Posts Tagged ‘richmond occupation’

A good friend is organizing and filming a video as a response to the recent charges brought against local activists Hunter Singleton and Eric Scott. If you can make it out to help with this project please do!
In response to last week’s arrests and the subsequent felony charges laid upon two peaceful protesters I will be taking portraits tomorrow, Monday, November 14th at 3 pm in monroe park for a short video/promo advertisement for the new website… richmondlegalsupport.org .

… The video will have a series of portraits all containing people wearing various ‘socially accepted’ masks ie; scarves for the cold, motorcycle helmets, respirators, santa claus beards, etc. These will be shown silently and the video will end with someone wearing a handkerchief and a brief statement about the city charging students and local activists with a class 6 felony for wearing one. If anyone would like to take part please come out and bring a mask (preferably one that is functional, though anything and everything is welcome). No one’s name or identity will be used or even asked for. The point is to show how we all use these ‘dangerous’ masks on an everyday basis and stripping someone of their rights (right to vote, access to jobs, loans, etc and the social stigma associated with a felony conviction) for something so inherently trivial and innocent can not go unquestioned.

For more information please feel free to contact me but if you want to participate you can simply show up.

Thanks!!

Hope you all are warm and wonderful!
mark strandquist

703 798 6379
www.nomovement.com See More

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective will be hosting a movie screening next Saturday, November 19th at 7pm as a benefit for Eric Scott’s legal fund.

We will be screening PickAxe a 94 minute film by Crimethinc.

If you enjoyed our screening of If a Tree Falls last month, you should enjoy Pickaxe, which is a longer piece about the occupation of a national park by environmental activists, which was mentioned in If a Tree Falls.

An eclectic mix of activists take a stand to protect an old growth forest from logging at Warner Creek in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon, blockading the logging road and repelling the State Police. Over months a community builds around the illegal blockade as it develops into the Cascadia Free State and similar actions spread across the region. Years after its release, Pickaxe has become a classic document of the potential for grassroots direct action to achieve victory against the forces of both government and big business. Lovingly crafted by the participants themselves, the film expertly presents every moment, from confrontation to celebration. Includes new commentary track by filmmakers Tim Lewis and Tim Ream. [94 min.]

We are asking for people to bring a 3 dollar donation if they can, but no one will be turned away. Please come out to watch this film, learn about Eric’s case and other recent legal cases of Richmond Anarchists, and to maybe decompress a little too.

Eric Scott is one of the 2 people being charged with a felony for wearing a mask during last Wednesday’s Occupy Richmond march.

The Wingnut is a sober, all ages space located at 2005 Barton Avenue. wingnut_collective@yahoo.com or 804 303 5449 for more information

Trigger warning: This movie depicts scenes of violence

In case you missed the screening or want to watch it again, here is the documentary by Richmond’s amazing Kontra- All Night, All Day on the Occupy Richmond movement.

http://vimeo.com/32042955

All Night, All Day from Kontra on Vimeo.

Last night, 2 good friends and members of the Richmond Radical community were arrested during an Occupy Richmond march. Other people around them, posing no threat and in no way intervening were choked, slammed against cars, and even had a bicycle thrown at them by the Richmond Police. The events of last night were no anomaly, and instead are symptomatic of the unwarranted use of violence by police as a mainstay and default. Commanding officers were smug and relishing in the actions taken by their subordinates.

We are looking for more pictures, witness accounts, and video from the police violence last night. Please email them to sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Over 25 people came out to court this morning to support Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton at their arraignment. Unfortunately, the system had changed plans, and done their arraignments by video earlier in the day. Hunter and Eric never left lockup for the court. This underhanded move by the court is just another example of the injustice present in the system.

Despite Eric and Hunter not being present, Hunter’s court appointed lawyer, Christopher Bradshaw was. The issue at hand was a preliminary bond hearing. For Eric Scott, whose lawyer William Efird was not present, bail/bond was set at $5,000 – Eric Scott is being charged with a Felony for allegedly wearing a mask in public, some sort of weapons charge (pocketknife) and disorderly conduct. Hunter Singleton is being charged with Felony for allegedly wearing a mask in public as well as a Felony for a controlled substance (his prescription medication) and disorderly conduct. Hunter’s bail/bond was set at $7,500.

Because Hunter’s attorney was not given an opportunity to meet Hunter, there should be another bail hearing early next week, and we sincerely hope that Hunter’s bail will be lowered.

The court and Commonwealth’s Attorney are clearly trying to harass and intimidate by the outrageously high bail’s set and the ridiculous felony charges.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is working on support for Eric and Hunter. We will be trying to get in touch with them today and will be in contact with their lawyers. We will see if Hunter and Eric want to be bonded out. The issue with bond is that you pay 10% of the set bail, but you never see that money again. We would need $500 for Eric and $750 for Hunter, which we could not repay. If Hunter, a fulltime VCU student, and Eric want to be bonded out we would love help in raising these funds.

