Posts Tagged ‘va mask law’

Today in court, Hunter Singleton accepted a plea deal offered by the prosecutor. The spurious charges of possession of a controlled substance had been previously dropped. Today, the prosecutor also dropped the Felony charge of wearing a mask. In exchange, Hunter took an Alford Plea (basically not saying you are guilty but recognizing that there is evidence against you) to a misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct charge. He was given 90 days, with 87 suspended. He had already served 2 days after his arrest, and will serve 1 more day on Friday.

Hunter has over 200 dollars in court fees, and needs help to pay these. Hopefully there will be an upcoming fundraiser, but in the mean time, if you just want to donate a few dollars towards his costs it would be greatly appreciated. Please get in touch if you want to donate money, or if you have an idea or venue or band for a fundraising event! rvaabc@gmail.com or 2005 Barton Avenue

It is excellent news and a great relief to many of Richmond’s activists, anarchists, and Occupiers that Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton have faired relatively well regarding their charges with resulted from a November 9th Occupy Richmond March. The use of felony charges seems to be a scare tactic by the Richmond Police Department. Participants in the march were using bandannas soaked in vinegar to protect from potential tear gas being used by the RPD (they have a tendency to use tear gas in crowd situations on a fairly regular basis). The felony charge of wearing a mask is a terrible law, and certainly one for anyone participating in political actions to keep in mind. Hopefully one day Virginia will be free of this repressive statute.

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Please come out to support Richmond anarchist and activist Hunter Singleton at his Pre-trial court appearance on Wednesday January 18th at 11am at the Manchester Courthouse on Richmond’s Southside at 920 Hull Street.

Two activists, Eric and Hunter were arrested on November 9th during a march for Occupy Richmond. They were on the sidewalk, when Eric, then Hunter, were grabbed by Richmond police and dragged into Monroe Park. They have been charged with the Felony of wearing a mask in public.They were part of a large group of people who applied apple cider vinegar to bandannas and scarves as a preventative measure against tear gas the Richmond Police are well known for using. The legal, peaceful march they were participating in knew that there were dozens of Richmond Police awaiting them around Monroe Park.

Additionally both are facing charges of disorderly conduct. Eric is facing a concealed weapons charge for the food tool he had in his backpack for eating apples with, and Hunter is facing a controlled substances charge for his prescription medication. The charges they are facing could result in up to 5 years.

Eric has taken a plea deal on his charges, but Hunter is still dealing with the courts. Please come out to show your solidarity with Hunter!

You can find more about the background of this story online here:

http://richmondlegalsupport.wordpress.com/eric-and-hunter/

Follow this link to see pictures from Mark Strandquist’s upcoming short film:

http://cargocollective.com/markstrandquist/2306459/virginia-felons

This project is a direct response to the arrests in made in Richmond, VA November 10th, 2011. Two individuals, one a student, one a local activist, were arrested and charged with a class 6 felony for concealing their identity with handkerchiefs.

Crimes which fall under a class 6 felony include;

-assault and battery
-recruiting juveniles for criminal street gangs
-property destruction of $1000 or more

and

-concealing of one’s identity

The video will have a series of portraits all containing people wearing various ‘socially accepted’ masks ie; scarves for the cold, motorcycle helmets, respirators, santa claus beards, etc. These will be shown silently and the video will end with someone wearing a handkerchief and a brief statement about the city charging students and local activists with a class 6 felony for wearing one. The film will show how we all use these ‘dangerous’ masks on an everyday basis and stripping someone of their rights (right to vote, access to jobs, loans, etc and the social stigma associated with a felony conviction) for something so inherently trivial and innocent can not go unquestioned.

Rumors boutique will be hosting a Shop For a Reason event on Monday November 28th from 3pm to 7pm.

20% of all sales that happen during those hours will be donated to Eric’s legal defense fund.

Eric Scott is a Richmond activist, anarchist, and Food Not Bombs participant. He is facing felony charges for wearing a mask during an Occupy Richmond march on the sidewalk on November 9th. Many people participating in that march had bandannas and other cloths over their faces, soaked in vinegar for protection in case the police used tear gas.

Come support a local business owned by two amazing women who support the Richmond community in so many ways.

Rumors is located at 404 North Harrison Street near VCU.

More information on Eric’s case at http://www.richmondlegalsupport.org