Posts Tagged ‘african burial ground’

Defenders Updates & Announcements – Jan. 2, 2014

Plan to be at the 2014 Virginia People’s Assembly – Saturday, Jan. 4, in Richmond!
Hear the Rev. William Barber, nationally recognized leader of the dymamic Moral Mondays movement, and the keynote speaker at the afternoon VPA rally. (For a Bill Moyers report on this new movement, see: “State of Conflict: North Carolina” at http://billmoyers.com/segment/preview-state-of-conflict-north-carolina
Be part of the first Community Conversation on the alternative plan for Shockoe Bottom – NO to a Stadium, YES to a Historic District! (Black Community Issues Workshop, 10:40 am)
Plan actions for 2014 in the struggle for Jobs, Peace & Justice!
For a full schedule, log onto http://www.vapeoplesassembly.org (The most detailed schedule will be posted by the end of Jan. 2)

No Stadium in Shockoe Bottom!
See the details of a new alternative Vision Plan for Shockoe Bottom – development and history without the offending ballpark. Maps, narrative and bullet points are posted on http://www.shockoebottom.blogspot.com
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Everyone!

On Monday, Nov. 25, Richmond City Council will consider a critical resolution on the mayor’s proposal to put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. It’s not a legally binding resolution, but would put the council on record as being in favor of the proposal. This would be a big pubic relations victory for the mayor. Every council member is getting deluged with emails and phone calls about this issue and we are hearing they may decide not to vote, which would be a huge victory for our side. 

This is a real battle. The deep-pocketed, pro-business group Venture Richmond has hired a public relations firm to promote the mayor’s plan. Or, more exactly, the developers’ plan being fronted by the mayor. They were able to turn people out for Tuesday’s Land Use Committee meeting, which we also attended. They had more people there, but we had more people willing to speak, and that was the message the media carried.

WE NEED EVERYONE WHO CAN MAKE IT TO BE AT MONDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING – 6 pm, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, Richmond City Hall, 900 E. Broad St. Showing up is half the battle and we don’t want to lose this fight.

People are also needed to attend council’s Finance Committee meeting at 3 pm Thursday, Nov. 21. And please speak to the issue if the spirit moves you. It helps.

One last thing: The mayor says that if his plan is adopted, the city will gain net tax revenues of up to $187 million over the next 20 years.But he says If it builds a new stadium on the Boulevard, it will still gain half that amount. We say, keep baseball on the Boulevard and develop a historic district and major tourist destination in Shockoe Bottom and you’ll make even more in the long run, from taxes on hotel rooms and meals for the millions who would travel here in years to come. And you will avoid further cementing Richmond’s image as a backward, Confederate-tainted town that cares more about profits than respecting its Black history.

And whether or not you can make the meetings, please make sure you sign the online petition against the stadium – we’re close to 2,000 signatures! See http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com

Thanks,

Phil Wilayto
for the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com/

Tell the Mayor & City Council:
 NO to a Shockoe Stadium, YES to a Historic District!

10 AM MONDAY, NOV. 11 – Gather at 17th & East Grace streets in Shockoe Bottom. Bring signs and we’ll have some for you.

6 PM – RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL MEETING. 2nd floor of City Hall, 900 E. Broad St., downtown Richmond.

On Monday morning, Nov. 11, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones will publicly call for building a for-profit baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom, once the site of the second-largest slave-trading market in the United States. That evening, a resolution is expected to be introduced to Richmond City Council laying the groundwork for the stadium plan. The mayor will present his proposal as an economic development project that will create jobs and income for the City while still paying homage to the Bottom’s history. Venture Richmond, the pro-business group pushing for the stadium, is mobilizing people to attend the mayor’s announcement to try and create an illusion of community support. We need to be there to counter this. Bring your won signs and we’ll also have some for you.

It doesn’t matter what bribes or incentives the mayor offers the public – not a “slavery museum” next to the stadium, a supermarket, more retail shops – it’s just wrong to play games on the site of mass human suffering. Instead, we are calling for the creation of a historic district and educational tourism destination that would finally tell the real story of how this city, state and country were built, avoid one more shameful instance of Richmond disrespecting its African-American past and bring far more economic benefits to many more people than just the small group of wealthy developers behind the stadium project. 

Your presence is vitally needed. Either we show we care about this issue or we lose. It’s crunch time and we need all hands on deck. We hope to see you

Saturday, July 20th, at 5:30pm, at the Diamond (3001 North Boulevard, Richmond VA) activists against a stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom will be attending the Flying Squirrels game against the Baysox, to hold banners and distribute fliers with information regarding the proposed stadium. One such event has been undertaken before, and there was no trouble from the stadium security, as the action is not designed to be disruptive. 

