The Spring issue of The Virginia Defender is now online at:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzmgRd68o3ZCaDFRYTZxNmpYM1RISERrVVBYR2lqT1VWY1FB/edit

This special, expanded issue marks the beginning of our 10th year of publishing!

It’s 16 pages instead of the regular 12, with half in color and a bump from 15,000 to 20,000 copies.

Eight pages are devoted to the struggle to stop a baseball stadium from being built in historic Shockoe Bottom, once the center of the U.S. domestic slave trade.
We have articles on the history and significance of the Bottom, an examination of the Revitalize RVA “development” scheme, the alternative proposal that combines development with historic preservation, two full-color anti-stadium posters, a whole page of various projects related to this fight and how you can get involved in them, several commentaries and a call to support the anti-stadium campaign by the Solomon Northup Foundation, which represents descendants of the author of the book “Twelve Years a Slave,” now an Oscar-winning movie.
Our normal press run goes to more than 300 sites, so the extra 5,000 copies of this issue are meant for distribution in neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, places of worship – and ballgames, among other possibilities. 
YOU CAN HELP! Contact us to get a bundle of papers to hand out to people you know and people you don’t.
And while you’re passing out the paper, ask people to sign the petition against the stadium. You can download and print out a copy at: www.shockoebottom.blogspot.com.
DEFEND BLACK HISTORY! NO STADIUM IN SHOCKOE BOTTOM!

NOTE: This message is being sent to people who signed the petition against a Shockoe Bottom stadium and indicated they would like to receive updates on this struggle. If you do not wish to receive further notices, just reply to this email with the word “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject field. Thanks.

May Day Update!!!

Posted: April 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Update on May Day from the meeting last night -
May day parade will meet at 2pm on Thursday May 1st in Clay abner park.

The parade will leave the park around 2:30 and march to Monroe Park.

Getting to Monroe Park by 4 at the latest. In Monroe Park there will be a potluck cookout, speakers, workshops and bands as we hold down the park until dark.

We want May Day to be fun, invigorating, and anti- stadium, anti-privatization of Monroe Park, and in support of Fast Food workers and everyone fighting for a Living Wage.

So make your own signs and banners and puppets and parade floats and costumes and bring a dish to share!

All Saints Theater will be organizing their puppets with support and determining the parade route.

Day of, we will need bike marshalls, medics, legal observers, copwatchers, and more!

Monroe Park might get privatized tonight at City Council at 6. Please come to speak out and stop this process! Charles Samuels doesnt want to let people speak on the issue so we are encouraging folks to bring signs or banners, be loud if you dont mind getting kicked out, or sign up before noon by calling 646 7955 to talk during the general public comments time. But you cant tell them you are speakong on monroe park so just make something up.
Thanks
Mo

Recent Pictures!

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Above photo by Sean Gibson, a recent visitor.
And here are some more pictures from our recent folk punk show!

Erika came to visit:

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Other visitors pitched a tent and a black flag in the backyard:

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Burnay’s Propaganda:

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Read the rest of this entry »

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Dear Members of the Richmond City Council,
 
I hope that you had an opportunity to read the important editorial in this weeks Free Press regarding Monroe Park (see below).
 
There is no rush on this Monroe Park issue because no work will begin on improvements to the park until after the 2015 bike races.  Please take time to carefully evaluate the give-away  Conservancy lease, which would give away for 30 years all public and City Council control of our oldest city park, and even give the Conservancy free utilities for 30 years!  Leasing our city park is unnecessary.  
 
The city could finance the renovation of the Monroe Park by saving the $2.68 million in public funds annually given to Venture Richmond.  Venture Richmond has three ordinances before City Council on Monday for yet more handouts; Venture Richmond is seeking three exemptions from the current City Council moratorium on real estate tax exemptions by designation.  The City Assessor’s Committee for Real Estate Exemptions by Designation unanimously recommended against Venture Richmond’s three applications for tax exemption, citing the high salaries of the Venture Richmond staff.  (The top four Venture Richmond employees collectively make over $640,000 annually.) Please reject these applications for tax exemption.  These funds can be used for the renovation of Monroe Park instead of padding Venture Richmond’s exorbitant salaries.
 
Please listen to the citizens who want Monroe Park to remain the People’s Park.  If not in Monroe Park, where will citizens demonstrate, feed the homeless, and enjoy the shade of the century-old trees?
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Pool
(804) 788-0359
 
Richmond Free Press:
 
“Keep Monroe Public

Though Richmond’s Monroe Park serves many important functions every single day, its appearance and its facilities admittedly demand attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Members of the Richmond City Council,
 
I hope that you had an opportunity to read the important editorial in this weeks Free Press regarding Monroe Park (see below).
 
There is no rush on this Monroe Park issue because no work will begin on improvements to the park until after the 2015 bike races.  Please take time to carefully evaluate the give-away  Conservancy lease, which would give away for 30 years all public and City Council control of our oldest city park, and even give the Conservancy free utilities for 30 years!  Leasing our city park is unnecessary.  
 
The city could finance the renovation of the Monroe Park by saving the $2.68 million in public funds annually given to Venture Richmond.  Venture Richmond has three ordinances before City Council on Monday for yet more handouts; Venture Richmond is seeking three exemptions from the current City Council moratorium on real estate tax exemptions by designation.  The City Assessor’s Committee for Real Estate Exemptions by Designation unanimously recommended against Venture Richmond’s three applications for tax exemption, citing the high salaries of the Venture Richmond staff.  (The top four Venture Richmond employees collectively make over $640,000 annually.) Please reject these applications for tax exemption.  These funds can be used for the renovation of Monroe Park instead of padding Venture Richmond’s exorbitant salaries.
 
