Posts Tagged ‘race’

A little bit more coverage on the John Smith mural in Richmond by Style Weekly,

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/no-offense-murals-safe-by-design/Content?oid=1927065

And our full statement we released to the press:

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective’s article in response to the new John Smith mural was based on the lack of critique of colonialism, genocide and racism obvious in the mural or the article written about it. Apparently the artist Gaia was trying to make the piece ironic, but he also admits to not knowing Richmond well and not spending much time on his concept. The irony isn’t obvious, instead of bringing to light prominent figures in indigenous struggle, the artist has chosen to create a carbon copy of an already existing statue dedicated to one of the founders of Native American genocide.

We challenged the mural and successfully initiated conversations about racism – conversations which need to be happening all the time given the ongoing institutional racism in Richmond as is represented in multiple city sponsored monuments to white colonizers (Columbus, John Smith, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, George Washington) and highlighted by the Redskins stadium, environmental racism of Norrell Elementary school, skyrocketing police and jail budgets, and push for a baseball stadium on sacred historic ground in Shockoe Bottom.

We hope that future street art and murals in RVA will be painted by local artists and represent people of color and indigenous struggles, speak out against the status quo and speak for a better, more just society.

We are a little late in posting this, thanks to all the folks in Richmond who have been working to publicise this letter and this issue. No baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom!!!

May 8th, 2013

TO THE SITTING MEMBERS OF RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR’S OFFICE

We have watched with displeasure the most recent crimes of the Richmond City administration and its petty ambitions; it sells its soul to the rapacious FIRE sector and throws its citizens to the wolves to appease the never-ending greed of its shadowy elite. There is no change in Richmond, only the quiet hum of the Jones Machine and the avaricious stare of the sitting mayor, dancing obediently on the strings of privileged and secret interests. There is no hope in Richmond, only despair for those who remember the lessons of the past. There is no voice in Richmond, only a pathetic handful of ‘local’ media sources who are content to take their pittances from corporate masters while their city rots around them. The corruption leaking from every pore of the city is indicative of its inability to understand or accept its own past.

In this city once flourished the most oppressive and disgusting form of business ever created by mankind: the slave trade. Human beings were bought and sold like chattel by the hundreds of thousands based solely on the color of their skin. From Richmond, blacks were shipped all over the country to sweat, bleed, and die at the pleasure of white slave-owners. The scars of this atrocity still bleed and fester in the forms of institutionalized racism and economic apartheid against people of color.

For too long Richmond’s elites have systematically manipulated and disenfranchised its black majority through regressive economic policy, criminally negligent spending priorities, mock elections, and shadowy real estate deals. Jackson Ward was obliterated by white elites to make room for an interstate highway. Navy Hill’s earthly remains consist of a marker found in a parking garage by a local professor. The black children of Richmond’s school system suffer from a 75% poverty rate. Black preschoolers attend a program for disadvantaged youth on top of an unlined dump in a school that was built during the era of Jim Crow. Huge swathes of East Broad Street were gentrified to make way for the Richmond Convention Center and CenterStage Theater, a coup for the conspicuous consumers that make up Richmond’s elite patrons and coordinated by Bob Mooney, former chief financier of Richmond-based Ethyl Corp. Monument Avenue’s statuary stands as false exoneration of the ‘heroes’ of the Civil War; ‘heroes’ whose greatest achievement will forever be marked as failing to win the war they fought so desperately to win.

Decades ago, the discovery of the Burial Ground for Negroes (now Richmond’s African Burial Ground) by Elizabeth Cann Kambourian under a parking lot in Shockoe Bottom began the decades-long struggle towards the reclamation of the nation’s second-most-successful slave market by the inheritors of its legacy of cruelty and hate.

Now, as Richmond’s black residents continue to make progress to regain their past and right the great injustice that white supremacist power has laid upon them, the white land barons have again mobilized to murder the threat of black power in its crib. The specter of the Shockoe Ballpark has been resurrected by Richmond’s criminal capitalist class under the guise of ‘growth’ and ‘wealth.’ The charge is in part led by one H. Louis Salomonsky, an unrepentant capitalist sent to prison several years ago for bribing a public official in a failed bid to swing a mayoral election; his cries of “community!” serve merely to increase the value of his many real estate holdings through wasteful public expenditure projects. His tendrils, and those of others like him, extend far into local politics; the real estate sector outspends the next highest industry in Richmond political campaigns by two to one.

