Posts Tagged ‘shockoe bottom’

Some pictures from tonight’s march and rally for #blacklivesmatter!! Organized by Justice RVA with participants from pretty much the same wide swath of people who came out to disrupt City Council on Monday night.

Light up letter signs spelling out #blacklivesmatter
We blocked Broad street at 9th and had a die in. We also sang Amazing Grace, We Shall Overcome, And This Little Light of Mine, listened to speakers, and black participants made a memorial to their ancestors at 11th and Broad.
Look out for more actions over the next days, week, and year.
We will be working towards the list of demands until City Council acquieces or time comes to boycott and disrupt the UCI Bike races.

Thanks to All Saints Theater for making and bringing beautiful puppet memorials.

If anyone has a picture of two undercover cops please let us know. They were a pair of white guys (obvi), the taller one in a red hoodie and the shorter huskier one in a black sweatshirt. We followed them back to their car, a white jeep SUV which was parked in the law enforcement only zone at the John Marshall court building.

Some local coverage:

http://wtvr.com/2015/01/15/justicerva-protest-planned/

http://wric.com/2015/01/15/blacklivesmatter-rally-vigil-to-be-held-thursday-by-richmond-group/

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Tonight at the Richmond City Council Meeting, the first of 2015, things got off to a fabulous start through organization from members of Black Action Now and Justice RVA.
They coordinated a #BlackLivesMatter action at the meeting which had participants from the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, the Nest Collective, Flying Brick Library, Collective X, Defenders of Freedom Justice and Equality, the Sierra Club, Food Not Bombs, Bainbridge Collective, and many more groups we are likely forgetting to name here, apologies yall.
During the public comments section, multiple folks got up to speak including Rebecca Keel, London Perry, Kendyl Crawford, and Vanessa Coleman (sorry if spelling errors please get in touch if you want changes here yall). They presented a list of grievances and then demands on City Council. We posted a picture of those in a previous blog entry. They promise that if the demands are not met by City Council, we will protest, boycott and disrupt the 2015 UCI Road World Championship Bike Races when they come to Richmond in September.
Whoever came up with that ultimatum for the demands was exactly the fire we need in Richmond to push our movements for justice forward.
Here is the text from Justice RVA:

Grievances
Richmond City Council and Mayor Jones are failing Black residents by:
1) Underfunding schools
2) Failing to address conditions in the jail and continued policies of mass incarceration
3) Maintaining and overworked understaffed social services department
4) Reducing access to public transportation
5) Working to bury black history under a private sports venue with stadium in Shockoe
6) Failing to invest in renewable energy
7) Mayor Jones’ lack of support for his very own food policy task force
8) Failing Richmond’s homeless community through the Monroe Park Conservancy Deal
9) Failing to improve the public housing access and conditions therein
10) Failing to support a living wage of $15 an hour
11) Enforcing harsh codes in the mobile home parks that mainly affect POC and immigrant families living in the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor

List of Demands
1) Engage in respect for Black life in this upcoming year as they vote and pass resolutions, approve budgets, and appropriate tax payer funds
2) Provide full funding for Richmond Public Schools
3) Require that the Monroe Park Conservancy Deal is written such that homeless residents are respected
4) Expand funding for the Department of Social Services
5) Adhere to the recommendations of the Food Policy Task Force
6) Allow for greater representation of citizens without the administrations involvement in the Monroe Park conservancy Deal
7) Require that anyone condemned from their mobile home through the code enforcement be offered relocation assistance
8) Stop CARE VAN increases
9) Protect Shockoe Bottom as a historic park
10) Have council boards.commissions appear in public before being appointed
11) dedicated funding source for GRTC with reciprocal funding for the counties
12) implement a more accessible citizens watch board for the Richmond City Police and Richmond City Jail
13) Support for rehabilitation and restorative justice and ending mass incarceration
14) Opposition of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and support and investment in renewable energy

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This list is pretty intersectional and awesome. Thanks so much to the folks in the Black Caucus at the Virginia People’s Assembly and others who put this together. Now it is up to all of us to hold the government to it. It’s going to be a fun time.

After the Consent agenda there was a period of text blasting at 6:45 to the City Council members on twitter. Then a little before 7, everyone started singing Amazing Grace, then chanting ‘there aint no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop’. There were signs and banners and a few other chants then we left the room. We returned later to shout ‘ we told you we’d be back’.