We just called Richmond City Lockup and got word that Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton are still there, and we are not allowed to talk to or visit them. They would not tell us if and when they will be transferred to the City Jail. They have also not updated their system to even show that Eric and Hunter have a bond as an option, so at this point, bonding them out is not yet on the table.

Tonight the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will be holding a solidarity demonstration at 8pm outside of the Richmond City Jail at 1701 Fairfield Way (Location subject to change if Eric and Hunter are still at Richmond City Lockup [501 North 9th Street] at this time, we will keep you updated). Please come out to show support for Hunter and Eric. Bring candles, signs, banners, flags, whistles, songs, drums, and other things so we can let Eric (a long term Anarchist Black Cross member) and Hunter know that we are working for them on the outside. Anyone who would like to go to the jail as a group is welcome to meet at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective (2005 Barton Avenue) at 7:30pm.

Richmond Copwatch is looking for pictures and video of the Richmond Police Department last night during the Occupy Richmond marches. If you have any please email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

Here is a short video of a Richmond Police Officer refusing to identify himself, and generally giving the person trying to find out that information a hard time. You hear the Copwatcher ask for the cop’s Name and Code Number. Then you also hear that cop refusing to give those pieces of information. You can hear him making comments about how the Copwatcher does not know protocol anymore, and must not know the RPD’s protocol. This is a reference to the fact that after Richmond Copwatch used the Freedom of Information Act to get almost 600 pages of the Richmond Police Department’s protocols, we found out that officers were required to identify themselves by Name and Code Number whenever they were asked. However, since then, the RPD has gone out of its way to alter their protocol. We have heard comments from some officers that say the change in protocol is in direct correlation to Copwatch and Copwatch’s attempts to identify members of RPD. To our best knowledge, Richmond Cops are currently only required to identify themselves by Name, but you should still always ask and get Code Number if you can.

Time changed to 6pm so people can go to the Occupy forum at 7
Anarchist Black Cross Meeting
Tue, November 8, 6pm – 7pm

Prison abolition and prisoner support. Work to tear down the jails, write letters to prisoners, and learn about the Prison Industrial Complex!

At 2005 Barton Avenue!

An update from the Monroe Park Occupation back in March, where several individuals were charged with violating a City Code regarding being in parks after dark. Three members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective are appealing their verdicts of guilty, and are challenging that piece of City Code based on it being unconstitutional. Arguments in this appeal were finally presented on Thursday, November 3rd, after multiple continuances over the months. Occupiers have court again on Monday, November 21st at 9am at the John Marshall Court Building in room 302 for the disposition. Supporters are welcome to attend.

For background information on the Monroe Park Occupation of March, 2011 you can go to: http://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com

Here is an account from one of the folks involved:

The morning started out rather frantic. I woke up and rolled out of bed, my mind churning with thoughts, my stomach twisting in anticipation. The day I had been anticipating ever since I last squared off with my archnemesis, the loathsome Christopher Toepp. Words can not express my utter contempt for this vile pond scum who has infected our gracious city with his insidious presence. No, wait, I shouldn’t say that, pond scum is too good to be associated with the likes of him. The Commonwealth’s Attorney who has made it his personal crusade to champion fascism, to goose step all over freedom, to piss on the fires of liberation wherever he finds them smoldering in the hearts of the down-trodden and oppressed. Whether he’s ripping the Constitution to pieces or trying to pin ludicrous charges on innocent activists with no evidence this man has no problem manipulating a corrupt and broken judicial system in an attempt to destroy everything that is right and good in this world.

I only had a few hours to prepare for this battle and I knew if I was to have any hope of survival my wits would have to be razor-sharp and I had to have my thoughts in order. The odds were stacked against us. None of our group has any legal experience, we knew that they had the advantage of fighting us in their home terrain. Court procedures and legal terms are the province of their lands, a land which seems foreign and strange to us. A land where an archaic language based on dead tongues and centuries of antiquated  jurisprudence reign supreme. There is no respect for the kind of organic interpersonal communication and connection that we thrive and grow on, here rhetoric and carefully structured arguments are the only thing that matter. I stocked up on energy drinks and brought my highlighter to bear as I reread the court cases I have read over and over again over the past few months. Trying to sift through the lengthy opinions of so-called Justices who dedicate their lives to passing final judgement on people who they don’t even know, it is not an easy task trying to translate and comprehend their tangled webs of legal jargon. I had managed to find a few cases that provided us a solid shield against the venomous fangs of that detestable man, Christopher Toepp. The case of Shuttlesworth v. the City of Birmingham, a shimmering gem of hope buried deep in a quagmire of court decisions that have chipped away at our liberties over the years. In the case the court for once defended the Constitution and stated quite clearly that city ordinances do not have the authority to rob us of our natural liberties. They stated quite clearly that city governments do not have the authority to write vague laws to restrict our ability to speak freely and that the power to limit speech can not be vested in a single authority with no guidelines or chance for appeal. It even goes a step further and states quite clearly that when people are faced with such unconstitutional and illegitimate laws that they may disregard them entirely and express themselves freely, for no governing authority has the right to strip us of our thoughts and beliefs.

