Posts Tagged ‘mutual aid’

U.S. Hands Off Syria – Because Attacking People in Syria is Unacceptable; Because Genocide is Unacceptable
Members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective participated and endorsed Friday’s “U.S. Hands Off Syria, We Need Jobs Not War” protest. The event was initiated and organized by our friends at the Bainbridge Collective and the Defenders of Freedom, Justice, and Peace.
We were glad to see a response to the recent aggression from the Obama Administration towards Syria. We were glad to see everyone there who came out to show resistance to the Military Industrial Complex and blood-hungry US Imperialist government.
However, some aspects of this protest were troubling to us and deserve thoughtful, respectful critique. The rhetoric of “We Need Jobs Not War” seems to aim to appeal to the unemployed or underemployed people living in Amerikkka with the hopes to draw them into the anti-war movement. The problem with that rhetoric however, is that it is US-centric and ultimately misleading as to the intentions of the US government to legitimately provide basic needs for people living within Amerikkkan borders. The reasons we shouldn’t go to war with Syria are numerous and ultimately should have more to do with our compassion for and solidarity with the people of Syria than our desires for jobs at home. And really, how can we make demands of a government that exists off the daily exploitation and genocide of peoples within the US and around the world and the destruction of the earth? Why would we believe that the funds used in Amerikkkan wars would ever be used in an alternative, positive way when consistently, across Amerikkka, as schools are shut down in poor, People of Color neighborhoods, cities are spending millions building new jails for the school-to-prison pipeline.
An inherently oppressive government will never grant the right to dignified work to workers of Amerikkka, who they label illegal and criminal, and whose communities are attacked with chemical warfare through environmentally racist plants and landfills. How can we demand jobs from a government where labor unions are consistently busted with the iron fist of Amerikkkan corporations? How can we demand fair jobs from a government that uses prisoner slave labor as a means of production and uses chemical warfare against them when they rebel?
The United States of Amerikkka is not interested in mutual aid where our work is respected and is inherent to our collective survival. Though we cannot make these demands of the US government, we can challenge ourselves to show solidarity with strikers on the picket lines; with truckers shutting down ports; with undocumented workers creating community gardens to feed their families as the food they pick in the fields is hauled thousands of miles away; with prison hunger strikers. We can challenge ourselves to produce what we need in our communities because a government hell bent on imperialism and transnational domination will never meet our needs. And we can never show solidarity with people being killed by the Amerikkkan police and military if we dichotomously denounce and ask for the help of the government.
We want to support the Syrian people in their revolutionary struggle for their own liberation; perhaps one way to do this is by creating mutual-aid in our own communities, and thereby rejecting reliance on the US war machine, attacking poverty drafting into the military. In acknowledging the struggle for liberation in Syria, we recognize US intervention would not be the beginning of but a bloody addition to the conflict in Syria. We acknowledge people living in Syria are the only people who can legitimately create self-determination, and decide what that looks like, for themselves. It is so important to stand against US imperialism; though we also challenge ourselves and others to stand in solidarity with peoples struggling against oppressive states regardless of/before US involvement and to strive for a broader scope of understanding to the complexities of struggle outside a Western lens. We also recognize that we do not currently have communication with folks in Syria or from Syria with the exception of a few anarchist articles on Syria or by people living in Syria. Showing solidarity with the people of Syria means demanding nothing less than absolute autonomy, within all the constructed borders of the world. And that is a demand that no government will ever grant but must be created; it must be built upon the ashes of a government that can exist and has only existed off the blood of the exploited.
We should continue to hold protests and actions against US Imperialism, all genocidal states, and in fierce solidarity with those who struggle for liberation; and our critique is not meant to attack organizers or participants of Friday’s protest. We hope that this will promote more conversation and awareness of the multitude of intersectional issues that come into play every time the US Government decides to use force to interfere in other countries. Our desires and needs will not be fulfilled by Amerikkka’s creation of more exploitative jobs. We don’t think yours will be either. Next time we meet on the streets we hope to hear rallying cries for autonomy and self-determination in the spirit of mutual-aid and collective freedom for the people in Syria as well all those around the world struggling for liberation. We deserve it.
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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!

On Saturday January 8, the Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry brought food the neighborhood (as they do every second Saturday of the month).  The Wingnut handed out 175 vouchers for the event, and though the turnout for the event was lower then previous months, the total amount of people represented was higher.

Of 175 vouchers given out, 112 were brought to the event.

Those who attended represented 167 Seniors in our area, 387 children, and 318 adults.

Total amount of those represented was 872 people.

Vouchers for the February food pantry were given to anyone who had already been delivered a voucher for January. Those without vouchers were added to the February 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 delivery schedule!

We held the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry on Saturday, December 11th.

The Mobile Food Pantry is co-organized with the Central VA Food Bank. They bring a huge truck filled with food -12,630 lbs of food this month- and we distribute vouchers to community members who could use the extra food. While the vouchers ensure the holder gets priority in line and guarantees a full share of food, anybody is welcome to come and share the remainder. We gave away all of the food this month.

