Posts Tagged ‘richmond city council’

Join the Wingnut Anarchist Collective for a religious get together to perform, through the medium of a noise demonstration, an exorcism on the fascist demons who have possessed members of City Council.
Meet at 11pm at Broad and Boulevard on Friday October 14th.
It is clear to us that City Councilman Charles Samuels has been possessed by some sort of fascist demon who is forcing him to crack down on the liberties of people in the City of Richmond. From his attempts to gentrify Monroe Par…k and oppress the homeless population of Richmond, to his previous unconstitutional noise ordinance, Charles Samuels is clearly acting like a jerk. But we don’t believe Charles Samuels is a jerk, we think his oppressive, racist, classist, WASP-y behavior can be explained by a demon possessing him. There is no point in petitioning, conversating, discussing, or pleading with a demon.

We do not negotiate with demons! Our only choice is exorcism!

This exorcism is just the first, as there are clearly many demons plaguing our dear city. From Alice Massie to the 750 Richmond Police Officers- we have a lot of people dealing with possession by fascist demons. We encourage others to hold their own exorcism ceremonies and work to lift this plague of oppressive asshole demons from Richmond.

An exorcism is a religious ceremony whose goal is to force evil spirits out of the people they have taken over. This get together is a religious event / service/ activity/ expression.

This religious event is open to people of all religions, faiths, and lack of religions. All are welcome (except cops). You don’t have to believe as we do to participate or observe. Exercise your right to religious expression, to self expression, and to exorcise the demons that plague our city!

To further your participation, bring the sorts of noise makers that an exorcism calls for, including but not limited to bells, chimes, singing voices, music (boomboxes or other portable stereos), and organs if you have them! Musicians of Richmond who have been particularly plagued by the demon are especially encouraged to come out. If you don’t have these sorts of instruments, we suggest that you make your own. (more…)

Join the Wingnut Anarchist Collective for a religious get together to perform, through the medium of a noise demonstration, an exorcism on the fascist demons who have possessed members of City Council.

It is clear to us that City Councilman Charles Samuels has been possessed by some sort of fascist demon who is forcing him to crack down on the liberties of people in the City of Richmond. From his attempts to gentrify Monroe Park and oppress the homeless population of Richmond, to his previous unconstitutional noise ordinance, Charles Samuels is clearly acting like a jerk. But we don’t believe Charles Samuels is a jerk, we think his oppressive, racist, classist, WASP-y behavior can be explained by a demon possessing him. There is no point in petitioning, conversating, discussing, or pleading with a demon.

We do not negotiate with demons! Our only choice is exorcism! (more…)

Wingnut Statement On The Monroe Park Renovation Plan

The current renovation plans for Monroe Park are riddled with problems and are overall, entirely unacceptable.

Our demands regarding the park are as follows:

We oppose the renovation plans in their entirety, as they are racist, classist, and a thinly veiled attempt at privatizing and capitalizing on a public park.

  1. There needs to be an immediate cessation of all attempts from MPAC and the City of Richmond to criminalize the homeless.
  2. We demand the inclusion of homeless people in all decisions relating to homelessness, housing, free food programs, etc. We demand that the homeless be given roles with the power to make decisions about their own futures in whatever groups or organizations are making these decisions.
  3. We demand the cessation of the endless promotion of the Conrad Center as the solution to homelessness in Richmond. We demand the cessation of the attempts to centralize all programs that serve the homeless at the Conrad Center, which has aggressively pushed its agenda of misinformation for years now.
  4. We demand that there be NO paid park director, especially at the outrageous salary of 150,000 a year. (more…)

The Monroe Park Advisory Council removed from its website the document of their plans to renovate Monroe Park. This was a publicly available document up until sometime recently when they apparently decided to no longer make it available. Fortunately, at the Wingnut, we had saved a copy of this document. We have now uploaded it onto archive.org to make is publicly accessible again.

http://www.archive.org/details/MonroeParkRenovationPlans2008

You can’t view it on archive.org, but if you right click the PDF link, you can select, ‘Save Link As’ to download the renovation plans to your computer. If you can’t download because you are on a public access computer, you can come by the Wingnut Anarchist Collective to view the file on our computer. We have open hours on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-10 and you can call 804 303 5449 to arrange to stop by some other time.