We call you out, Dwight Jones. Your 2012 unopposed mayoral election garnered you $314,499 in funds; $43,350 came from the land barons and their interests, with $2,500 alone from Salomonsky and his subsidiaries. Over the course of your sixteen-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $135,917.

We call you out, Charles Samuels. Your 2012 election garnered you $63,225 in funds; $10,850 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your four-year political career, the landlords have bribe you for $24,250.

We call you out, Chris Hilbert. Your 2012 election against a neophyte social worker garnered you $41,702 in funds; $5,155 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your eight-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $43,472.

We call you out, Kathy Graziano. Your 2012 election garnered you $96,838 in funds; $12,450 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your eight-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $71,706.

We call you out, Ellen Robertson. Your 2012 unopposed election garnered you $12,110 in funds; $1,000 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your nine-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $29,525.

We call you out, Cynthia Newbille. Your 2012 unopposed election garnered you $17,166 in funds; $1,300 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your three-year political career, the landlords have bribed you for $4,100.

We call you out, Reva Trammell. Your 2012 election garnered you $65,141 in funds; $6,645 came from the land barons and their interests. Over the course of your political career, the landlords have bribed you for more than $20,095.

We are watching you, Jon Baliles. Bruce Tyler was sold to the landlords for only $82,307.

We are watching you, Parker Agelasto. Martin Jewell was sold to the landlords for only $20,600.

We are watching you, Michelle Mosby. Douglas Conner was sold to the landlords for only $29,400.

We demand that the city permanently halt attempts by its white landowners to build a ballpark in this critically important district and commit fully and transparently to enacting recommendations by the Richmond Trail of Enslaved Africans Commission for a heritage site in Shockoe Bottom.

We will be watching.

WE ARE ANONYMOUS.
WE ARE LEGION.
WE DO NOT FORGIVE.
WE DO NOT FORGET.
EXPECT US.

http://www.defendersfje.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/shockoeb…

http://www.us.iofc.org/unpacking-iofc-census

http://saverichmond.com/?p=173

http://www.change.org/petitions/richmond-school-board-do-norrell-element…

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/reconnecting-dotts/Content?oid=13608…

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/free-and-clear/Content?oid=1887302

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/10145?start_year=2012&end_year=…

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/128997?start_year=2012&end_year…

http://www.vpap.org/donors/profile/index/133714?cmte_type_1=local_cands&…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/1614?start_yea…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/16049?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/152342?start_y…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/70346?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/9426?start_yea…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/76455?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/106406?start_y…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/15206?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/16049?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/38785?start_ye…

http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_industry1/28787?start_ye…

No Stadium In Shockoe Bottom! Defend Richmond’s African History
Public
Hosted by Brandon Nastanski and Phil Wilayto

When
Monday at 12:00pm
Where
Email, and City Council Chambers

This is a two part invite… First and foremost we need you to email and or call city council members to let them know that you don’t want a Baseball Stadium in Shockoe Bottom. Second, if you can please try and attend a special City Council Meeting being held this Monday from 12-4. Please see further details below including sample email and council members email addresses…

An Urgent Appeal from the African Ancestral Chamber,
Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality and other opponents
to putting a baseball stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom

It looks like Richmond’s business and political elite are about to launch their project to put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, one of the most important historical sites for people of African descent in all of North America.

Please email Mayor Dwight Jones and members of the City Council and tell them we don’t want a stadium in Shockoe Bottom. Use this sample email or make up your own.

But please do this right away! City Council will be meeting in a special session Monday, May 6, from noon to 4 pm in the Council Chambers in Richmond City Hall. We think they will be voting on issuing bonds to pay for work in the Bottom to prepare for the stadium. These elected officials need to hear from us now!

[Sample email:]

Will Richmond’s legacy be the desecration of Shockoe Bottom?

I understand that Richmond City Council will be discussing capital funding at a special meeting from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 6. You should know that there is strong community opposition to building a baseball stadium on the site of Richmond’s former slave-trading district.

No Baseball Stadium in Shockoe Bottom! Defend Richmond’s African History!

[Email addresses:]

“Mayor Dwight C. Jones”


1st District – “Jonathan Balilies”


2nd District – “Charles Samuels”


3rd District – “Chris Hilbert”


4th District –


5th District – “Parker Agelasto”


6th District – “Ellen Robertson”


7th District – “Cynthia Newbille”


8th District – “Reva Trammell”


9th District – “Michelle Mosby”

[Linked – just cut and paste this entire list into the “To” box in your email program.]