This month we changed our distribution scheme in a significant way: instead of people coming to our door to pick up food vouchers, we delivered them door to door throughout our neighborhood and northside. Those who fell outside our delivery range were contacted afterword, and then told they could pick up a voucher. This helped ensure ALL the people in our area (and especially less mobile folks) got vouchers, while also not excluding people in other areas of the city.

In general the level of politeness at the Mobile Food Pantry increased, we speculate due to the presence of more actual neighors at the community event. Another unexpected benefit was a proportional increase in reported seniors, probably also due to the less Social Darwinist model of voucher distro.

Without further ado, the statistics: (more…)

Some Wingnuts got on the TV talking about anarchy, community, and the upcoming election!

Mark on The Local Anarchists

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…)

This past weekend we participated in the 3rd monthly Mobile Food Pantry. This is a project that is the joint effort of the WIngnut Anarchist Collective and the Central Virginia Food Bank. Throughout the month before the event, the Wingnut distributes vouchers for free groceries throughout Southern Barton Heights. One voucher per household. Then on the second Saturday of each month, the Food Bank drives out a huge and awesome truck to the parking lot next to the Goal Post Restaurant at 2400 North Avenue- at the intersection of West Graham and North Avenue. The Wingnuts then work with 2 folks from the Food Bank to set up tables full of food. At 1pm the distribution starts. People who have vouchers are given priority, since they are the people that we guaranteed access to the food. The only qualification for the vouchers is living in the Southern Barton Heights area. People who are disabled, elderly, or otherwise unable to come the day of and pickup the food (it is quite heavy) can contact the Wingnut ahead of time to arrange a delivery. We recommend bringing more than one person per voucher to pick up the food on the day, it is usually more than 1 heavy bag worth of groceries. Re-usable bags are also a really great thing to bring with you- paper ones don’t last long with the weight! (more…)

On Wednesday, August 4th, the Conspiracy Tour made a stop in Washington DC.  They aren’t stopping in Richmond, so the only opportunities for folks from around here to see them without traveling TOO Far were last night in DC, or tomorrow night in Carrboro.  I’d say it’s worth the drive, especially if you’re involved in any way with anarchist/anti-authoritarian projects and are unfamiliar with the scope of state repression that has been coming down on our heads in the last ten years or so.

The presentation began with a brief puppet skit about what conspiracy charges actually are.  Basically, someone can be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime if there is planning to commit a crime, and any action is taken in furtherance of that plan, EVEN if the crime is NEVER COMMITTED.  Normally for a conspiracy to exist, more than one person has to be involved, although there are some cases (such as Scott DeMuth’s) where the state will simply INVENT co-conspirators as “unknown persons” in order to charge an individual with conspiracy.
After the initial puppet skit, there was a brief history of state repression in America, discussing such topics as the FBI’s COINTELPRO program and the recent “Operation Backfire” and including information about how these programs gather their information.
(more…)

Today was the first time the Wingnut Anarchist Collective brought the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry to Southern Barton Heights.

Prior to today’s event, the Wingnuts had distributed 100 food vouchers throughout the neighborhood. The Food Bank truck arrived at 12 and we helped the awesome folks from the  Food Bank set up the tables and distribution. By 1 there was already a long line of folks waiting for food.

Over 115 people went through the line today to get food. They represented 392 people in the Southern Barton Heights Neighborhood, based on the number of folks in the households they were representing.68 children, 153 adults, and 71 seniors.

Food that was given out included: Romaine Lettuce, Soup, Fig Newtons, Pop Tarts, Cereal, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Green Beans, Pears, Sweet Potatoes, Juice, Pasta, Crackers, Bagels, Pancake Mix, Salsa, and Turkey.

There will be 100 vouchers available for the event next month  at the Wingnut at 2005 Barton Avenue. The event will be on the second Saturday of August, which is August 14th, and 1pm, at the Parking Lot adjacent to the Goal Post restaurant at 2400 North Avenue.

This is the Wingnut Statement of Purpose which we made as a handout and distributed to hundreds of houses in Southern Barton Heights:

Hello!

The house you may have noticed at 2005 Barton Avenue is called The Wingnut, and is a project of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. We hope to maintain a positive relationship with our community and the individuals within it.  Therefore we feel that it is important for us to be upfront and honest about who we are and what we believe.

As anarchists, we do our best to live by the principles of mutual aid, anti-authoritarianism, and direct action.

Mutual aid for us encompasses a wide variety of things.  We believe in sharing our resources – material, physical, mental and emotional.  We share our food, labor, knowledge and support freely with those who would do the same for us.  We strive to create safe spaces for children, elders, disabled people, those with emotional or psychological trauma, those in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, and people of all races, religions, national origins, genders and sexual orientations. (more…)