Archive for September, 2010

October is a month with a lot of significance in regards to the issues of race, racism, white privilege, etc. This event (which has location TBA, so stay tuned) is just a part of the many events and commemorations happening in October. If you don’t know about who Gabriel was, or what the deal is with the burial ground that VCU has paved over, make it out to hear people talk about what is going on with these issues in Richmond.

Sunday, October 10 · 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Location To be confirmed

Created By

More Info
It’s about time to come together and have a community discussion about the progress on reclamaing Richmond’s African Burial Ground. Following the success of the documentary, Meet Me In The Bottom: The Struggle to Reclaim Richmond’s African Burial Ground, more and more individuals and organizations are stepping forward to declare their support for this effort. Local, state, public and private interests have been meeting and makin…g plans for this site and others in Shockoe Bottom without a way to hear from the community. The Future of Richmond’s Past and the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the End of Slavery are creating unprecendented opportunities for public discourse on difficult topics. Who is telling what histories? To what purpose? Let’s come together and provide some feedback, some ideas for addressing the struggle for the Burial Ground and similar challenges facing Richmonders and Virginians every day. What would Gabriel do? SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend on October 10, 2010 at 6pm.See More

In the so-called “conversation” surrounding the proposed Monroe Park renovations, there is a lot that isn’t being discussed. Leaving aside councilman Charles Samuels’ blatant lies about the functionality of the bathrooms and drinking water availability in the park, the lack of inclusion of either food sharing groups or the people who eat with them, and the question of whether the proposed renovations are even necessary, that still leaves us with the problem of the TOTAL lack of communication in regards to the plan to close the ENTIRE PARK for 9 months to a year and a half (we’ve recieved two different numbers from two different people involved in the planning. ) while the renovation takes place. That is unacceptable.

Monroe Park is an eight acre park which is pretty conveniently divided into various individual islands. It would be extremely easy, and probably much more economically viable, to do phased construction, leaving at least some of the park available to students, food sharing groups, and other folks who rely on the park for recreation and relaxation.

The proposal to centralize “homeless services” to the Conrad Center is a non-solution, and is unacceptable for various reasons, which have been expressed by homeless individuals and homeless advocates ad nauseum.

We, the people of Richmond who are currently an active part of the dynamic of Monroe Park, demand that a minimum of 25% of the park remain available for public use at all times during the renovations. We further demand open, clear communication from the entities involved in the renovation if/when the area of the park open to the public is subject to change.

We will not compromise on these two very simple demands under ANY circumstances.

We stand firmly in solidarity with the homeless community in Richmond and with those groups who seek to alleviate the problems they face.

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective

Urgent Announcement: The Monroe Park Advisory Council is planning to close the entirety of Monroe Park for at least 9 months for the proposed renovations. Alice Massie just let this information spill. Time to organize to fight this. She said they are putting a 9 foot fence around the whole park. This is entirely unacceptable, and was NOT announced as part of the plans. The homeless, the groups that serve in the park, students who use the park, and many members of the Richmond community who use the park were NOT consulted in this extremely drastic measure.

More on what you can do later. For now, come share food at Food Not Bombs every Sunday at 4pm at the corner of Main and Belvidere. That will be the best way to keep up to date on issues affecting the park and share food with your community. (more…)

It is with heavy hearts that we pass on word of another death at the Richmond City Jail. We have previously posted about the 2 deaths there over the summer. No word yet on the cause of this 3rd death, or the identity of the individual. We will definitely do our best to update with more information as it becomes available. The brutality of the prisons and jails in Virginia is a terrible reality. The solution to the inhumane conditions at the Richmond City Jail is NOT the construction of a new, bigger facility. We need better ways of dealing with our problems, and some serious re-evaluation of what our problems are. There needs to be better facilities that are not allowed to get overcrowded, and which provide counseling, education, medical and other services. Everyone deservesaccess to the services necessary for healthy lives.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is an autonomous Collective committed to prison abolition and prisoner support. As anarchists we are oppossed to all systems of oppression and repression and have concluded that prisons serve no positive function in society. We actively seek to abolish the institutionalized slavery of the Prison Industrial Complex. We are dedicated to working in solidarity with prisoners and drawing connections between a multitude of struggles.

Here is the article we found online today:

Richmond Jail inmate dies

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By Staff Reports | Times-Dispatch
Published: September 17, 2010
Another Richmond Jail inmate, the third since mid-June, has died.

Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. said an inmate collapsed Friday at 1:30 p.m. and was later pronounced dead at VCU Medical Center. No foul play is suspected; an autopsy is scheduled next week. (more…)

In the 2nd District Newsletter City Councilman Charles Samuels makes some claims about the state of Monroe Park. We believe he is providing false information, so we set out to correct the record and gather proof about the actual situation down in the park.

He says “The challenges are that Monroe Park has no working bathrooms, no drinking water, and no shelter.”

He actually underlined the ‘no’ in front of all of those assertions. He is wrong about the bathrooms and drinking water. As folks who are in Monroe park at least 6 or more times a month, we immediately knew that Councilman Samuels was wrong in his statements about the situation involving bathrooms and drinking water. Whether he was simply misinformed or was purposefully misleading, Samuels’s statements are untrue and irresponsible.

Here is our proof.

