Posts Tagged ‘shutitdown’

Come out today at 3:30 to the John Marshall Court building at 400 N. 9th downtown for a vigil and protest.
All of the events for the week are posted on facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/763669123671001/

It is super important for everyone to get involved and educate themselves and take continuous action – around #blacklivesmatter and all the other (connected) issues we are pushing in Richmond right now.

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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.

Tonight’s protest, which seemed to be primarily organized by women of color, against the racist system that let off the NYPD cop who killed Eric Garner took place at 10pm. The march left the VCU compass, and took Harrison to West Grace, then to Ryland. At Ryland and Broad an 11 minute die in took place to symbolize the 11 times Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe” while being choked to death.
Then the march went down Broad, stopping in the middle of a block to listen to the organizers speak on the epidemic of police murders of black people (every 28 hours),  about how the system is not broken but designed in this racist manner, and how solidarity and speaking out against these grave injustices is important – even vital for black lives. The march then proceeded to Broad and Belvidere where protesters held the intersection for almost a full hour before dispersing. Some protesters bought water bottles to pass out amongst the crowd.
Some of the cheers included – “I can’t breathe, we’ve got to fight back”? “Black lives matter”, and “for Eric Garner and Mike Brown shut it down” (forgive us we are tired and are not recalling the last one correctly).
Richmond police blocked the roads but there were no arrests to our knowledge.

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