Posts Tagged ‘shockoe bottom’

Saturday, July 20th, at 5:30pm, at the Diamond (3001 North Boulevard, Richmond VA) activists against a stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom will be attending the Flying Squirrels game against the Baysox, to hold banners and distribute fliers with information regarding the proposed stadium. One such event has been undertaken before, and there was no trouble from the stadium security, as the action is not designed to be disruptive. 

RSVP through the link. Tickets range in price from $7 up. 

For more information regarding the struggle against a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, and why that’s important, visit this website

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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!”

We are a little late in posting this, thanks to all the folks in Richmond who have been working to publicise this letter and this issue. No baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom!!!

May 8th, 2013

TO THE SITTING MEMBERS OF RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR’S OFFICE

We have watched with displeasure the most recent crimes of the Richmond City administration and its petty ambitions; it sells its soul to the rapacious FIRE sector and throws its citizens to the wolves to appease the never-ending greed of its shadowy elite. There is no change in Richmond, only the quiet hum of the Jones Machine and the avaricious stare of the sitting mayor, dancing obediently on the strings of privileged and secret interests. There is no hope in Richmond, only despair for those who remember the lessons of the past. There is no voice in Richmond, only a pathetic handful of ‘local’ media sources who are content to take their pittances from corporate masters while their city rots around them. The corruption leaking from every pore of the city is indicative of its inability to understand or accept its own past.

In this city once flourished the most oppressive and disgusting form of business ever created by mankind: the slave trade. Human beings were bought and sold like chattel by the hundreds of thousands based solely on the color of their skin. From Richmond, blacks were shipped all over the country to sweat, bleed, and die at the pleasure of white slave-owners. The scars of this atrocity still bleed and fester in the forms of institutionalized racism and economic apartheid against people of color.

For too long Richmond’s elites have systematically manipulated and disenfranchised its black majority through regressive economic policy, criminally negligent spending priorities, mock elections, and shadowy real estate deals. Jackson Ward was obliterated by white elites to make room for an interstate highway. Navy Hill’s earthly remains consist of a marker found in a parking garage by a local professor. The black children of Richmond’s school system suffer from a 75% poverty rate. Black preschoolers attend a program for disadvantaged youth on top of an unlined dump in a school that was built during the era of Jim Crow. Huge swathes of East Broad Street were gentrified to make way for the Richmond Convention Center and CenterStage Theater, a coup for the conspicuous consumers that make up Richmond’s elite patrons and coordinated by Bob Mooney, former chief financier of Richmond-based Ethyl Corp. Monument Avenue’s statuary stands as false exoneration of the ‘heroes’ of the Civil War; ‘heroes’ whose greatest achievement will forever be marked as failing to win the war they fought so desperately to win.

Decades ago, the discovery of the Burial Ground for Negroes (now Richmond’s African Burial Ground) by Elizabeth Cann Kambourian under a parking lot in Shockoe Bottom began the decades-long struggle towards the reclamation of the nation’s second-most-successful slave market by the inheritors of its legacy of cruelty and hate.

Now, as Richmond’s black residents continue to make progress to regain their past and right the great injustice that white supremacist power has laid upon them, the white land barons have again mobilized to murder the threat of black power in its crib. The specter of the Shockoe Ballpark has been resurrected by Richmond’s criminal capitalist class under the guise of ‘growth’ and ‘wealth.’ The charge is in part led by one H. Louis Salomonsky, an unrepentant capitalist sent to prison several years ago for bribing a public official in a failed bid to swing a mayoral election; his cries of “community!” serve merely to increase the value of his many real estate holdings through wasteful public expenditure projects. His tendrils, and those of others like him, extend far into local politics; the real estate sector outspends the next highest industry in Richmond political campaigns by two to one.

We call you out, Dwight Jones. Your 2012 unopposed mayoral election garnered you $314,499 in funds; $43,350 came from the land barons and their interests, with $2,500 alone from Salomonsky and his subsidiaries. Over the course of your sixteen-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $135,917.

We call you out, Charles Samuels. Your 2012 election garnered you $63,225 in funds; $10,850 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your four-year political career, the landlords have bribe you for $24,250.

We call you out, Chris Hilbert. Your 2012 election against a neophyte social worker garnered you $41,702 in funds; $5,155 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your eight-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $43,472.

We call you out, Kathy Graziano. Your 2012 election garnered you $96,838 in funds; $12,450 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your eight-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $71,706.

We call you out, Ellen Robertson. Your 2012 unopposed election garnered you $12,110 in funds; $1,000 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your nine-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $29,525.

We call you out, Cynthia Newbille. Your 2012 unopposed election garnered you $17,166 in funds; $1,300 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your three-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $4,100.

We call you out, Reva Trammell. Your 2012 election garnered you $65,141 in funds; $6,645 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your political career, the landlords have bribed you for more than $20,095.