09/15/2010 – Examining the conditions of the bathrooms in Monroe Park, Richmond, VA

One sink needs fixing and one of the toilets could benefit from being unclogged, but otherwise everything is in working order. (more…)

September 20 · 7:00pm – 9:30pm

Location Flying Brick Library

506 S. Pine Street
Richmond, VA


More Info The RVA Zine Fest will be October 16th, and we’re raising money to help defray the costs of putting on the Fest. Come to the Flying Brick and watch DIY documentaries “Grrrlyshow” and “Girls Rock” Monday night! A short discussion about how to do a rock camp for girls will follow the screening. Snacks will be provided. Donate what you can, but even if you have no cash, we want you there! Come out and support the Zine Fest and enjoy two fantastic films in the yard at our favorite radical lending library!

This is a sober event, so please do not bring or consume alcoholic beverages or other substances.

About Flying Brick: http://www.myspace.com/theflyingbricklibrary

About “Grrrlyshow”: http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/pages/c522.shtml

About “Girls Rock”: http://www.girlsrockmovie.com

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective  is planning a Southern Barton Heights Halloween Party for Saturday October 30th from 3pm-dark in Yancey Street Park (at the corner of North Ave. And Poe St.)
The event will include pinatas, bobbing for apples, pin the tale on the black cat, mask making, face painting, and other spooky surprises. It will also be a potluck event- so if folks can bring a dish or non-alcoholic beverage to share that would be great!
We are also looking for someone who would like to DJ the event, to give us some spooky tunes to make it a super festive fun time!
Please contact the Wingnuts at 303 5449, wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

or 2005 Barton Avenue if you are interested in helping out with the event.

All ages and sober event!

This is in response to the recently unnveiled plans for renovations of Monroe Park in Richmond, Virginia, as well as comments about the park from Charles R. Samuels who is the City Councilman for the 2nd district where Monroe Park is located. This is written by a longtime member of the Richmond Food Not Bombs organization, which has been serving a weekly meal in the park for over 16 years.

The Conrad Center at 1400 Oliver Hill Way is an unacceptable location for the centralization of ‘homeless services’. There are multiple reasons as to why this location is unacceptable. The logistical reasons have to do with the difficulty of accessing the Conrad Center. The Conrad Center is in a valley, between two steep hills. This means that for many folks with children, disabilities, etc. the location itself is very difficult if not impossible to reach. The Conrad Center is also geographically isolated, which means that even in nice weather it is a long walk from the other places where homeless people might be hanging out. There is not really any place near by that homeless people could hang out between meals (breakfast and dinner) at the Conrad Center. In extreme weather- hot or cold or wet, people risk their health and well being walking so far.

Before the Conrad Center was a reality, homeless people voiced their concerns about the location. They were ignored. Tactics which could have been implemented to make the Conrad Center more accessible even in its terrible location were ignored and neglected. If people who used the Conrad Center were given free bus passes so they could reach the Conrad Center, it would be a lot more useful to a lot more people. However, free bus service is not provided. And now Richmond’s only source of public transportation, the GRTC bus system is cutting routes and raising rates. Which is yet another attack on the poor and working classes which continues to make the Conrad Center a less and less acceptable location.

Aside from its isolation, the location of the Conrad Center is unacceptable because of its psychological impacts. Situated across from the Richmond City Jail, and next to the court and women’s jail, the Conrad Center is a very stigmatizing place. The location of the Conrad Center is clearly part of an ongoing push to make the homeless less visible, and part of the mindset which pushes to criminalize homelessness. Beyond the terrible location of the Conrad Center, the concept of isolating homeless people from other people is also extremely unhealthy. Creating spaces that are ‘homeless only’ prevents friendships and communication across classes. Isolating the homeless reduces their connections with others in the Richmond community and makes them more vulnerable to racist and classist legislation. Homeless people face oppression from many sides, and isolating them only increases this potential for oppression.

The Monroe Park Advisory Council does not accurately represent the people who are involved in activities in Monroe Park. (more…)

This past weekend we participated in the 3rd monthly Mobile Food Pantry. This is a project that is the joint effort of the WIngnut Anarchist Collective and the Central Virginia Food Bank. Throughout the month before the event, the Wingnut distributes vouchers for free groceries throughout Southern Barton Heights. One voucher per household. Then on the second Saturday of each month, the Food Bank drives out a huge and awesome truck to the parking lot next to the Goal Post Restaurant at 2400 North Avenue- at the intersection of West Graham and North Avenue. The Wingnuts then work with 2 folks from the Food Bank to set up tables full of food. At 1pm the distribution starts. People who have vouchers are given priority, since they are the people that we guaranteed access to the food. The only qualification for the vouchers is living in the Southern Barton Heights area. People who are disabled, elderly, or otherwise unable to come the day of and pickup the food (it is quite heavy) can contact the Wingnut ahead of time to arrange a delivery. We recommend bringing more than one person per voucher to pick up the food on the day, it is usually more than 1 heavy bag worth of groceries. Re-usable bags are also a really great thing to bring with you- paper ones don’t last long with the weight! (more…)

At last weekend’s monthly Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry, we put out a big piece of paper with the question: Do you have ideas for our neighborhood? Things You’d like to see? Tell Us!

We also put out a marker so folks could start brainstorming their ideas while waiting for the food distribution to begin.

Here are the responses we got:

No Cops

Afterschool Tutoring (Richard will help with this) (more…)