If you haven’t been participating, tune in, catch up, and come out and join us. There are several more events for the #blacklivesmatter campaign this week which we have previously posted about on our website. Aside from that, come to City Council meetings, come to events at collectives around the City, and keep talking to your friends, family, and neighbor. It’s our city, and we are making it a better place.

A message from the Virginia Defenders:
To all the folks who have signed the petition against a Shockoe Bottom stadium:

Five months after Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones unveiled his proposal to build a minor-league baseball stadium in the heart of what once was the largest slave-trading district north of New Orleans, City Council still has not voted on the controversial plan. This is a testimony to the movement that has been built up around this issue, a movement that includes the more than 3,700 people who have signed the anti-stadium petition.

Today is April 3, 2014 – the 149th anniversary of the day Union troops, led by Black soldiers, marched into Richmond, tore open the slave jails and ended nearly 200 years of slavery in the city. Amazingly, this is not an official holiday here. To rectify that omission, stadium opponents have organized “Liberation Day 2014,” a program to commemorate and celebrate the fall of the Confederacy and the liberation of Richmond.

As part of our program, Virginia resident Linsey Williams, a direct descendent of “Twelve Years a Slave” author Solomon Northup, will be reading from her ancestor’s account of the night he spent in a Richmond slave jail. As she reads his moving story, she will be standing on the very spot in the Shockoe Bottom district where the jail once stood – and where the mayor and the wealthy developers he represents want to build the stadium.

If you live in the Richmond area, please join us at 6 pm at the site of Lumpkin’s Jail, at what would be 15th and East Grace streets – just south of East Broad Street, between Interstate 95 and the CSX railroad. (More information is in the attached media release.)

And for everyone, PLEASE SHARE THIS PETITION with your social media friends. Every time someone signs online, a note goes to the mayor and every member of Richmond City Council. Council members have mentioned several times how many emails they are receiving on this issue. It really does help. http://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-richmond-mayor-dwight-c-jones-and-city-council-oppose-building-a-baseball-stadium-development-in-shockoe-bottom

To find out more ways you can help, pleases contact the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality at: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com.

Thank you all for your interest and support.

Phil Wilayto
for the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
Richmond, Virginia

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So got word that some people are giving the Wingnut credit/blame for the awesome #dwightjonesissellingourcity wheatpasted posters that are going up around town. Even heard a suggestion that the Wingnut might be raided over this. A raid would be bad cause of our four loving puppies.

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Well sad to say we are NOT the awesome people responsible for these posters, and we don’t know who is.

We do think it is kinda weird that the city would be extra fussy  to remove those specific pieces of street art over all the rest that goes on in this city. And maybe we need to start speaking out against money being spent to take down these posters when Loving RVA ads get free pages in official parks publications etc.

We think the posters are awesome. We think we need more messages calling out the situation. And vandalism and civil disobedience are valid tactics in our tool kits. But please be careful who ever is doing this. It looks like the City wants to spend money to take em down and then catch someone to pin it on to charge them.

The resistance has no leaders and no hierarchies. As far as we know it could be 100 different people doing this. And we hope all 100 people get away with it and keep speaking truth to power through whatever means necessary.

We look forward to seeing the many creative ways the resistance moves forward to fight against a stadium in shockoe, privatization of monroe park, and tax breaks for Vulture Richmond. Everyone who came out yesterday showed exactly how much heart we have on our side.

Take care of yourself and take care of eachother so we can all continue in this struggle. And the next time we pack city council, lets organize snacks for everyone. Seriously.

Editors Note: This is an anonymous submission which was sent to one of the Wingnuts. The anonymous author sent it to several Council members and news outlets. We heard that at least one local magazine would not oublish for fear of financial retribition.

I apologize for the anonymity. Lots of pressure going around.  Sending this to all Council members. Thank you for your consideration.