RSVP through the link. Tickets range in price from $7 up. 

For more information regarding the struggle against a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, and why that’s important, visit this website

Wednesday June 19th from 5-6pm

Southwest corner of 17th (Oliver Hill Way) and East Broad streets, Richmond, Virginia.

The 40 people who attended the June 15 Community Meeting to oppose building a baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom agreed to call for a Vigil to take place from 5-6 pm on Wednesday, June 19 – Juneteenth – at the southwest corner of 17th and East Broad streets in downtown Richmond. This is next to the Exxon gas station, which sits on the site of the 19th century “slave” jail owned by Silas Omohundro. If the developers and the mayor get their way, this site will be further buried under the stadium’s right field. This whole area once held the second-largest slave-trading market in all of North America. Why can’t it be developed as a living, outdoor museum, with walking paths, meditative parks, interactive exhibits, an information center, bookstore and more. Not desecrated by a ballpark that no one wants. Let’s tell Mayor Jones and members of Richmond City Council: Keep baseball on the Boulevard and develop Shockoe Bottom as a memorial to all those who suffered there. Don’t be part of the “Stadium that Racism Built!”

We are a little late in posting this, thanks to all the folks in Richmond who have been working to publicise this letter and this issue. No baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom!!!

May 8th, 2013

TO THE SITTING MEMBERS OF RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR’S OFFICE

We have watched with displeasure the most recent crimes of the Richmond City administration and its petty ambitions; it sells its soul to the rapacious FIRE sector and throws its citizens to the wolves to appease the never-ending greed of its shadowy elite. There is no change in Richmond, only the quiet hum of the Jones Machine and the avaricious stare of the sitting mayor, dancing obediently on the strings of privileged and secret interests. There is no hope in Richmond, only despair for those who remember the lessons of the past. There is no voice in Richmond, only a pathetic handful of ‘local’ media sources who are content to take their pittances from corporate masters while their city rots around them. The corruption leaking from every pore of the city is indicative of its inability to understand or accept its own past.

In this city once flourished the most oppressive and disgusting form of business ever created by mankind: the slave trade. Human beings were bought and sold like chattel by the hundreds of thousands based solely on the color of their skin. From Richmond, blacks were shipped all over the country to sweat, bleed, and die at the pleasure of white slave-owners. The scars of this atrocity still bleed and fester in the forms of institutionalized racism and economic apartheid against people of color.

For too long Richmond’s elites have systematically manipulated and disenfranchised its black majority through regressive economic policy, criminally negligent spending priorities, mock elections, and shadowy real estate deals. Jackson Ward was obliterated by white elites to make room for an interstate highway. Navy Hill’s earthly remains consist of a marker found in a parking garage by a local professor. The black children of Richmond’s school system suffer from a 75% poverty rate. Black preschoolers attend a program for disadvantaged youth on top of an unlined dump in a school that was built during the era of Jim Crow. Huge swathes of East Broad Street were gentrified to make way for the Richmond Convention Center and CenterStage Theater, a coup for the conspicuous consumers that make up Richmond’s elite patrons and coordinated by Bob Mooney, former chief financier of Richmond-based Ethyl Corp. Monument Avenue’s statuary stands as false exoneration of the ‘heroes’ of the Civil War; ‘heroes’ whose greatest achievement will forever be marked as failing to win the war they fought so desperately to win.

Decades ago, the discovery of the Burial Ground for Negroes (now Richmond’s African Burial Ground) by Elizabeth Cann Kambourian under a parking lot in Shockoe Bottom began the decades-long struggle towards the reclamation of the nation’s second-most-successful slave market by the inheritors of its legacy of cruelty and hate.

Now, as Richmond’s black residents continue to make progress to regain their past and right the great injustice that white supremacist power has laid upon them, the white land barons have again mobilized to murder the threat of black power in its crib. The specter of the Shockoe Ballpark has been resurrected by Richmond’s criminal capitalist class under the guise of ‘growth’ and ‘wealth.’ The charge is in part led by one H. Louis Salomonsky, an unrepentant capitalist sent to prison several years ago for bribing a public official in a failed bid to swing a mayoral election; his cries of “community!” serve merely to increase the value of his many real estate holdings through wasteful public expenditure projects. His tendrils, and those of others like him, extend far into local politics; the real estate sector outspends the next highest industry in Richmond political campaigns by two to one.

We call you out, Dwight Jones. Your 2012 unopposed mayoral election garnered you $314,499 in funds; $43,350 came from the land barons and their interests, with $2,500 alone from Salomonsky and his subsidiaries. Over the course of your sixteen-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $135,917.

We call you out, Charles Samuels. Your 2012 election garnered you $63,225 in funds; $10,850 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your four-year political career, the landlords have bribe you for $24,250.