Make sure you check out page 61 on the bottom left side where it has the desired ratio of homeless and homeless appearing people to everyone else- 75-100:1. Read about the plans for private security for the park.

Please download, print, and share this document with others so you can understand their plans for renovation, and also see first hand some of the troubling aspects.  When confronted, MPAC pretty much refused to take accuontability for the plan that they developed.  MPAC has also done things to deliberately become more secretive- removing their email contacts for MPAC members from their website, lying about no longer having meetings, and apparently removing the content from the link to the plan o their website. (more…)

Silver Persinger recorded the lengthy meeting at the Carillon last night, where Charles Samuels (2nd District City Councilman) tried to get groups who ‘serve the homeless’ to figure out what they should do when Monroe Park is closed for renovations. It was not a forum, nor really a big group discussion. However, there were about 25 or so folks associated with Food Not Bombs who came to promote the idea that the park need not and ought not be closed entirely during renovations. The meeting did not go the way Samuels or Homeward likely desired. Instead many people spoke out questioning why the park was going to be closed in its entirety, and suggested that moving services would not make up for destroying the community of people- homeless and not- who use Monroe Park on a regular basis.

Check out the videos to see how it all went down!

This first link is to the 1st half of the meeting. Which includes Charles Samuels, Homeward, and others speaking. They did not allow any questions or feedback from anyone attending the meeting, even when it was very clear that people had questions and concerns. This video also includes a Wingnut, Mo Karn,  interuptting the bureaucratic flow of things to point out that the meeting is entirely based on the false premise that the park must be completely closed. You can find that around 24:40.

http://player.vimeo.com/video/16523974

This 2nd section of the video shows how many of the groups in the room decided that the solution to the problems with closing all of Monroe Park was simply not to close the entire park!

http://player.vimeo.com/video/16528050

Richmond Food Not Bombs has been sharing food in Monroe Park for over sixteen years now. We have developed many connections and friendships over the course of our existence, helped provide healthy food to many individuals who may not have had access to it otherwise, and become a staple of social activity for many people’s Sunday afternoons.

The proposed renovations to Monroe Park are an attack , a judgement on who the park should and shouldn’t be for. It is an attack on the homeless, the “homeless-appearing” (whatever that means – it’s in the Monroe Park Advisory Council’s renovation plans), and groups and individuals who don’t judge people by their social status or whether they have conventional means of acquiring shelter.

We will not stand for it.

The only change that the park really needs is for the city to do its job when it comes do doing maintenance on the bathrooms, as they are functional but one of the water pipes to the sinks has corroded away. Other improvements, such as installing permanent chess tables, or a playground area for kids would be nice, but NOT at the cost of driving out the folks who currently congregate in the park, shutting the entire park down for 18 months, or privatizing the security of the park.

Food Not Bombs will resist all attempts to shut the entire park down for any amount of time. (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

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…)

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…)

The Richmond City Jail needs to be EMPTIED NOW!!!! The inmates need to be let out, today.

2 deaths in one month due to the horrendous conditions at the Richmond City Jail are  2 TOO many. No one should get the death sentence for committing misdemeanor crimes. One person who died in June in the Richmond City Jail had not even gotten a chance at a trial.

The Jail is overcrowded. The jail is too hot. 120 degrees is TOO hot. Giving the inmates ice and water 4 times a day is not enough. Inmates do not receive adequate food, water, medicine, or medical attention. The Sheriff and other officials pride themselves on their ability to cut spending on the inmates- thus providing fewer of the services necessary to keep the inmates healthy, and alive.

The inmates in the Richmond City Jail need to be released NOW! They do not have time to wait for the bureaucracy to figure out ways to fix the current jail or construct a new one. People are dying.

The Richmond City Jail needs to be emptied and closed down. Adequate repairs etc. will not be possible with inmates still inside. And the risk is too great for the inmates.

If the sheriff and city officials all acknowledge that the conditions in the jail are horrendous and unacceptable then it is LONG past time that something be done about it.  Let the prisoners go. It is the only humane solution at this time. We have months of summer left, with many days of over 100 degree heat expected. If we, as a city, allow inmates to remain locked up in Richmond City Jail then we are accountable for their pain, suffering, and deaths.

EMPTY the Richmond City Jail NOW!!!!