asking that anyone interested in supporting this effort think about buying one of the books for us (or giving us a copy if you have it already).

Here are some of the books we would like for our Children’s Storytime Program:

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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!

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

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!