Posts Tagged ‘occupy richmond’

On Monday:

In response to the violent arrests of Hunter Singleton and Eric Scott on the evening of November 9th during a march in Richmond, Occupy Charlottesville will be holding a solidarity demonstration along the Downtown Mall on Monday November 14th around 7:30 pm after the General Assembly in Lee Park on Market street.

Eric and Hunter are facing felony charges for wearing masks during the march, something that most everyone in the march was doing as a protective measure against tear gas and police surveillance. This move shows that the police singled them out for being openly involved in activism and anarchist organizing.

We march in Charlottesville to show that solidarity with those imprisoned is possible doesn’t matter where we live and to strengthen the regional movement to occupy public spaces and all spaces. We march also to stand by the age old conviction that “An injury to one is an injury to all” among those who resist systemic oppression and injustice. To Richmond mayor Dwight Jones and Police Chief Bryan Norwood we want to show that even outside Richmond, people are watching and have each other’s backs. To the Charlottesville government and police department we also say that we have comrades all along the region that will support each other and organize to keep our city’s occupation going for the long haul.

Folks from Richmond who want to carpool to Charlottesville should call 804 300 0023 or email wingnut_collective@yahoo.com We will probably leave from the Wingnut around 5pm. Contributions for the cost of fuel would be appreciated

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Hello Friends!

This is a draft of a letter concerning a pattern of discriminatory police repression and intimidation of local Richmond activists. If your organization supports the Occupy Richmond movement, the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, causes for social justice, or our civil rights in general, please consider endorsing, posting on your websites, sending out on your email lists, and sending the following letter to the addresses below:

letters@styleweekly.com, letters@timesdispatch.com, letters@richmondfreepress.com, editor@commonwealthtimes.com, editor@rvanews.com, editor@richmag.com, “Kevin/GayRVA” , news@richmondfreepress.com, news@timesdispatch.com, news@wric.com, newstips@wtvr.com, news@wrir.org, newsroom@nbc12.com, Reva.trammell@richmondgov.com, “Robertson, Ellen F. – Council Member” , bruce.tyler@richmondgov.com, Marty.Jewell@richmondgov.com, charles.samuels@richmondgov.com, Kathy.graziano@richmondgov.com, ASKTHEMAYOR@richmondgov.com, “chris hilbert” , doug.conner@richmondgov.com, cynthia.newbille@richmondgov.com, BRYAN.NORWOOD@RICHMONDGOV.COM

Get the word out and help support local organizers! If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

Thank You!

To Whom It May Concern:

We the undersigned would like to express our concern that members of the Richmond Police Department may be singling out a group of Richmond activists for harassment. Specifically Richmond’s anarchist community, including the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is an anarchist organization based in Richmond’s Southern Barton Heights neighborhood on the Northside. Its members are involved in helping to feed homeless people through their support of the free weekly Food Not Bombs meal in Monroe Park, facilitating a neighborhood grocery distribution, and encouraging correspondence with prisoners. They are also active in local anti-war, civil rights, LGBTQ, and womens reproductive freedom movements.

Wingnuts also participate in a program called CopWatch, in which volunteers observe and record police activity and watch for abuses. The program has been particularly active during the First Fridays art walk, which has seen encounters between police officers and Black youth.

While participating in September’s First Friday monthly CopWatch patrol, Jeremy Hawthorne, a member of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, was arrested and is currently awaiting trial on fallacious charges.

On Nov. 9, two Richmond anarchists, Hunter Singleton and Wingnut member Eric Scott, were arrested while marching around Monroe Park with hundreds of members and supporters of Occupy Richmond. The march took place 10 days after a massive police operation, carried out at 1:15 in the morning, that shut down the Occupy Richmond encampment at Kanawha Plaza.