To understand this monumental court case you must understand the time and place which it arose from. It was in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, a state which had become infested to its core with virulent racism. Terrorists rode through the dark of night wearing white hoods and carrying burning crosses, savage cops viciously beat down anyone who so much as questioned the racist regime that rigidly created rifts and divides throughout society. (more…)

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective will be distributing this zine around Richmond and the Richmond Occupation over the coming days. But you can check this out online here:

http://zinelibrary.info/security-culture

Here is the online version of a text about Security Culture. Its really basic, but a great introduction for people who haven’t gone through a Security Culture workshop before. Lookout for upcoming Security Culture Workshops by the Anarchist Black Cross

 

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will be starting to attend martial arts trainings as part of a promotion of self defense. We will be going to our first one on Saturday October 22th. Folks who would like a ride out there  should meet at 2005 Barton Avenue no later at 2:45pm.Call 804 303 5449 or email rvaabc@gmail.com if you have any questions.

We changed our original plans so as to not conflict with the TRAP protest on October 15th from 1-3pm in Monroe Park or the beginning of the Occupy Richmond movement at 4pm in Monroe Park.

Folks from the Order of the 7 Hills will be at the Richmond Zine Fest on October 8th if you would like to talk to them more about their practice.

http://www.order7hills.com

More on the Order of the 7 Hills:

We are a martial arts club focusing on self defense, fitness, and spiritual growth in the western tradition.  We work self defense and fitness drills, box, wrestle, practice Vigny Canne (stick fighting), and much more.
Our goal is to develop and nurture physically fit and spiritually fulfilled men and women capable of making the world a better place for themselves and all living things.  And to have a fun time doing it.
We meet outdoors at West End Manor Civic Association, 8600 Lakefront Drive, Henrico, VA 23294-6100, Tuesdays 7:00 to 8:30 PM and Saturdays 3:30 to 5:00 PM.  Feel free to stop by to observe or try out a class.  For complete membership information see our Join page.

There was another meeting for the Occupy Richmond plan last night at 4pm in Monroe Park. The next get together will be on Thursday October 13that 5:30 pm in Monroe Park. The Occupation will begin on October 15th at 4pm. Everyone will meet in Monroe Park. We will then decide on the location for the occupation and then travel as a group there.

At the meeting on Sunday, the group discussed non-violence as a policy, sobriety of the space and what that might mean, possible locations for the occupation, and then split into working groups to start thinking about logistics.

Members of the Wingnut passed out a couple pieces of literature that we felt were relevant to the dialogue about Occupations-

Dear Occupiers: A Letter From Anarchists can be read here:

http://anarchistnews.org/node/15501

America is Already Occupied can be read here:

http://earthspiritandanarchy.blogspot.com/2011/10/america-is-already-occupied-its-time-to.html

Please bring supplies you can carry with you to the meeting on October 15th. Gear that might be really useful to anyone planning on participating in an occupation:

bandanas soaked in apple cider vinegar or lime juice (in ziploc baggies) for dealing with tear gas – goggles – milk of magnesia – apple cider vinegar – ear plugs – pen – paper – markers – ID – tents – tarps – blankets – coats – water bottles – food – snacks – games – books – notebooks – cameras – video cameras – chargers – cell phones – medical supplies – medications you take and the prescriptions for them – flashlights – headlamps – batteries – bandanas – hats – banner material – paint – comfortable walking shoes – personal hygiene products – things to share – music – reading material – material for making signs – markers – ponchos/raincoats – herbal teas – vitamins/supplements – comfort food – things that help you feel better when you are stressed etc.

Things NOT to bring: weapons, drugs, alcohol, bad attitudes, expensive things, fragile things

We would also like to remind people that the state of Virginia has a no-mask law, so wearing a mask that conceals your face can result in FELONY charges.

The Richmond Occupation will be a SOBER space- so no drugs or alcohol or people who are inebriated. This policy is not meant to be exclusive, but to help protect the participants from the police and uncomfortable situations. People who smoke tobacco are asked to be respectful of others, sticking to designated smoking areas that will be created/ staying out of designated non-smoking areas, and picking up cigarette butts.

There will be a medical working group, folks with a variety of experience levels who are willing to help keep everyone safe and comfortable. There will be at least one medic station during the occupation, as well as mobile medics during marches. If you have medical skills you would like to provide during the occupation please come to the medic station. They will be using shirts/armbands/ flags with the red cross symbol on them to identify them. These medics are all donating their time and knowledge and are acting as good samaritans.

There will also be a safe spaces group at the occupation. These folks will have identification symbols (I believe heart armbands) to make them recognizable. They will be available to help mediate, and to help people under mental/emotional stress and difficulty. Their station will be set up in proximity to the medic station.

There are plans being worked on for getting lawyers, legal observers, Know Your Rights trainings throughout the occupation, and more.

Other groups include folks planning to work on; (more…)