Posts Tagged ‘anarchist collective’

For Immediate Release:

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective House is located at 2005 Barton Avenue. We have now become victim of one of the symptoms of a failing infrastructure in the City of Richmond.

Many folks are familiar with the numerous problems with the City of Richmond’s public utilities like water- from the flooding that occurred in Battery Park several years ago to the fact that we have the highest minimum water rate in the world and yet most of that money does not go into repairing our ailing sewers.

Last weekend we noticed the water in our downstairs toilet was bubbling up with air bubbles from sewer gas- clearly not supposed to happen. Then on Saturday March 30th, we were doing yard work and discovered, much to our dismay, that on the side of our house the sewer had backed up/built up pressure so much it blew about 10 inches of our clean out pipe clear off and spewed raw sewage in the yard. I immediately called 311 to get folks from the City of Richmond out to deal with the problem.

When the City workers showed up they made me sign paperwork saying I would have to pay them at such and such a rate if the problem were found on my property. I had to take down a section of our fence to give them access to our 2nd clean out that is located in our back yard near the alleyway. They said they were first going to run a plumbing snake through the sewage lines on our property to make sure the problem wasn’t there, because if it was they wouldn’t fix it. They ran the snake from the alley to our house and found no problem. Then our next door neighbor came out and said that the sewer had backed up in his yard as well. Clearly this was a problem outside of any individual property.

Finally the City utility folks got a big truck and ran  a big snake through the sewer pipes in the alley, found some massive clog, and dealt with it. I thought it was all taken care of.

Unfortunately I later realized that the City of Richmond had not fixed my broken clean out pipe, or the pile of raw sewage in my yard (both of which were clearly caused by their sewer backup). I was planning to call them on Monday since it was now Easter Sunday and the problem was in a section of yard us and our dogs do not regularly access. I went downstairs and used the toilet in the half bath. None of us had used that toilet since the fiasco the day before, as we tend to use the upstairs toilet more frequently. Rather shockingly, upon flushing, water dumped from the toilet onto the floor. I assumed it was coming from the base of the toilet, like the wax ring had failed. I called 311, and told them I really did need them to come fix the clean out pipe, raw sewage, and look at the damage they had caused to my toilet. I went in the bathroom to move some things around so the City workers would be able to have better access to the toilet. That is when I discovered that a piece of the porcelain from the toilet had been blown off, and was on the bathroom floor. Water leaked when I flushed the toilet because the toilet was missing part of its side! Somehow enough pressure had built up to just blow that part of the toilet clean off.

When the City workers showed up that afternoon, I showed them the toilet and the blown up clean out. They then informed me that they couldn’t do anything about those issues. They got me to put a some dye in the toilet water and flush it so they could look at the clean out near the alley to see how long the water took to get there. Which is when we discovered that the water from the drains in our house is no longer even getting to the alley. Something that either got shoved into our sewer pipes by the back up or their snake  or some break along those pipes from the incredible pressure caused by the failing sewer is now preventing our sewage from going where it is supposed to go. So now we can’t use our drains, toilets, or shower for fear of causing a secondary or tertiary problem if our water use ends up backing up somewhere else or leaking somewhere along the way.

We have called a plumber who is supposed to come today, and also begun the process of filing a claim with our insurance company.

Unfortunately for the rest of our community, this is not an isolated issue. We talked to a 3rd neighbor last night who is also having problems with the sewer backing up and not functioning properly. There are many condemned and/or abandoned houses in our neighborhood, so it is hard to get a grasp on how large this problem is, as there is no one in those houses to issue a complaint. A lot of folks who don’t maybe realize that the problems they are experiencing are the City’s fault or who just don’t know to call 311 to get emergency water/sewage help might not be filing complaints.

Human waste is incredibly toxic and full of total coliforms and e. coli. This is a huge public health issue – you can get sick and die! Not only does the city need to pay for the damage to the property, they also need to pay for temporary shelter (like a hotel) for folks who experience these major sewage problems.