Dear Honorable Members of Richmond City Council,

I am writing you this afternoon because we are at a major crossroads in the great city of Richmond. In the next couple of weeks you will be asked to vote on a variety of issues that will weigh very heavily on the future of this city and the people within it for many decades to come.  While there are a variety of different development projects including the Revitalize RVA proposal, the Brown’s Island Amphitheater plan, and the ongoing management of Monroe Park on the table for you to soon vote on, there is a much more serious civic situation that you have the heavy burden of addressing. The yay or nay ballot that each of you will cast in regards to Mayor Jones’s Shockoe stadium proposal will be a vote on much more than whether or not to build on a historic site in Shockoe Bottom: It has now become a yay or nay vote to validate a model of how business is to be conducted by both non-profit organizations and well-funded commercial enterprises in the City of Richmond.

Over the past 4 months since Mayor Jones’s initial announcement of the RevitalizeRVA plan, his conduct, as well as that of Venture Richmond and LovingRVA, have been questionable at best (and spinelessly manipulative at worst) to both the democratic process and the non-profit model that has been at the heart of much of RVA’s lifestyle and cultural expansion over the past 3-5 years. On the surface it may appear that there is a large amount of support in the form of  Facebook “likes” and signatures from both the commercial and non-profit sectors of the city for this plan, the reality is that many of RVA’s small businesses are being kept in a silent, financial stranglehold around raising any questions or concerns around the RevitalizeRVA plan. Because many of our city’s non-profit organizations receive funding from major corporations such as Capital One, Bon Secours, and Altria there has been a passive aggressive mandate issued that if you want to keep receiving funds for your organization that you most “go along” with the stadium plan or risk losing some level of funding for your organization. This has been echoed by a number of different employees across many sectors under the cover of anonymity for fear of fiscal retribution.

Many of these organizations know that building another recreational facility is not in the best interest of the city. Regardless of the mayor’s blind eye to the educational issues in RVA’s currently rock-bottom education system, most RVA taxpayers overwhelmingly agree that our schools and infrastructure across the entire city are the immediate priority, not recreational sports and an illogical design that puts a hotel (typically consider a place for rest and relaxation, no?) right next to 7,000 screaming fans and fireworks going off at 9:00 at night. It doesn’t take a civil engineer to understand the problems around that and the many other shoddy details around financial liability and infrastructure assessments for this project. But alas, nothing can be said by many local organizations about that for fear of losing much needed funding dollars and threats of being “white-listed” from certain opportunities regardless of if this deal is successfully railroaded through or not. That is a detrimental and n unfavorable situation for businesses, their employees, the city, our culture, and the democratic process as a whole.

So, this is where you, our elected city officials come into play. (more…)

Councilman Hilbert held a 3rd district community meeting about the Revitalize RVA plan for a baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom on Feb. 5 at Pine Camp on Northside.

Farid Alan Schintzius noticed that someone had placed in the medians and other public areas pro- shockoe stadium signs, clearly targeting anyone headed to the meeting.

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Signs in the median on Chamberlayne still there on the morning of the 6th.

Who funded these signs and who illegally placed them in the public right of way, in a shady attempt to influence citizens is not known. What we do know is that Loving RVA and the Mayor have been engaging in underhanded and corrupt measures to use their money and power to push through the baseball stadium plan. Just this week it was revealed that a full page ad for Loving RVA was published in a tax payer funded parks and rec publication, which is not even supposed to have ads in it.

The signs have now been removed from everywhere we found then and we are going to use them for a more worthy cause.

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Join us and many many community groups and members at the City Council Meeting on February 24th at 6pm to insist that Council say No to the irresponsible, disrespectful, and corrupt Revitalize RVA plan.

And if you happen to see any of these signs illegally placed around town, you know what to do.

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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
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Thursday Dec. 19th 6-8 pm at Main Street Station at 15th and Main Councilwoman Ellen Robertson and Cynthia Newbille will be meeting with residents to discuss Mayor Jones’ economic development plan.