On the evening of the march, people were concerned that the police, again out in large numbers, might use tear gas against the marchers. As a result, many marchers wore kerchiefs, scarves, or other cloths soaked in vinegar around their necks or faces. And yet, only Eric and Hunter were arrested, handcuffed, and charged with wearing a mask in public. Video footage of the arrests show no resistance on the part of Eric or Hunter.

All of these cases carry felony charges, which following a conviction would severely curtail the accused’s rights and make finding employment an even more difficult prospect in the current job market.

Our concern is that at least some members of the Richmond Police Department may have decided that the Wingnut and anarchist activists are fair game for harassment. Given the volatility of the times – high unemployment, deep anxieties over the economy and growing concerns about police conduct, as in the department’s overreaction to the Final Four street gatherings around Virginia Commonwealth University, we the undersigned organizations and concerned individuals of the Richmond area hereby call on Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood to make it clear to all members of the Richmond Police Department that discriminatory treatment of members of the public, regardless of political beliefs or affiliations, will not be tolerated.

Signed:

The Occupied Mind blog has written about the Richmond Occupation, and specifically has this post about the arrests of Hunter and Eric during an Occupy Richmond March. They have specifically addressed the relationship between occupiers and our anarchist collective. They also critique the actions of the Richmond Police Department, and question the singling out of 2 anarchists and long term activists during the march.

News and editorials about the Occupy Wall Street movement, with specific local coverage of Occupy Richmond. On Occupy by an Occupier, for everyone.

http://occupiedmind.blogspot.com/2011/11/merry-pranks-and-police-state-politics.html

More news coverage from NBC 12 from yesterday after court.

via Occupy Richmond protesters appear in court.

http://www.nbc12.com/story/16009387/2011/11/10/occupy-richmond-protesters-appear-in-court?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6439857

We got word about 45 minutes before the scheduled solidarity demo that Hunter Singleton had gotten out on bail. Happy to hear that 2 of our friends were released, we decided to hold the demonstration anyways, since folks might not hear in time and more than 1400 other people were not released from the Richmond City Jail today.

Around 25 people came out to show support. We had pots and pans and whistles and horns and train whistles and cans and bucket drums and even some real drums. We marched around the perimeter of the jail three times. We stopped along the way, yelling greetings to our friends and everyone on the inside.

We wrapped up singing a song about freedom, and then lighting candles and sitting on the sidewalk.

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight to support Eric and Hunter, as well as to support everyone incarcerated at the Richmond City Jail. Folks who enjoyed the experience or feel like they missed out are welcome to come to future Anarchist Black Cross meetings and events. Our monthly meetings are on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7pm at 2005 Barton Avenue. We also host a monthly letter writing to prisoners event on the last Saturday of every month from 12-3pm in Monroe Park at the corner of Main and Laurel during the Really Really Free Market.

CBS 6 posted a video covering last night’s Occupy Richmond marches as well as the arrests of Eric and Hunter, and the awesome turnout of supporters at court this morning.

 http://wtvr.vid.trb.com/player/PaperVideoTest.swf

We just heard from Richmond City Lockup that Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton have been moved to the Richmond City Jail. We confirmed that they are both at the jail now. We have not been allowed to contact them and do not know if they have been able to have access to a phone.

Additionally, the Jail still does not have knowledge of any bail/bond for Eric or Hunter. So bailing or bonding them out is still not an option. This might mean they will have no choice but to be stuck in jail over the long holiday weekend. Just another wonderful aspect of the injustice system.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will meet at the Richmond City Jail tonight for a solidarity rally with Hunter and Eric. The Richmond City Jail is located at 1701 Fairfield Way. Alternately, folks can meet up at the Wingnut at 7:30pm (2005 Barton Avenue).

We will be at the Wingnut all day making food, waiting for phone calls, talking to each other, and getting ready for the protest tonight. You can come by if you want to hangout, share food, talk, or get ready for tonight.

Take care of yourselves!

Occupy Richmond protestors on the move tonight – NBC12 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and Programming Guide for Richmond, VA |.

