Posts Tagged ‘defenders’

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
(more…)

2014vpa

The 6th annual statewide gathering of progressive Virginia activists to network, educate, unite and strategize on how to build the movement for jobs, peace and justice. For more information, see www.vapeoplesassembly.org. Keep checking back as new information is being added all the time. Meanwhile, please consider endorsing, which you can do on the website or on this Facebook page.

 
1720 Mechanicsville Tpke, Richmond, Virginia 23223-3
 
 
whitney2014vpa
 
 

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

Facebook EventFree Jermaine Doss

Monday, October 7th, at 1pm, at the Virginia Capitol (corner of Bank and 10th Street, South side of Capital Square), there will be a press conference asking Governor McDonnell to investigate the case of Jermaine Doss.

Doss was convicted of murder-for-hire in 2000. but had always maintained that he was set up by a crooked cop who threatened to pin him with a charge if he didn’t hand over money. The officer, Detective Glenn Ford, subsequently went to prison for running a similar extortion racket. What’s more, the key witness against Doss- the man who actually committed the murder and confessed- signed an affidavit saying that Doss had not been involved in any way. and that he had lied after a prosecutor told him he’d receive the death penalty if he did not.  

Jermaine Doss is clearly innocent, and his parents have been working tirelessly to get him out of prison since his conviction. They need support. 

RSVP through the title link, and remember to sign the petition (linked in the event) urging McDonnell to examine the case. 

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.

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!”

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.

A reminder that although VCU has finally closed the parking lot on the Richmond African Burial Ground, 4 people still have court this Wednesday over their act of civil disobedience protesting the use of the Burial Ground as a parking lot.  Please come out this Wednesday to support them! Details below.

From the Richmond Defenders:

As the subject header suggests, the battle to reclaim the Richmond African Burial Ground is finally over!  You may recall at the last COC meeting, five individuals volunteered to become members of the Coordinating Committee (CC).  The CC members are:  Autumn Barrett, David Boothe, Donnell Brantley, Rolandah “Cleopattrah” McMillan, and Janet “Queen Nzinga” Taylor.  The charge of the CC is to keep you informed and we will endeavor to do just that.

While we can relish this victory, we must still remain ever vigilant until this Sacred Ground is properly memorialized.  Below is the statement released by the Defenders on behalf of the COC, and important dates for you to remember.  We would also like to thank you, the community, for taking a stand and helping to bring this reclamation to fruition.

We look forward ever, backward NEVER!

Janet B. Taylor
Coordinating Committee
Celebrate the Reclamation of the Burial Ground/Support the Four Advocates
The VCU parking lot which for years desecrated the Richmond African Burial Ground was finally closed, Saturday, May 21 and is scheduled to be removed starting, Tuesday, May 24.  The African Burial Ground, formerly the Burial Ground for Negroes, is the city’s oldest known municipal cemetery for enslaved Africans and free people of African descent.

After years of community agitation, the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year passed a bill authorizing the transfer of the 3.4 acre site from VCU to the City of Richmond.  The City has placed a marker on the site explaining its historical and cultural significance as well as detailing Richmond’s leading role in the internal U.S. slave trade.

Part of the activism that eventually led to the closing of the parking lot occurred, Tuesday, April 12, the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.  Eight community activists were successful in closing down the parking lot for an hour and a half.  Four of the eight -Donnell Brantley, Rolandah “Cleopattrah” McMillan, Autumn Barrett and Phil Wilayto – were subsequently arrested and charged with trespassing.  They are being represented pro bono by the law firm of Benjamin & DesPortes, a leading criminal defense firm.  As McMillan explained, “We decided to close the parking lot ourselves…We wanted the whole world to see that this state institution has no respect for the community that surrounds it.”

For more information, please contact Janet “Queen Nzinga” Taylor, 804-347-3598 or OneRastaQueen@hotmail.com.

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

Monday, May 23, 6 pm
Public Hearing, Richmond City Council Chambers, 2nd floor/City Hall, 900 W. Broad St. The City will vote to accept the land transfer from VCU.

Tuesday, May 24, 10:30 am
Groundbreaking Ceremony, Richmond African Burial Ground, 15th & Broad streets.

Wednesday, May 25, 9 am
Support vigil outside the Manchester Courthouse, 920 Hull Street, followed by the 10 am trial of the four African Burial Ground advocates who shut down the VCU parking lot, April 12.  Please wear a white shirt or blouse as a show of solidarity.

Sunday, June 5, 4-6 pm
Community Organizing Committee meeting, location TBA. (Note:  Meetings are always the first Sunday of the month, 4-6pm; you will be notified of the location.)

——————————————- Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality A group of Richmond area residents working to improving the lives of people in our community. Phone & Fax 804.644.5834 . PO Box 23202, Richmond VA 23223 . DefendersFJE@hotmail.com

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…)

October is a month with a lot of significance in regards to the issues of race, racism, white privilege, etc. This event (which has location TBA, so stay tuned) is just a part of the many events and commemorations happening in October. If you don’t know about who Gabriel was, or what the deal is with the burial ground that VCU has paved over, make it out to hear people talk about what is going on with these issues in Richmond.

Sunday, October 10 · 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Location To be confirmed

Created By

More Info
It’s about time to come together and have a community discussion about the progress on reclamaing Richmond’s African Burial Ground. Following the success of the documentary, Meet Me In The Bottom: The Struggle to Reclaim Richmond’s African Burial Ground, more and more individuals and organizations are stepping forward to declare their support for this effort. Local, state, public and private interests have been meeting and makin…g plans for this site and others in Shockoe Bottom without a way to hear from the community. The Future of Richmond’s Past and the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the End of Slavery are creating unprecendented opportunities for public discourse on difficult topics. Who is telling what histories? To what purpose? Let’s come together and provide some feedback, some ideas for addressing the struggle for the Burial Ground and similar challenges facing Richmonders and Virginians every day. What would Gabriel do? SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend on October 10, 2010 at 6pm.See More