  • 12.12.13 – Council President Charles R. Samuels will hold a District meeting at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. 5:30-7:30 p.m. | 2401  W. Leigh Street, Richmond VA 23220
  • 12.19.13 – Councilwoman Reva M. Trammell, 8th District, held a ballpark-focused meeting in mid-November, but she said the topic will come up again at her next district meeting on Dec. 19
  • 01.07.14 – Councilwomen Michelle R. Mosby, 9th District, and Kathy C. Graziano, 4th District, are planning to hold a joint meeting on Jan. 7 at Lucille Brown Middle School.
  • 01.09.14 – Councilman Parker C. Agelasto, 5th District, has scheduled a ballpark meeting for Jan. 9 at George Wythe High School.

http://mokarnage.com/2013/11/13/mo-karnages-top-nine-reasons-a-stadium-in-shockoe-bottom-is-a-terrible-idea-and-mayor-jones-is-a-douchecougar/

Please share with your contacts:

RVA Environmental Film Festival Announces 2014 Dates and First Confirmed Film

For immediate release
Contact: Tara Quinn
Email: tara@capitalregionland.org; Phone: 804-301-5352

Richmond, Va. ~ Plans are rapidly moving forward for the fourth annual RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF), to be held around the second weekend in February, 2014. The Enrichmond Foundation, Falls of the James Group – Sierra Club, Capital Region Land Conservancy, EarthCraft Virginia and the James River Green Building Council have been working together to make sure this year’s festival is the best yet, with many insightful films designed to raise awareness of environmental issues relative to all residents of our planet – and to Richmond citizens in particular.

The film selection subcommittee is pleased to announce its first confirmed film, “Lost Rivers”, a Canadian documentary that was just released this past year. Lost Rivers takes its audience on an adventure down below and across the globe, retracing the history of lost or forgotten urban rivers by plunging into archival maps and going underground with clandestine urban explorers.

“Certainly this film speaks to how Richmond and other cities are rediscovering their riverfronts, but now with the proposal for a Shockoe Bottom stadium, perhaps this film will reignite interest in one of Shockoe Bottom’s lost natural features, Shockoe Creek”, said Scott Burger, a Sierra Club and RVA EFF film selection subcommittee member.

The film is tentatively scheduled to be shown at the Byrd Theater on afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 8.

Thanks to generous sponsors such as Bon Secours, Whole Foods Market, the Sierra Club-Falls of the James Group, REI, EarthCraft Virginia, Slow Food RVA, James River Association, Carytown Merchant’s Association, Watershed Architects, and The Fresh Market, this event is free and open to the public. This year’s Festival will feature a VIP reception to take place on Feb 7th. In addition, an environmental short film contest has been launched.

More information about other films, guests and speakers, and specific schedules for each day will be made available as the event becomes nearer. For more information on the Festival, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.rvaenvironmentalfilmfestival.com.

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See trailer for Lost Rivers by clicking here:

Related!:

http://gizmodo.com/how-living-infrastructure-will-save-our-cities-from-nat-1467518998

Thanks,
Scott

Everyone!

On Monday, Nov. 25, Richmond City Council will consider a critical resolution on the mayor’s proposal to put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. It’s not a legally binding resolution, but would put the council on record as being in favor of the proposal. This would be a big pubic relations victory for the mayor. Every council member is getting deluged with emails and phone calls about this issue and we are hearing they may decide not to vote, which would be a huge victory for our side. 

This is a real battle. The deep-pocketed, pro-business group Venture Richmond has hired a public relations firm to promote the mayor’s plan. Or, more exactly, the developers’ plan being fronted by the mayor. They were able to turn people out for Tuesday’s Land Use Committee meeting, which we also attended. They had more people there, but we had more people willing to speak, and that was the message the media carried.

WE NEED EVERYONE WHO CAN MAKE IT TO BE AT MONDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING – 6 pm, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, Richmond City Hall, 900 E. Broad St. Showing up is half the battle and we don’t want to lose this fight.

People are also needed to attend council’s Finance Committee meeting at 3 pm Thursday, Nov. 21. And please speak to the issue if the spirit moves you. It helps.

One last thing: The mayor says that if his plan is adopted, the city will gain net tax revenues of up to $187 million over the next 20 years.But he says If it builds a new stadium on the Boulevard, it will still gain half that amount. We say, keep baseball on the Boulevard and develop a historic district and major tourist destination in Shockoe Bottom and you’ll make even more in the long run, from taxes on hotel rooms and meals for the millions who would travel here in years to come. And you will avoid further cementing Richmond’s image as a backward, Confederate-tainted town that cares more about profits than respecting its Black history.

And whether or not you can make the meetings, please make sure you sign the online petition against the stadium – we’re close to 2,000 signatures! See http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com

Thanks,

Phil Wilayto
for the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com/