Posts Tagged ‘VCU’

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No Wingnut dinner this week, instead come to this event at VCU!!!

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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

~~~~
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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VRandMPAC

For folks who are unclear about the connection between Venture Richmond and the Monroe Park Conservancy (previously MPAC) and their efforts to privatize Monroe Park. 9 out of 11 MPC members are either on Venture Richmond’s board or related to someone on the board or have a board member as their boss….

All 3 city reps on the Conservancy are from the Mayor’s administration and closely tied to him as well as under his thumb.

Fixed error or previous image to call the Monroe Park Gentrifying Committee by their current moniker, the Monroe Park Conservancy.

 

cartoon-animals-vulture

We’re not sure if it counts as a conspiracy if it is so blatant and public. But anyways, it is time for everyone in the Richmond area to take a closer look at Vulture (Venture) Richmond, who is involved, and what they are pushing in this city. We are posting the entire list of their Board of Directors, taken from their website, below. We are also teasing out some of the obvious connections between these people are various icky things happening in Richmond and conflicts of interest. But please take a look at the list and see if you can pull out some connections of your own. We would love to hear em.

Basically though, Venture Richmond is closely connected to local media, City council members, the privatization of Monroe park, the Revitalize RVA plan, and attempts to get their own Tax exemptions. All the struggles are connected, and Venture Richmond just highlights the intensity of intersectionality in Richmond right now.

John W. Bates III of McGuireWoods is on the Venture Richmond Board AND is on the Monroe Park Conservancy as one of the 4 citizen representatives. Not that citizens in Richmond had any say regarding the creation of the Monroe Park Conservancy, the renovation plans, the idea of considering privatizing Monroe Park, or how many and what type of citizen might represent citizens on the board.

From local politicians, we have Mayor Dwight Jones, City Councilman and Council President Charles Samuels, and City Councilwoman and Council Vice President Ellen Robertson. So not only is the Mayor involved in this massive conflict of interest, but so are 2 out of the 9 City Council Members. It would seem only fair that they would be not allowed to participate in any votes regarding projects Venture Richmond is working on.

From local media we have Thomas Silvestri, the President and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which seems like a potential conflict of interest in the news coverage of local issues by the paper. Sounds like the news coverage of Venture Richmond in the paper is about as fair and balanced as Fox news.

James E. Ukrop, the Principal, New Richmond Ventures, is on Venture Richmond’s board, and his relative is R. Scott Ukrop, who is also one of the 4 citizen members of the Monroe Park Conservancy.

If you have the time and inclination, check out the financials of Venture Richmond here: http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1256458/venture-richmond.aspx

From the Venture Richmond website:

Board of directors

Officers

Chairman and CEO

Jacqueline McClenney-Wallace*
President, McClenney Wallace, PC

Vice chairman and chairman of executive committee

Mary Doswell
Senior vice president, Alternative Energy Solutions, Dominion

President

Dwight C. Jones**
Mayor, City of Richmond

Immediate past chairman and CEO

Robert W. Woltz Jr.*

Secretary

Mark R. Merhige*
President, The Shockoe Company (more…)

The 3rd Food Not Bombs Rotational Hosting meeting will be on Friday September 6th at 10am – The location hasn’t been announced yet, though it seems likely it will be at the VCU Library like the last 2 were. We will post an update when we hear what the location is.

UPDATE: VCU library room 152 will be the location of the meeting.

The facebook event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/207834902710393/

or search on facebook for Food Not Bombs Rotational Hosting Meeting #3

 

The purpose of this meeting is to make decisions about the logistics of rotating cooking sites for Richmond Food Not Bombs!

In the third meeting, we will synthesize the ideas put forward in the previous two and begin making decisions regarding the models, spaces, and logistics of rotational hosting.

The results of the Doodle poll made it impossible to include everybody who was interested in attending; in the next meeting those people will be given priority. If you are unable to attend this meeting but have a strong opinion, argument, or idea, please contact any of the event hosts!

From the Defenders:

  Defenders Updates & Announcements    –  Aug. 29, 2013

5 pm, Friday, Aug. 30 – “U.S. HANDS OFF SYRIA! WE NEED JOBS, NOT WAR!” PROTEST
It looks like the Obama administration is having some problems lining up its allies to attack Syria. But all signs still point to a cruise missile strike, maybe over the Labor Day weekend when people here are distracted. So we’ve decided to go ahead with a protest now, before the bombs fall.
The I3ainbridge Collective and the Defenders are asking people to gather at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, in front of the Richmond Federal Courthouse, 701 E. Broad St. in downtown Richmond. We’ll have signs that say “U.S. hands off Syria! We need jobs, not war!” And please bring your own signs as well. At 5:30 we’ll start walking west on Broad toward Belvidere, then back to the courthouse for a 6 pm speak-out – an open mic for anyone who’s against the attack and wants to share their thoughts.
