Posts Tagged ‘gentrification’

Richmond Food Not Bombs has a new rotational schedule for the cooksites. For October we will be cooking at 3100 1st Avenue in Highland Park, for November we will be at 1105 Highland View Avenue in Highland Park, and for December we will be at 2005 Barton Avenue in Barton heights. All are near eachother on Richmond’s Northside.
We cook at each site for month at a time on Sundays from 12:30 – 3:30 then we load into vehicles and take the food to Monroe Park to serve at 4 at the corner of Main and Belvidere.

We can always use volunteers to help chop, cook, clean, wash dishes, organize, post fliers around town etc.

We can also always use donations of paper plates, paper cups, plastic forks and spoons, rice, oil, olive oil, vinegars, sugar, flour, pasta, spices, oats, etc.

If you would like to help us with a fundraiser we could certainly use that help as well. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation there is a way to do that too. Please get in touch at 804 300 0023 or mokarnage@gmail.com for more information.

Food is a Right, Not a Privilege!!!!
Food Not Bombs has been serving a free, vegan meal every Sunday in Richmond’s Monroe Park for almost 21 years now. We go out regardless of the weather or holidays and have only missed 2 Sundays in all these years. Everything is done on a volunteer and donation basis. We can really use the help and allies as we face many potential issues due to the recent privatization of Monroe Park (a thirty year lease for a dollar a year to the Monroe Park Conservancy), which threatens the ability of poor and houseless people to be in Monroe Park and our ability to serve free food with a potential year long park shut down, private security, and $35 permit application fee. We do not know when any of this might happen because the MPC is a non transparent private entity, but we do plan to resist and we need your help! For more info on the renovation plans please get in touch!!

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We don’t have all of the information or links as of yet, but have just heard that the new City Budget has money for the Monroe Park Renovation Plan.
The Monroe Park Renovation Plan – at least in it’s 2010/2011 version, was incredibly problematic and incredibly classist.
We are meeting with a City Council person later this week to discuss the current situation and find out what the plan and timeline are.
Folks unfamiliar with this issue should take a look at wwwww.monroecampaign.wordpress.comw.monroecampaign.wordpress.com and www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.comhttp://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com and http://richmondiww.org/2010/11/03/455/ to see many articles on why park renovation plans were rejected by a huge coalition in years past.
We’ve occupied the park before, and will not allow the park to be shut down to serve the interests of VCU and gentrifiers.
If you’ve struggled against the Monroe Park Renovation before, this is your alert to start paying attention and be prepared to get involved and defend the people’s park!!!!
Monroe Park Will Stay Open.
We Will Win, We Always Do!

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective has been organizing a monthly Mobile Food Pantry with the Central Virginia Food Bank for almost 3 years now, where we get food to around 200 households in Southern Barton Heights. It is an act of solidarity that we can do, which only takes 3-5 hours a month to do and organize, which has a tangible benefit to members of this community.

For April we served 167 households, (14 of which were deliveries we did to folks who are elderly/disabled/or stuck at work).

out of those households we had 197 Adults, 78 Seniors, and 174 Children. So over 400 people in our community got a little extra food in April.

We do the Mobile Food Pantry on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 1pm in the parking lot at the corner of North Ave. and West Graham. Volunteers help us set it up at 12 noon.

Folks who are on our distribution list are guaranteed food, we also serve food to walkups who aren’t on our voucher list as long as there is food to go round.

On July 18th there was a meeting of a group of people interested in re-forming a Barton Heights Neighborhood Association. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective was concerned by both the small amount of outreach ahead of the meeting, and also the types of decisions on the agenda for the first meeting. We made fliers and notified as many neighbors as we could, but it was not an ideal situation in terms of being able to get word out. Luckily, enough folks did come out who agreed that we needed a much more representative of our neighborhood body to be able to make foundational decision.

We filmed the meeting to make it available to folks who could not make it last night.

The next event will be a National Night Out Event on August 7th at Yancey Street Park– more info to come on that next week after our planning meeting.

The next official meeting of the neighborhood association will be Tuesday September 11th at 6:30 pm, location TBA, but we are looking for one closer to Barton Heights.

July 18, 2012 Barton Heights Neighborhood Association Meeting from WingnutAnarchistCollective on Vimeo.

We passed out fliers on how Consensus decision making works, and Rusty’s Rules of Order as used by the IWW (Thanks to the Richmond IWW branch for those copies http://www.richmondiww.org). Here are links to those for folks interested in learning about multiple options before we decide on how we as a neighborhood association will be making decisions.

http://zinelibrary.info/quick-guide-consensus-0

http://gainesvilleiww.org/resources/blog1.php/rusty-s-rules-of-order

We think it is significant/interesting to note, that despite the resistance to using anything other than majority rules voting for decision making at the meeting, that the group actually used consensus to make it’s decisions!

 

Wingnut Statement On The Monroe Park Renovation Plan

The current renovation plans for Monroe Park are riddled with problems and are overall, entirely unacceptable.

Our demands regarding the park are as follows:

We oppose the renovation plans in their entirety, as they are racist, classist, and a thinly veiled attempt at privatizing and capitalizing on a public park.

