Richmond Anarchist Jeremy Hawthorne, Felony Trial Feb. 1st

Calling all beards for a BEARD BLOC on Feb. 1st!

Jeremy Hawthorne, arrested September 5th, 2011 while on a Copwatch patrol, is going on trial before a jury for allegedly slashing 7 tires on Virginia Commonwealth University vehicles, including two police cars. The charge is Destruction of State Property > $1,000, a Class 6 Felony.The case is clearly politically motivated; as a part of Richmond Copwatch, Jeremy is one of several who have been targeted by Richmond police in past months for their work against police brutality and poor jail conditions in the city. The notoriously heavy-handed RPD and its officers, ever the subject of much controversy, have bristled and taken a particularly antagonistic attitude with activists, protestors, and copwatchers, reacting in a consistently aggressive, violent, and reckless manner. Accountability, on the other hand, has been elusive.

The “evidence” used to indict Jeremy is insubstantial, and many details surrounding testimonies evidence gathering, and the circumstances leading to Jeremy’s arrest, are questionable at best.
Commonwealth Attorney Christopher Toepp is handling the case per his personal request, intent on a full conviction. Toepp has had a long year of high-profile cases, having been on the prosecution for the Monroe Park Occupation, and the African burial ground demonstration. If Chris Toepp has his way, Jeremy would face 5 years in prison.
The description of the person depicted in the so-far unreleased surveillance footage is incredibly mundane: a beard, a hat (maybe camo, brown, or black?), tattoos, a black sleeveless or rolled-up shirt, a bag, and a step-thru frame bike. In Richmond, this could easily be thousands of people. The alleged acts occurred on August 23rd, the Monday proceeding Best Friends Day, meaning hundreds more out-of-town hipster look-alikes were wild in the streets.

We encourage all those who think they may roughly fit this description to come to the hearing, inside the courtroom and out, as part of a “beard bloc.”

Folks who wish to come out in support- the hearing will be in courtroom 305 of the John Marshall Court Building, 400 N. Ninth St., Richmond, Virginia; 9:30AM Wednesday, February 1st.

For more information, you can contact rvaabc@gmail.com and check richmondlegalsupport.wordpress.com for updates.
We ask all to donate to his legal fund, via the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross (2005 Barton Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222).

Result of Hunter’s Court Today, Donations Towards Court Fees Requested

Today in court, Hunter Singleton accepted a plea deal offered by the prosecutor. The spurious charges of possession of a controlled substance had been previously dropped. Today, the prosecutor also dropped the Felony charge of wearing a mask. In exchange, Hunter took an Alford Plea (basically not saying you are guilty but recognizing that there is evidence against you) to a misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct charge. He was given 90 days, with 87 suspended. He had already served 2 days after his arrest, and will serve 1 more day on Friday.

Hunter has over 200 dollars in court fees, and needs help to pay these. Hopefully there will be an upcoming fundraiser, but in the mean time, if you just want to donate a few dollars towards his costs it would be greatly appreciated. Please get in touch if you want to donate money, or if you have an idea or venue or band for a fundraising event! rvaabc@gmail.com or 2005 Barton Avenue

It is excellent news and a great relief to many of Richmond’s activists, anarchists, and Occupiers that Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton have faired relatively well regarding their charges with resulted from a November 9th Occupy Richmond March. The use of felony charges seems to be a scare tactic by the Richmond Police Department. Participants in the march were using bandannas soaked in vinegar to protect from potential tear gas being used by the RPD (they have a tendency to use tear gas in crowd situations on a fairly regular basis). The felony charge of wearing a mask is a terrible law, and certainly one for anyone participating in political actions to keep in mind. Hopefully one day Virginia will be free of this repressive statute.

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