We don’t have a quote from a licensed plumber yet, but are hoping to get one day. I renovate houses and can say with confidence that this has easily caused hundreds of dollars of damage. We will have to replace the toilet, possibly some flooring and subflooring around it, get the raw sewage cleaned up, get the cleanout replaced, and figure out where and break/clog is now which could be simple or could involve replacing buried lines.

Our neighborhood, Southern Barton Heights, is largely comprised of working class people of color and low income folks. We have many elderly members of our community as well. Unfortunately, this neighborhood receives more attention by means of the Richmond Police harassing young black men on the street than we do with groceries, jobs, transit, or city utility. Folks in this neighborhood are underserved by the City of Richmond, though we all pay the same minimum 49.40 a month just to have our water/sewer cut on.  Scott Burger has been a driving force with a campaign to reduce the monthly minimum rate to encourage conservation and help out low income folks. This point hits home even harder now. If we are paying the same 49.40 a month as everyone else, then we demand that our neighborhood receive the same respect and services as Windsor Farms and all other sections of Richmond. The systematic neglect of certain areas of the city reeks of environmental racism and neglect (and in this case raw human sewage).

On one level, we just want to be able to go to the bathroom and do our dishes. But this issue IS larger than that, and we hope this aspect is not lost to anyone reading this. If folks want to have further conversations around these issues, drop us a line or 804 303 5449 or come on by 2005 Barton Avenue (go to the bathroom before you head over).

Pictures below:

The hole in our toilet

The hole in our toilet

Broken clean out pipe and raw sewage in our yard

Broken clean out pipe and raw sewage in our yard


A friend of the Wingnut will begin teaching a weekly Spanish Class on Monday nights at 6pm, with the class lasting about one hour.
We will be using an old edition of a Spanish beginners text book, but we encourage folks with more Spanish language knowledge to come participate if they want to,

Anyone is welcome to participate, but the class is designed for students who will participate on a regular basis, and be willing to do studying and work between meetings.

The class is being offered for free, but the teacher needs help affording transportation to and from the classes. It will cost him about 3.50 in bus fare each week. Anyone willing to pitch in towards that is highly encouraged to do so.

Anyone who wants to take the free Spanish class at the Wingnut needs to fill out this questionnaire so we can turn it into the teacher, so he can figure out the best way to teach the class to meet the students’ needs and desires.  Please fill this out and return it to or bring by the Wingnut Anarchist Collective ASAP.

Also- the two textbooks we will be using are the 1st Edition Vistas Student Textbook  ISBN numbers 1-931100-004 and  Vistas Student Activities Manual ISBN 1-931100-03-9  0 These are both available on amazon to be purchased, and you can get copies really cheap (less than a dollar and then 4 dollars shipping) so if you want your own textbook, please feel free to get one. Otherwise, we will have copies and sharing! (more…)

Watch the Cops Richmond!!

If you see the cops- tweet about it!


  1. Get a free account on
  2. Sync your account with your cell phone, enabling you to send tweets from your phone.
  3. Follow @rvacopwatch on twitter to see what the cops in Richmond, VA are up to
  4. When you see the cops, send a tweet, starting with @rvacopwatch
  5. Send identifying info like the license plates of cop cars, cop names and code numbers, location where they are, and a description of what they are doing.
  6. Your tweet will be displayed on the @rvacopwatch feed, allowing everyone who follows @rvacopwatch to keep up to date on where the cops are, what they are doing, and which ones are doing it!!


For more information, email or call 804 303 5449 or check online at about copwatch trainings, patrols, and events!

Take Action Today
Make four phone calls today. Send four emails today.