We are watching you, Jon Baliles. Bruce Tyler was sold to the landlords for only $82,307.

We are watching you, Parker Agelasto. Martin Jewell was sold to the landlords for only $20,600.

We are watching you, Michelle Mosby. Douglas Conner was sold to the landlords for only $29,400.

We demand that the city permanently halt attempts by its white landowners to build a ballpark in this critically important district and commit fully and transparently to enacting recommendations by the Richmond Trail of Enslaved Africans Commission for a heritage site in Shockoe Bottom.

We will be watching.

WE ARE ANONYMOUS.
WE ARE LEGION.
WE DO NOT FORGIVE.
WE DO NOT FORGET.
EXPECT US.

http://www.defendersfje.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/shockoeb…

http://www.us.iofc.org/unpacking-iofc-census

http://saverichmond.com/?p=173

http://www.change.org/petitions/richmond-school-board-do-norrell-element…

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/reconnecting-dotts/Content?oid=13608…

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/free-and-clear/Content?oid=1887302

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/10145?start_year=2012&end_year=…

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/128997?start_year=2012&end_year…

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/133714?cmte_type_1=local_cands&…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/1614?start_yea…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/16049?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/152342?start_y…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/70346?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/9426?start_yea…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/76455?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/106406?start_y…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/15206?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/16049?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/38785?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/28787?start_ye…

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.

MEDIA RELEASE

From the African Ancestral Chamber and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

Richmond, Virginia

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 1, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Omowale Deane – African Ancestral Chamber – 804-437-0681africanancestralchamber@gmail.com

Ana Edwards – Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality – 804-517-4049ourrosewood@gmail.com

 

Richmond groups to mark ‘Richmond Liberation Day’

by opposing plan for a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom

 

The African Ancestral Chamber and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality will hold a press conference and vigil at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3rd, at the corner of Crane and East Broad streets in Shockoe Bottom. The purpose of the events is to commemorate Richmond Liberation Day, and bring attention to unfavorable developments such as a sports stadium within the historic district where captive Africans were sold.

April 3rd will be the 148th anniversary of the day that African American soldiers led Union troops into Richmond, liberating its people from Confederate rule, freeing enslaved Africans from the notorious Lumpkin’s Jail and ending slavery in the city, where it had existed for more than 300 years. The day was annually celebrated by Richmond’s African American community until the beginning of the Jim Crow era.

The corner of Crane and East Broad streets is next to the Exxon gas station, which stands on the site of what once was Omohundro’s Jail, a holding structure for enslaved Africans similar to Lumpkin’s. Plans by various groups in the City call for placing a stadium at this site.

Following the vigil, participants will visit Richmond’s African Burial Ground to show their respect for the ancestors buried there.

###

The February Copwatch meeting will be held on Tuesday the 28th at 7pm at the Wingnut, 2005 Barton Avenue.

We will be discussing goals, strategy, copwatch protocol, and organizational structure for a city-wide Copwatch network.

Other agenda items may include:

fundraising, First Friday Patrols, Shockoe Bottom Patrols, How to Copwatch a Protest trainings, How to Copwatch trainings, Know Your Rights trainings, etc.

Come find out how you can start a branch of copwatch in your own neighborhood!

…Anyone with an interest in monitoring the police and holding them accountable for their actions is welcome to come. Bring yourself, your friends, and lots of ideas!

Have you ever felt like your rights were violated by the police? Have you ever seen bad behavior from the police? Want to find ways to build stronger communities that are protected from the police? Check out Richmond Copwatch!

Richmond Copwatch is a non-hierarchical organization dedicated to ending police abuse. We believe that monitoring and recording police interactions with community members is a vital first step towards ensuring accountability and protecting ourselves and our communities. We are committed to anti-authoritarian principles and seek to transform the nature of the police and explore alternative methods of community conflict resolution.

Come out to a Richmond Copwatch Meeting, on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, 2005 Barton Avenue.
Email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or call 804 303 5449 for more info. Details about our workshops, patrols, and special events can be found online at www.wingnutrva.org

You can email the Southern Barton Heights branch of Richmond Copwatch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Richmond Copwatch will be out on Saturday, December 3rd to observe and record the police during the late night Shockoe Bottom bar/club scene. We will be meeting at 10:00pm in front of  Main Street Station (1500 East Main Street). All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Shockoe Bottom is an area known for its bars, clubs, venues, and general night life. There have been numerous reports of police violence and brutality in the crowd control tactics used by the Richmond Police Department.The new “zero tolerance” approach of the City government and Police Department seems to result in more aggressive behavior on the part of the police. The police engage in similar behavior at Shockoe Bottom on the weekends as they have during the First Fridays Art Walk- blockading streets, diverting traffic and harassing the general public. The aggressive, illegal, and unprofessional behavior of the Richmond Police Department as a whole, simply goes to show the necessity of Copwatch, and the regular observing and recording of a police force as long as one exists. Beyond that the continued violent and oppressive behavior of many members of the Richmond Police Department goes to show the systemic nature of problems with police- problems that will be solved not through reform, but through abolition. Since the Richmond Police Department has  a significant presence in Shockoe Bottom, Richmond Copwatch will be there.