IF THERE IS AN ACTUAL ATTACK, we will also go ahead with the previous plan to meet the day of the attack at 5 pm, again at the courthouse, which is a main symbol of federal power in the city. Please share this event and invite your friends.
On Facebook, see “U.S. hands off Syria! We need Jobs, not War!”
This call was initiated by the I3ainbridge Collective and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality and has been endorsed by the Richmond Peace Education Center, Wayside Center for Popular Education and the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.
Note: We all condemn chemical or any other kinds of attacks on civilians, no matter who does it. But, without a shred of evidence, the Obama administration is accusing the Syrian government of being responsible for the chemical attack that reportedly took place in a suburb of the capital, Damascus. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition, which is dominated by groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, is losing its war against the government and is desperate for the U.S. to intervene. So who would benefit from using chemical weapons, at the very time that U.N. inspectors are in the country looking into previous claims of chemical attacks? And why is the U.S. so desperate to attack BEFORE those inspectors release their findings? It sure looks like the decision to intervene came first, followed by finding an excuse. Just like in Iraq.
By the way – Aug. 30 is the 213th anniversary of Gabriel’s Rebellion, right here in Richmond. It’s a very fitting day to take to the streets.

9-noon, Sat., Aug. 31 – MARCH ON RICHMOND FOR JOBS & FREEDOM
Join the Defenders at this march and rally, called by the Richmond Branch NAACP, Urban League of Greater Richmond, A. Philip Randolph Institute and Living the Dream, Inc.
9 am – Assemble at Festival Park, behind the Coliseum
10 am – March begins
11 am – noon – Rally at the Bell Tower at Capital Square
For more information: http://www.marchonrichmond.webs.com or email march@rvanaacp.org

Thurs., Sept. 5 – NEW ISSUE OF THE VIRGINIA DEFENDER HITS THE STREETS!
The (Late) Summer edition of The Virginia Defender will be out Thursday, Sept. 5. We could use some help in bringing the paper to stores, barber shops, beauty parlors and more. If you have an hour or two to spare, please call 804-644-5834 or email DefendersFJE@hotmail.com.

4 pm, Thurs., Sept. 5 – “SLAVE TRAIL” COMMISSION MEETING – Maybe
Richmond City Council’s “Slave Trail” Commission is charged with protecting Richmond’s slavery-related sites. Yet it hasn’t spoken out against putting a baseball stadium in in Shockoe Bottom, once the site of the second-largest slave-trading district in the country. It’s also supposed to hold monthly public meetings, but it hasn’t met since June. Its next scheduled meeting is at 4 pm Thursday, Sept. 5, East District Initiative, 700 N. 25th St. in Church Hill. We want to be there to ask the Commission members to take a stand against the stadium. Be prepared for the meeting to be postponed or canceled.

9:45 am, Mon., Sept. 9 – ATTEND JORDAN ROMEO’S COP-WATCHING TRIAL
Richmond activist Jordan Romeo reports that she was “briefly detained on the night of July 3rd while Cop Watching on my way home from work. I was charged with ‘Obstructing Free Passage’ while recording on the sidewalk.” Jordan is scheduled to go to trial at 9:45 am on Monday, Sept. 9, at Manchester Courthouse. It is NOT ILLEGAL to watch, photograph or video police officers, so long as it is done from a distance and does not interfere with their “duties.” Some cops don’t believe this is true. We need to convince them otherwise – or we’ll lose the right to monitor their actions. Jordan is asking for public support and WE WANT TO PACK THE COURTROOM. The cops need to know that we will stand with those who are trying to defend victims of police harassment and abuse. Please do your best to be there and show your solidarity with this brave young woman. On Facebook, see: Court Support – Jordan’s Hearing

Sat., Sept. 28 – RACIST FLAG TO BE UNVEILED AT ENTRANCE TO RICHMOND – Maybe
The Sandston-based neo-Confederate group Virginia Flaggers has announce plans to unveil a 10′ x 15′ Confederate flag (battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia – the one preferred by the KKK and other white supremacists) on a 50′ pole overlooking I-95 just south of Richmond. Stay tuned.

NO STADIUM IN SHOCKOE BOTTOM!
The campaign to stop Mayor Jones and a small group of rich developers from desecrating historic Shockoe Bottom with a baseball stadium is gathering some serious momentum. More than 1,300 people have now signed the anti-stadium petition. Street petitioning is taking place across Richmond. The African Ancestral Chamber has designed a stunning poster. The Defenders have produced a two-page leaflet “Questions & Answers about putting a baseball stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom.” Collective X has held two successful outreach efforts to fans at the Diamond. The campaign website is being constantly updated and meetings are taking place with various local organizations asking them to take a stand. YOU CAN HELP! We need people to collect signatures and distribute literature. To volunteer for these and other tasks, contact DefendersFJE@hotmail.com. Background information and frequent updates can be found at http://www.shockoebottom.blogspot.com

HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION TAKEN A STAND AGAINST THE STADIUM?
