Tonight the Occupy Richmond movement held an event at Gallery 5; screening movies about the Monroe Park Occupation back in March, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Occupy Richmond Movement. Afterwards, the folks who were at the event decided to divide into 3 groups and headed out on marches around the city.
One of the 3 groups of Occupy protesters headed towards Monroe Park, where there was a considerable police force waiting. While the protesters stayed on the sidewalk, having already changed their plans regarding which space to occupy, the Richmond Police Department decided to attack anyways.
People who were at Monroe Park are saying that Eric Scott was singled out from the crowd, and dragged off of the sidewalk by police. Then, Hunter Singleton was also dragged off. They were both handcuffed and put into a wagon. We have heard that they were allegedly charged with something regarding Virginia’s mask laws. Keep in mind that the police can and will change one’s charges at any time, that they can detain you for up to 72 hours with no charges, etc.
Many people involved with the Occupy Richmond movement had prepared for tonight’s marches by putting apple cider vinegar on bandannas in case of the police using tear gas on protesters.Participants received word of school buses waiting by the park, and an aggressive police presence. They had reasons to be concerned for their health and a bandanna soaked in vinegar can help to prevent bodily harm caused by tear gas.
Folks at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective will be waiting by the phone in case either Eric or Hunter call from jail, and we will do what we can to bail or bond them out as quickly as possible, and provide whatever other solidarity might be needed. If you need to get in touch with someone at the Wingnut for the next 24 hours or so, please call 804 300 0023 INSTEAD of the landline, just so we don’t risk keeping that line busy when someone might be calling from jail. Stay tuned for more updates about how you can help.
When we last heard the Occupy Richmond group had settled on Festival Park, next to the Richmond Coliseum on 6th street as the new Occupation location. We would encourage folks interested to head down that way and support the occupation.