  1. There needs to be an immediate cessation of all attempts from MPAC and the City of Richmond to criminalize the homeless.
  2. We demand the inclusion of homeless people in all decisions relating to homelessness, housing, free food programs, etc. We demand that the homeless be given roles with the power to make decisions about their own futures in whatever groups or organizations are making these decisions.
  3. We demand the cessation of the endless promotion of the Conrad Center as the solution to homelessness in Richmond. We demand the cessation of the attempts to centralize all programs that serve the homeless at the Conrad Center, which has aggressively pushed its agenda of misinformation for years now.
  4. We demand that there be NO paid park director, especially at the outrageous salary of 150,000 a year. (more…)

The Monroe Park Advisory Council removed from its website the document of their plans to renovate Monroe Park. This was a publicly available document up until sometime recently when they apparently decided to no longer make it available. Fortunately, at the Wingnut, we had saved a copy of this document. We have now uploaded it onto archive.org to make is publicly accessible again.

http://www.archive.org/details/MonroeParkRenovationPlans2008

You can’t view it on archive.org, but if you right click the PDF link, you can select, ‘Save Link As’ to download the renovation plans to your computer. If you can’t download because you are on a public access computer, you can come by the Wingnut Anarchist Collective to view the file on our computer. We have open hours on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-10 and you can call 804 303 5449 to arrange to stop by some other time.

Make sure you check out page 61 on the bottom left side where it has the desired ratio of homeless and homeless appearing people to everyone else- 75-100:1. Read about the plans for private security for the park.

Please download, print, and share this document with others so you can understand their plans for renovation, and also see first hand some of the troubling aspects.  When confronted, MPAC pretty much refused to take accuontability for the plan that they developed.  MPAC has also done things to deliberately become more secretive- removing their email contacts for MPAC members from their website, lying about no longer having meetings, and apparently removing the content from the link to the plan o their website. (more…)

Silver Persinger recorded the lengthy meeting at the Carillon last night, where Charles Samuels (2nd District City Councilman) tried to get groups who ‘serve the homeless’ to figure out what they should do when Monroe Park is closed for renovations. It was not a forum, nor really a big group discussion. However, there were about 25 or so folks associated with Food Not Bombs who came to promote the idea that the park need not and ought not be closed entirely during renovations. The meeting did not go the way Samuels or Homeward likely desired. Instead many people spoke out questioning why the park was going to be closed in its entirety, and suggested that moving services would not make up for destroying the community of people- homeless and not- who use Monroe Park on a regular basis.

Check out the videos to see how it all went down!

This first link is to the 1st half of the meeting. Which includes Charles Samuels, Homeward, and others speaking. They did not allow any questions or feedback from anyone attending the meeting, even when it was very clear that people had questions and concerns. This video also includes a Wingnut, Mo Karn,  interuptting the bureaucratic flow of things to point out that the meeting is entirely based on the false premise that the park must be completely closed. You can find that around 24:40.

http://player.vimeo.com/video/16523974

This 2nd section of the video shows how many of the groups in the room decided that the solution to the problems with closing all of Monroe Park was simply not to close the entire park!

http://player.vimeo.com/video/16528050

Silver Persinger posted this video from way back in June of the Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhood’s (ACORN) bike tour of Highland Park and Barton Heights.

The Wingnut was extremely wary of the presence of ACORN in Southern Barton Heights, as tours like theirs tend to be gentrification pushes, with the demographic of participants falling heavily on the side of upper-middle class white people. The Wingnut fliered the neighborhood before the walking tour, and also chalked the side walks in some places where the tour was scheduled to stop. Gentrification is a serious issue, and one which we felt needed to be brought up during this event, even if not everyone working for ACORN or participating in ACORN events was necessarily someone working to gentrify the neighborhood. Some of the interactions we had that day- including being assaulted by one person trying to sell a house and having one ACORN woman repeatedly call the police over our fliers before even attempting to engage in conversation with us, showed that some of our fears about the ACORN tour were indeed valid.

The bike tour aspect of ACORN’s visit to the neighborhood seemed to be bottom lined by genuinely enthusiastic and goodhearted younger members of the organization. (more…)

Richmond Food Not Bombs has been sharing food in Monroe Park for over sixteen years now. We have developed many connections and friendships over the course of our existence, helped provide healthy food to many individuals who may not have had access to it otherwise, and become a staple of social activity for many people’s Sunday afternoons.

The proposed renovations to Monroe Park are an attack , a judgement on who the park should and shouldn’t be for. It is an attack on the homeless, the “homeless-appearing” (whatever that means – it’s in the Monroe Park Advisory Council’s renovation plans), and groups and individuals who don’t judge people by their social status or whether they have conventional means of acquiring shelter.

We will not stand for it.

The only change that the park really needs is for the city to do its job when it comes do doing maintenance on the bathrooms, as they are functional but one of the water pipes to the sinks has corroded away. Other improvements, such as installing permanent chess tables, or a playground area for kids would be nice, but NOT at the cost of driving out the folks who currently congregate in the park, shutting the entire park down for 18 months, or privatizing the security of the park.

Food Not Bombs will resist all attempts to shut the entire park down for any amount of time. (more…)

Urgent Announcement: The Monroe Park Advisory Council is planning to close the entirety of Monroe Park for at least 9 months for the proposed renovations. Alice Massie just let this information spill. Time to organize to fight this. She said they are putting a 9 foot fence around the whole park. This is entirely unacceptable, and was NOT announced as part of the plans. The homeless, the groups that serve in the park, students who use the park, and many members of the Richmond community who use the park were NOT consulted in this extremely drastic measure.

More on what you can do later. For now, come share food at Food Not Bombs every Sunday at 4pm at the corner of Main and Belvidere. That will be the best way to keep up to date on issues affecting the park and share food with your community. (more…)