Governor Bob McDonnell
(804) 786-4273

VA DOC Director Harold W Clarke
Email: Harold.Clarke@VADOC.Virginia.Gov
Business Phone: 804 674 3118

ROSP Chief Warden Randall Mathena
Email: Randall.Mathena@VADOC.Virginia.Gov
Business Phone: 276 796 7510

Regional Operations Chief, Western Region Corrections Operations G.K. Washington
Email: GK.Washington@VADOC.Virginia.Gov
Business Phone: 804 674 3612

Sample phone call:


I’m calling to express my support for the hunger strikers in Red Onion State Prison. These several dozen men are on hunger strike to call attention to inhumane conditions at Red Onion, demanding basic rights from fully cooked meals and medical attention to sanitary living conditions and an end to solitary confinement. We demand that (the Governor/Director/Warden/Operations Chief) take action immediately to respond to their demands. Red Onion has a long history of public scrutiny for conditions, and we, the broad movement to support the Red Onion hunger strikers, won’t let up until their demands are met, and that Red Onion guarantees that there will be zero retaliation on the hunger strikers.

Sample email.

I’m writing to express my support for the hunger strikers in Red Onion State Prison. These several dozen men are on hunger strike to call attention to inhumane conditions at Red Onion, from fully cooked meals and medical attention to sanitary living conditions and an end to solitary confinement. I have included the prisoners’ demands below. We demand an immediate response the strikers’ demands. Red Onion has a long history of public scrutiny for conditions, and we, the broad movement to support the Red Onion hunger strikers, won’t let up until their demands are met, and that Red Onion guarantees that there will be zero retaliation on the hunger strikers.

Ten Demands of ROSP Hunger Strikers

We (Prisoners at Red Onion State Prison) demand the right to an adequate standard of living while in the custody of the state!

1. We demand fully cooked food, and access to a better quality of fresh fruit and vegetables. (more…)

Join anarchist author Margaret Killjoy for a Choose Your Own Adventure Reading at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective on Monday April 23rd at 7pm. (TONIGHT)

Margaret Killjoy is the author of What Lies Beneath the Clocktower, multiple zines, and other creative enterprises. This event is free, but if you can, bring some money to buy some of this merchandise! More about their projects here:

The reading is interactive and is used as a light-hearted rapid consensus-building training, because the audience has to come to consensus about what path to take through the anti-colonialist steampunk adventure.

The Wingnut is located at 2005 Barton Avenue. This is a sober all ages event. Call 804 303 5449 or email wingnut_collective[at] for more info


Local Richmond journalist Michael Paul Williams wrote a piece in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch discussing Senator Norment’s labeling of the Wingnut as armed terrorists. Williams draws some excellent connections between the communist Red Scare era of the 1950’s and current use of the term terrorist. It is great to have local critical journalism.

The only difference to note is that some of the statements he attributes to Mo were actual from the press release written by the entire Wingnut Anarchist Collective- which you can read in full on this website.

Read his column, “Lawmaker’s ‘Terrorist’ Claim Reckless” here:–ar-1751932/

Mark Holmberg briefly mentions Richmond Copwatch in his report on last night’s First Fridays Art Walk in downtown Richmond. Richmond Copwatch has a longer report and our own footage from the event that we will hopefully be posting online tomorrow.

Mark Holmberg on First Friday.

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 ( 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!

We finally remembered to take some pictures of the Wingnut Orchard. We are going back out to it later this week to do mulching and more weeding and labeling. If anyone wants to go with us any week to work on it please get in touch!

Jeremy and Stephen doing some weeding

Little baby tree! Pristine apple

We have the sweetest little blueberry patch!

All told we have close to 40 trees, vines, and bushes in our Orchard so far. Lots of room to grow too!

More pictures after the break!


The Richmond Times Dispatch covered the Really Really Free Market, which fell on Christmas day this month. Check out their preview article here:

Free Market Planned For Christmas Day In Richmond

The follow up article they wrote after visiting the Really Really Free Market on Christmas Day is here:

Free Market Draws Dedicated Group In Monroe Park

Full articles after the break