We call you out, Chris Hilbert. Your 2012 election against a neophyte social worker garnered you $41,702 in funds; $5,155 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your eight-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $43,472.

We call you out, Kathy Graziano. Your 2012 election garnered you $96,838 in funds; $12,450 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your eight-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $71,706.

We call you out, Ellen Robertson. Your 2012 unopposed election garnered you $12,110 in funds; $1,000 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your nine-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $29,525.

We call you out, Cynthia Newbille. Your 2012 unopposed election garnered you $17,166 in funds; $1,300 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your three-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $4,100.

We call you out, Reva Trammell. Your 2012 election garnered you $65,141 in funds; $6,645 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your political career, the landlords have bribed you for more than $20,095.

We are watching you, Jon Baliles. Bruce Tyler was sold to the landlords for only $82,307.

We are watching you, Parker Agelasto. Martin Jewell was sold to the landlords for only $20,600.

We are watching you, Michelle Mosby. Douglas Conner was sold to the landlords for only $29,400.

We demand that the city permanently halt attempts by its white landowners to build a ballpark in this critically important district and commit fully and transparently to enacting recommendations by the Richmond Trail of Enslaved Africans Commission for a heritage site in Shockoe Bottom.

We will be watching.

WE ARE ANONYMOUS.
WE ARE LEGION.
WE DO NOT FORGIVE.
WE DO NOT FORGET.
EXPECT US.

http://www.defendersfje.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/shockoeb…

http://www.us.iofc.org/unpacking-iofc-census

http://saverichmond.com/?p=173

http://www.change.org/petitions/richmond-school-board-do-norrell-element…

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/reconnecting-dotts/Content?oid=13608…

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/free-and-clear/Content?oid=1887302

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/10145?start_year=2012&end_year=…

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/128997?start_year=2012&end_year…

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/133714?cmte_type_1=local_cands&…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/1614?start_yea…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/16049?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/152342?start_y…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/70346?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/9426?start_yea…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/76455?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/106406?start_y…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/15206?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/16049?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/38785?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/28787?start_ye…

No Stadium In Shockoe Bottom! Defend Richmond’s African History
Public
Hosted by Brandon Nastanski and Phil Wilayto

When
Monday at 12:00pm
Where
Email, and City Council Chambers

This is a two part invite… First and foremost we need you to email and or call city council members to let them know that you don’t want a Baseball Stadium in Shockoe Bottom. Second, if you can please try and attend a special City Council Meeting being held this Monday from 12-4. Please see further details below including sample email and council members email addresses…

An Urgent Appeal from the African Ancestral Chamber,
Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality and other opponents
to putting a baseball stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom

It looks like Richmond’s business and political elite are about to launch their project to put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, one of the most important historical sites for people of African descent in all of North America.

Please email Mayor Dwight Jones and members of the City Council and tell them we don’t want a stadium in Shockoe Bottom. Use this sample email or make up your own.

But please do this right away! City Council will be meeting in a special session Monday, May 6, from noon to 4 pm in the Council Chambers in Richmond City Hall. We think they will be voting on issuing bonds to pay for work in the Bottom to prepare for the stadium. These elected officials need to hear from us now!

[Sample email:]

Will Richmond’s legacy be the desecration of Shockoe Bottom?

I understand that Richmond City Council will be discussing capital funding at a special meeting from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 6. You should know that there is strong community opposition to building a baseball stadium on the site of Richmond’s former slave-trading district.

No Baseball Stadium in Shockoe Bottom! Defend Richmond’s African History!

[Email addresses:]

“Mayor Dwight C. Jones”


1st District – “Jonathan Balilies”


2nd District – “Charles Samuels”


3rd District – “Chris Hilbert”


4th District –


5th District – “Parker Agelasto”


6th District – “Ellen Robertson”


7th District – “Cynthia Newbille”


8th District – “Reva Trammell”


9th District – “Michelle Mosby”

[Linked – just cut and paste this entire list into the “To” box in your email program.]

“Mayor Dwight C. Jones” , “Jonathan Balilies” , “Charles Samuels” , “Chris Hilbert” , , “Parker Agelasto” , “Ellen Robertson” , “Cynthia Newbille” , “Reva Trammell” , “Michelle Mosby”

What else can you do to help?

Forward this email to as many people as you can.
Come to the special Richmond City Council meeting on Monday, May 6, from noon to 4 pm. Come for as long as you can, but even a few minutes will help.
Read the Spring 2013 edition of The Virginia Defender newspaper to learn more about Shockoe Bottom’s important history. The newspaper will be uploaded this weekend to: http://www.DefendersFJE.org.
Reply to this email and tell us if you’d like to help in this important campaign to save Richmond’s African history.

RVA Liberation Day 01

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. (more…)