“Mayor Dwight C. Jones” , “Jonathan Balilies” , “Charles Samuels” , “Chris Hilbert” , , “Parker Agelasto” , “Ellen Robertson” , “Cynthia Newbille” , “Reva Trammell” , “Michelle Mosby”

What else can you do to help?

Forward this email to as many people as you can.
Come to the special Richmond City Council meeting on Monday, May 6, from noon to 4 pm. Come for as long as you can, but even a few minutes will help.
Read the Spring 2013 edition of The Virginia Defender newspaper to learn more about Shockoe Bottom’s important history. The newspaper will be uploaded this weekend to: http://www.DefendersFJE.org.
Reply to this email and tell us if you’d like to help in this important campaign to save Richmond’s African history.

Here are 8 new titles in our Wingnut Radical Lending Library. Come to our collective meeting on January 28th if you are interested in joining and helping us organize the library, staff open hours, and organize events and projects as the Wingnut Anarchist Collective!

Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia by Steve Hogan

The Queerest Places: A National Guide to Gay and Lesbian Historic Sites by Paula Martinac

True Love by Fulton, Jennifer published by Naiad Pr Paperback by –N/A–

After the Fire by Jane Rule

Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend by Scott Reynolds Nelson

Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War by David Williams

Labor Struggles In The Deep South and Other Writings by Covington Hall

What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation by The South End Press Collective

 

Just cataloguing some books on this rainy day. Here are our newest titles.

Thanks to everyone who has donated books to our library! We are always looking for donations specifically around issues of race, class, gender, indigenous struggles, feminism, queer issues, southern issues, anarchism, environmental etc.

My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Jessica Mills

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism (Live Girls) by Daisy Hernandez

Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film and Video

Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon

Odd Girl Out by Ann Bannon

Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics by Judith Lorber

Mindful Occupation: Rising Up Without Burning Out by Occupy Mental Health Project

The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope by Amy Goodman

Someone Killed His Boyfriend: A Summer of Sex, Sun and Murder in Provincetown by David Stukas

From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life: Stories of Transformation by Deborah Abbott

Joining the Tribe; by Linnea A. Due

Growing Up Gay in the South: Race, Gender, and Journeys of the Spirit (Haworth G… by James T. Sears

Now the Volcano: Anthology of Latin American Gay Literature by Winston Leyland

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

The Prostitute and Her Clients by PH.D. Lewis Diana

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

When the Dancing Stops (Brett Higgins Mysteries) by Therese Szymanski

Black Bloc, White Riot: Antiglobalization and the Genealogy of Dissent by A. K. Thompson (2010).

So You Want to Be a Lesbian? by Liz Tracey

Free Pizza for Life by Chris Clavin

Techniques of Safecracking (52054) by Wayne B. Yeager

The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor

More Joy Than Rage: Crossing Generations with the New Feminism by Caryl Rivers

Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class, And Environmental Quality, Third Edition by Robert D. Bullard

Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement by Mark Thompson

Tuesday Sept 4th at 5pm, Parents for Life 2012 will be picketing around City Hall, in response to the recent School Board decision to send over 250 pre-k students into an old, unsafe, built on a dump, school that was shut down in 2006.

There is a School Board meeting at 7pm that we will be attending as well.

When: Tuesday, September 4th

Time: 5:00pm Picket

7:00pm School Board Meeting

Where: City Hall 9th St. Entrance

301 N. Ninth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

For More Information Contact: Art Burton (804) 467- 6408 or email burtonal@live.com

Parents For Life 2012!   parentsforlife.2012@gmail.com

Some recent articles on this issue:

Pre-School at the Dump

Decision to Re-Open School Sparks Protest Plans

Re-Opening of Norrell for Pre-k Generates Controversy

 

More info, and previous press release after the cut: (more…)

On July 18th there was a meeting of a group of people interested in re-forming a Barton Heights Neighborhood Association. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective was concerned by both the small amount of outreach ahead of the meeting, and also the types of decisions on the agenda for the first meeting. We made fliers and notified as many neighbors as we could, but it was not an ideal situation in terms of being able to get word out. Luckily, enough folks did come out who agreed that we needed a much more representative of our neighborhood body to be able to make foundational decision.

We filmed the meeting to make it available to folks who could not make it last night.

The next event will be a National Night Out Event on August 7th at Yancey Street Park- more info to come on that next week after our planning meeting.

The next official meeting of the neighborhood association will be Tuesday September 11th at 6:30 pm, location TBA, but we are looking for one closer to Barton Heights.

July 18, 2012 Barton Heights Neighborhood Association Meeting from WingnutAnarchistCollective on Vimeo.