If not, please ask them to sign the Online Petition and also to consider releasing a formal statement. Either way, please let us know so we can publicize their stand on the website.

Aug. 6-October: MOBILE JUSTICE TOUR
A coalition of civil rights groups is sponsoring a 15-city tour of Virginia to raise awareness on and provide direct services for justice issues that affect people with criminal records. Launched off on Aug. 6, the Mobile Justice Tour is focusing on three key issues: civil rights restoration for those with felony convictions, removing questions about an applicant’s criminal background from initial employment forms, and programs for successful prisoner re-entry. Host organizations include Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD); Bridging the Gap in Virginia; Good Seed, Good Ground; Virginia Organizing; and the Advancement Project. Upcoming tour stops listed below. For more information: Lillie B. Kennedy, Moderator. Phone: 804.426.4426; Email: rihd23075@aol.com; Host Website: http://www.restorationcampaign.org
Sat., Sept. 7 – Lawrenceville – 11 am – 1 pm, Brunswick County Library, 133 West Hicks St., Lawrenceville, VA 23868
Tues., Sept. 10 – Petersburg – 4-7 pm, William R. McKinney Branch Library, 137 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, VA 23803
Thurs., Sept. 12 – Staunton – Noon-2 pm, Valley Mission, 1513 West Beverly St., Staunton, VA 24401
Thurs., Sept. 12 – Waynesboro – 6-8 pm, Roseenward Community Center, 413 Port Republic, Waynesboro, VA 22980
Tues., Sept. 17 – Richmond – 6:30-9 pm, Wesley Memorial UMC, 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223
Tues., Sept. 24 – Lynchburg – 3-5 pm, Main MLK, 2315 Memorial Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24501

And don’t forget to tune in to DefendersLIVE! with your host Ana Edwards every Monday from noon to 12:30 pm on Richmond’s WRIR community radio station – 97.3 FM and online at http://www.wrir.org.

We don’t have all of the information or links as of yet, but have just heard that the new City Budget has money for the Monroe Park Renovation Plan.
The Monroe Park Renovation Plan – at least in it’s 2010/2011 version, was incredibly problematic and incredibly classist.
We are meeting with a City Council person later this week to discuss the current situation and find out what the plan and timeline are.
Folks unfamiliar with this issue should take a look at wwwww.monroecampaign.wordpress.comw.monroecampaign.wordpress.com and www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.comhttp://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com and http://richmondiww.org/2010/11/03/455/ to see many articles on why park renovation plans were rejected by a huge coalition in years past.
We’ve occupied the park before, and will not allow the park to be shut down to serve the interests of VCU and gentrifiers.
If you’ve struggled against the Monroe Park Renovation before, this is your alert to start paying attention and be prepared to get involved and defend the people’s park!!!!
Monroe Park Will Stay Open.
We Will Win, We Always Do!

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is hosting a full-on SIGN MAKING PARTY for the March Against Monsanto on thursday (May 23rd) evening at 4pm-8pm. We will have some supplies but please try bringing your own signage and supplies if possible. This is also a non-GMO potluck and we encourage people to even bring local produce if they know anyone who would want to buy/trade them. Learn your locals, get active and come visit us at The Wingnut for various other workshops and events around richmond. Thank you all. Be safe. It’s hot out there.

 

Event Page link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/355658477877810/?fref=ts

Creative Process and Community Organizing – Participant Request Template

Dear _______________,

I am helping to recruit participants in a research project being conducted by Jason Sawyer and Andrew Schoeneman at Virginia Commonwealth University. The purpose of the project is to understand how creativity, the creative process, and the arts are used in community organizing and social change. As someone who currently or formerly participated in community organizing efforts, you would be eligible to participate. All you have to do is complete an online survey which will take about 20 minutes. Before doing that, you can contact Jason or Andrew at the email addresses or phone numbers below. Or you can simply click on the link below and complete the survey.

Jason Sawyer
Email: sawyerjm2@vcu.edu
Phone: 804-882-0647

Andrew Schoeneman
Email: schoenemanac@vcu.edu
Phone: 804-874-0261

Link to the survey: http://qeasttrial.us2.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ePys2jw5yyhHdGZ

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

_________________The Wingnuts________

PS – If you would like to help recruit more participants, please copy and paste the body of this email and send it by email to anyone currently or formerly involved in community organizing. Thanks!