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

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