Please listen to the citizens who want Monroe Park to remain the People’s Park.  If not in Monroe Park, where will citizens demonstrate, feed the homeless, and enjoy the shade of the century-old trees?
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Pool
(804) 788-0359
 
Richmond Free Press:
 
“Keep Monroe Public

Though Richmond’s Monroe Park serves many important functions every single day, its appearance and its facilities admittedly demand attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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We have a new free zine rack at the Wingnut! Our friend Nic gave us the great rack.
If you have anarchist or radical literature that you can give us for free to distribute for free please send them to us -
2005 Barton Avenue Richmond Va 23222

Cheap Show Tomorrow!!!

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Hey yall – this show is tomorrrow! If you want to help us get ready, come to the Wingnut tonight from 6-9 or tomorrow at 3-6pm. There is setting up to be done. Additionally there might be dumpstered pizza, donuts, and homemade guacamole. (Bring chips) If you can, bring a snack to share! Also bring $5 for the touring bands and extra $ for merch. Yea 5 dollar shows!!! All ages, sober, diy punx yall!!! Build posi punk community and have a good time together!!!

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A religious experience…

The Free Press just came out with an Editorial for keeping Monroe Park public:

Keep Monroe Public

Though Richmond’s Monroe Park serves many important functions every single day, its appearance and its facilities admittedly demand attention.
We do not endorse a specific park renovation plan.  But we do hold strong views about this public space.
It should always fulfill the purposes of a public park.  It should be free, open and inviting to all.  It should be a respite from the sometimes gritty nature of our urban environment.  There should be plenty of grass, trees and flowers.   It should be a place to come with family and friends.
We love the varied festivals and events held there by VCU and other organizations.  We applaud the weekly feeding programs and other services that are often made available there; they must be preserved.
We fervently believe that Monroe Park must always welcome a wide variety of strongly felt opinions.  A prominent area should be available for rallies large and small.
We are not anxious to lease this much-used and much-loved [park] to a private group.  When considering such “public-private” ventures, we are often too eager to sacrifice public responsibility and public accountability in return for a few dollars.  Our city should not shirk basic obligations.
We want to improve Monroe Park.  We want city government to remain its primary caretaker.  We welcome the advice and the financial contributions of all who share our vision.

———-

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
April 10 2014

Better Government Richmond questions Monroe Park lease.

Mayor Jones and Council President Samuels have introduced an ordinance proposing to lease Monroe Park to The Monroe Park Conservancy. The Conservancy is a private organization.

The proposed lease states that “[t]enant, through its Board of Directors, shall establish policies for the use of the Premises (the “Use Policies”). The Use Policies shall be subject to the approval of the Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Richmond or a designee thereof.”

On several occasions the city administration and the Conservancy have represented that Monroe Park will remain a public park open to all.

Better Government Richmond believes that “Use Policies” are inconsistent with a public park open to all.

———-
Background

Mr. Beschler, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer: “this is a city Park and it will remain a city Park” 2014 MAR 18 Land Use Committee.

Mr. Samuels, Council President: “creates a beautiful open space that is open to all” 2014 MAR 24 Council Meeting.

Ms. Massie, Monroe Park Conservancy: “The Monroe Park Conservancy, should we win the bid, has no intent to exclude homeless or anybody else” “it is a public park” 2014 MAR 24 Council Meeting.

City of Richmond Website – Monroe Park

http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/parkMonroe.aspx

Monroe Park Renovation Website

http://monroepark.com/

Monroe Park is one of Richmond’s most culturally, historically and environmentally significant public spaces.

Once a state fairground and later a military encampment, the registered historic park forms the western edge of Richmond’s downtown and borders a prominent gateway into the city.

Monroe Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to facilitate the renovation of Monroe Park through a public-private partnership.

The City will continue to own the Park and retain the right to terminate the lease at any time.

Monroe Park Master Plan

http://monroepark.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Monroe_Park_Report_Master_Plan_Chapter_2.pdf

Ordinance 2014-10
20140127 Introduced
20140218 Land Use Committee
20140224 Council public hearing
20140324 Council
20140414 Council
———–
Better Government Richmond (Better Government – US LLC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established for the purpose of encouraging the Mayor and City Council of Richmond, Virginia, to increase public trust in city government.  Better Government Richmond advocates for rules, policies, procedures and practices that encourage public participation and create public confidence in city government. http://bg-us.org/

Hey yall
Food Not Bombs will be cooking at the Wingnut in May. We only have $19 in our wee coffers for food not bombs. We have been too busy with Monroe Park stuff and our garden to organize fundraising. If we could raise a couple hundred dollars that would allow us to restock plates, cups, forks, spices, oil, rice, sugar, oats,  pasta, vegan salad dressings, and more! If we can raise more than $200 we can use the extra money for a May day cookout in Monroe park! We do not have a bank account any longer – all banking options require a $2500 min balance or else there is a $15 a month fee. So we can not cash checks written to Food Not Bombs. But if you make a check out to Mo Karn with FNB in the memo we can cash it for FNB. Additionally there is a paypal donation button on the Wingnut website you can use – just put FNB in the memo there too. If you or your business would like to make a tax deductible donation, I have arranged those capabilities with another local non profit. If you would like to do that, we would really appreciate it. Message me here or at mokarnage@gmail.com for details on making a tax deductible donation. Summer is coming and it would be great if we could afford drink mixes and occasional popsicles to share in the park too. If you just want to buy us some of the items listed above that too would be amazing. Drop off at 2005 Barton ave. And remember the paypal donation button is at http://www.wingnutrva.org please share this info!!!