Last night’s coverage of two arrests and an interview with a member of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.

Last night, 2 good friends and members of the Richmond Radical community were arrested during an Occupy Richmond march. Other people around them, posing no threat and in no way intervening were choked, slammed against cars, and even had a bicycle thrown at them by the Richmond Police. The events of last night were no anomaly, and instead are symptomatic of the unwarranted use of violence by police as a mainstay and default. Commanding officers were smug and relishing in the actions taken by their subordinates.

We are looking for more pictures, witness accounts, and video from the police violence last night. Please email them to sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Over 25 people came out to court this morning to support Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton at their arraignment. Unfortunately, the system had changed plans, and done their arraignments by video earlier in the day. Hunter and Eric never left lockup for the court. This underhanded move by the court is just another example of the injustice present in the system.

Despite Eric and Hunter not being present, Hunter’s court appointed lawyer, Christopher Bradshaw was. The issue at hand was a preliminary bond hearing. For Eric Scott, whose lawyer William Efird was not present, bail/bond was set at $5,000 – Eric Scott is being charged with a Felony for allegedly wearing a mask in public, some sort of weapons charge (pocketknife) and disorderly conduct. Hunter Singleton is being charged with Felony for allegedly wearing a mask in public as well as a Felony for a controlled substance (his prescription medication) and disorderly conduct. Hunter’s bail/bond was set at $7,500.

Because Hunter’s attorney was not given an opportunity to meet Hunter, there should be another bail hearing early next week, and we sincerely hope that Hunter’s bail will be lowered.

The court and Commonwealth’s Attorney are clearly trying to harass and intimidate by the outrageously high bail’s set and the ridiculous felony charges.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is working on support for Eric and Hunter. We will be trying to get in touch with them today and will be in contact with their lawyers. We will see if Hunter and Eric want to be bonded out. The issue with bond is that you pay 10% of the set bail, but you never see that money again. We would need $500 for Eric and $750 for Hunter, which we could not repay. If Hunter, a fulltime VCU student, and Eric want to be bonded out we would love help in raising these funds.

We just called Richmond City Lockup and got word that Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton are still there, and we are not allowed to talk to or visit them. They would not tell us if and when they will be transferred to the City Jail. They have also not updated their system to even show that Eric and Hunter have a bond as an option, so at this point, bonding them out is not yet on the table.

Tonight the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will be holding a solidarity demonstration at 8pm outside of the Richmond City Jail at 1701 Fairfield Way (Location subject to change if Eric and Hunter are still at Richmond City Lockup [501 North 9th Street] at this time, we will keep you updated). Please come out to show support for Hunter and Eric. Bring candles, signs, banners, flags, whistles, songs, drums, and other things so we can let Eric (a long term Anarchist Black Cross member) and Hunter know that we are working for them on the outside. Anyone who would like to go to the jail as a group is welcome to meet at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective (2005 Barton Avenue) at 7:30pm.

Richmond Copwatch is looking for pictures and video of the Richmond Police Department last night during the Occupy Richmond marches. If you have any please email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Here is a short video of a Richmond Police Officer refusing to identify himself, and generally giving the person trying to find out that information a hard time. You hear the Copwatcher ask for the cop’s Name and Code Number. Then you also hear that cop refusing to give those pieces of information. You can hear him making comments about how the Copwatcher does not know protocol anymore, and must not know the RPD’s protocol. This is a reference to the fact that after Richmond Copwatch used the Freedom of Information Act to get almost 600 pages of the Richmond Police Department’s protocols, we found out that officers were required to identify themselves by Name and Code Number whenever they were asked. However, since then, the RPD has gone out of its way to alter their protocol. We have heard comments from some officers that say the change in protocol is in direct correlation to Copwatch and Copwatch’s attempts to identify members of RPD. To our best knowledge, Richmond Cops are currently only required to identify themselves by Name, but you should still always ask and get Code Number if you can.