We will go over some brief Know Your Rights information, and discuss the situation we will be observing. We would like to encourage folks who can to come out the day before to a Copwatch Training we will be hosting on Friday December 2nd at 6pm at Festival Park (next to the Richmond Coliseum between 5th and 7th streets). Ideally, everyone going out to Copwatch will have a theoretical training before engaging in these sometimes tense situations.

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook/paper for taking notes and recording information

We will be doing patrols of the Shockoe Bottom area with a focus on recording police interactions with people. This is meant to curb the level of violence in the RPD’s crowd control tactics in this area, and to ensure there is a record of evidence when police brutality and violence occurs.

Depending on the number of Copwatchers who show up, we will likely split into two or more working groups and begin patrols shortly after 10:00pm.

Come out for as much or as little of this Copwatch Patrol as you are able. If you cannot find us, the point of contact for December’s Shockoe Bottom Copwatch patrol will be (804) 300-0023.

Fair warning: Copwatchers expose themselves to a certain level of legal risk and police harrassment. If, like us, you refuse to be intimidated by these thuggish oppression tactics, come and join us!

You can get in touch with Richmond Copwatch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or (804) 303-5449, or come to the Copwatch meeting on December 27th at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

Please read this article and sign the petition about the parking of cars on Richmond’s African Burial Ground by VCU. This is a dramatic example of institutionalized white privilege and racism. Imagine the public outcry if VCU built a parking lot on Hollywood Cemetery. Parking on sacred ground is not acceptable, and it has only gone on for so long due to historical and current white supremacy and racism which infect most institutions and capitalist ventures. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective stands in solidarity with everyone fighting to end this disrespectful and oppressive treatment of a historical and spiritual site.

End VCU/MCV Parking on Richmond’s African Burial Ground

by: Kenneth Yates x370724

A place called Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia was once the center of the African slave trade in North America. However if you were to visit this area you would never know it. Beneath the night clubs, condominiums, office buildings, and streets lies a history grossly repressed by capitalist appetites for commercial development.

One hidden piece of history in particular lies beneath a parking lot publicly owned and utilized by the Virginia Commonwealth University & Medical College of Virginia staff and students.



Photo by: Kenneth Yates

 In 1992 local historian and author Elizabeth Cann Kambourian, while researching for a book about a local slave rebellion leader named Gabriel, discovered something. Around 1800, inspired by the Haitian Revolution which was in full swing at the time, Gabriel plotted one of the most organized slave revolts in United States history. The plan was for hundreds of enslaved Africans, free Blacks and a few whites to to enter the city of Richmond, take the governor hostage and demand the abolition of slavery in Virginia. The revolt, however, was crushed after an intense 100 year storm flooded the area, making it impossible for Gabriel and his army to enter the city.

With information given by one of Gabriel’s collaborators, the then Richmond Governor James Monroe formed a militia to hunt down Gabriel and his co-conspirators. Gabriel was eventually captured, tried and, on Oct. 10, 1800, executed at the town gallows, located in what was then called the Burial Ground for Negroes. At least 25 of his comrades met the same fate, either at the same site or in surrounding areas.

The burial ground was retired sometime around 1810, after hundreds, perhaps thousands of enslaved Africans had been buried there. The exact number is unknown. Before long the burial ground itself fell into obscurity, eventually buried beneath 10-20 feet of filler as the land took on many other uses over the years.

Kambourian discovered an old Richmond City map placing the African Burial Ground just north of 15th & Broad Street. That area is now partially covered by Interstate 95, with the remaining portion of the Burial Ground buried beneath a parking lot utilized by both VCU & MCV staff and students. The exact boundaries are yet to be determined.

The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality have been fighting to reclaim this sacred ground from its present desecration. (more…)

3 Wingnuts attended the National Day Against Police Brutality Rally held last Night (October 22nd) in Shockoe Bottom. The rally was organized to take advantage of the InLight event happening in that area. About 12-15 people attended the rally, holding banners and a black flag. One person read some statements about police brutality in our communities, and who and why the police are mostly oppressing. Then the group read off the names of people who had been murdered or brutalized by the police.
The InLight Festival goers were sometimes interested, but others were aggressive and very upset. Some told the protesters that they just wanted to look at art. But the Richmond rally was meant to bring the reality of police brutality to people who do not experience it in their daily (privileged) lives. The rally was essentially questioning why some people should be privileged enough to go and look at art and not stop and think about the people who have suffered at the hands of the police.