We passed out fliers on how Consensus decision making works, and Rusty’s Rules of Order as used by the IWW (Thanks to the Richmond IWW branch for those copies http://www.richmondiww.org). Here are links to those for folks interested in learning about multiple options before we decide on how we as a neighborhood association will be making decisions.

http://zinelibrary.info/quick-guide-consensus-0

http://gainesvilleiww.org/resources/blog1.php/rusty-s-rules-of-order

We think it is significant/interesting to note, that despite the resistance to using anything other than majority rules voting for decision making at the meeting, that the group actually used consensus to make it’s decisions!

 

This Fall, there will be a 3 part class on Colonization and Decolonization, meeting at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective on Tuesday nights at 8:30pm.

Autumn is a season when there are many reminders of colonization and the history of oppression, racism, and genocide that Amerikkka was founded on. From Columbus Day to Thanksgiving there are plenty of celebrations of colonization. We are choosing to take time to learn more about the real history of colonization and indigenous peoples during this season. We welcome folks with an interest in learning more about these issues to participate in this 3 part class.

The meetings will be at 8:30 pm on Tuesday September 20th, Tuesday September 27th, and Tuesday October 4th.

Richmond does not have a full fledged Free School, although this is something that folks at the Wingnut and others have been talking about for a while. We found the manual “Colonization and Decolonization – A Manual for Indigenous Liberation in the 21st Century” by Zig-Zag aka Gord Hill (Author of 500 years of Indigenous Resistance), and decided that we would like to do a class with the text. The text is already divided into 3 sections making for 3 hour long sessions. (more…)

Today we added 16 New Titles to the Wingnut Radical Lending Library!
You can come by during Open Hours to check out our growing collection.
Open Hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-9pm.
You can also search our entire library online at http://www.librarything.com/thewingnutrva

Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures, 1960s to Now by Dara Greenwald
Only a Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology by Allan Antliff
Education for Action, 4E by Joan Powell
Making Stuff and Doing Things by Kyle Bravo (more…)

Please read this article and sign the petition about the parking of cars on Richmond’s African Burial Ground by VCU. This is a dramatic example of institutionalized white privilege and racism. Imagine the public outcry if VCU built a parking lot on Hollywood Cemetery. Parking on sacred ground is not acceptable, and it has only gone on for so long due to historical and current white supremacy and racism which infect most institutions and capitalist ventures. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective stands in solidarity with everyone fighting to end this disrespectful and oppressive treatment of a historical and spiritual site.

End VCU/MCV Parking on Richmond’s African Burial Ground

by: Kenneth Yates x370724

A place called Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia was once the center of the African slave trade in North America. However if you were to visit this area you would never know it. Beneath the night clubs, condominiums, office buildings, and streets lies a history grossly repressed by capitalist appetites for commercial development.

One hidden piece of history in particular lies beneath a parking lot publicly owned and utilized by the Virginia Commonwealth University & Medical College of Virginia staff and students.



Photo by: Kenneth Yates

 In 1992 local historian and author Elizabeth Cann Kambourian, while researching for a book about a local slave rebellion leader named Gabriel, discovered something. Around 1800, inspired by the Haitian Revolution which was in full swing at the time, Gabriel plotted one of the most organized slave revolts in United States history. The plan was for hundreds of enslaved Africans, free Blacks and a few whites to to enter the city of Richmond, take the governor hostage and demand the abolition of slavery in Virginia. The revolt, however, was crushed after an intense 100 year storm flooded the area, making it impossible for Gabriel and his army to enter the city.

With information given by one of Gabriel’s collaborators, the then Richmond Governor James Monroe formed a militia to hunt down Gabriel and his co-conspirators. Gabriel was eventually captured, tried and, on Oct. 10, 1800, executed at the town gallows, located in what was then called the Burial Ground for Negroes. At least 25 of his comrades met the same fate, either at the same site or in surrounding areas.

The burial ground was retired sometime around 1810, after hundreds, perhaps thousands of enslaved Africans had been buried there. The exact number is unknown. Before long the burial ground itself fell into obscurity, eventually buried beneath 10-20 feet of filler as the land took on many other uses over the years.

Kambourian discovered an old Richmond City map placing the African Burial Ground just north of 15th & Broad Street. That area is now partially covered by Interstate 95, with the remaining portion of the Burial Ground buried beneath a parking lot utilized by both VCU & MCV staff and students. The exact boundaries are yet to be determined.

The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality have been fighting to reclaim this sacred ground from its present desecration. (more…)