• Planning a Protest? Plan Ahead for Legal Support!

    If you or your organization are planning a protest/rally/demo/action/vigil etc. in the Richmond area, consider contacting for legal support BEFORE you run into trouble. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure! Contact Richmond Copwatch to get trainings on Know Your Rights, and to get trained Copwatchers with video cameras to your event. sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or 804 303 5449 Contact Richmond Legal Observers to get a trained observer in a neon hat to come out to your event. Email - bakhtiarijj {at} vcu.edu We are working on getting a group of lawyers together who will be able to offer help/ advice/ contact/ and hopefully even representation to activists in Richmond. If you are a lawyer who would like to support social justice movements in the way please get in touch with the organizers of this website at rvaabc@gmail.com
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Hello Richmond!!!

Hello Fellow Activists, Organizers, Protesters, etc.
` We are writing to let you know about a resource currently being developed with the aim of supporting the Richmond activist scene.
This resource is the website Richmond Legal Support (www.richmondlegalsupport.org). The website is a project of the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross, a prison abolition and political prisoner support group.
Richmond Legal Support is intended to be a central point where activists from many different organizations can plug in when facing legal difficulties in order to centralize this information and keep folks from having to rebuild the wheel every time there is a protest that results in legal trouble.
The website will enable people from various movements to be able to submit write-ups or information they want written up about legal issues, cases, upcoming court dates, support campaigns for the arrested, funds needed etc.
Richmond Legal Support is a website created to serve as a clearinghouse for information on legal issues facing activists, organizers, and community members in Richmond which focus on civil liberties and/or social justice issues.
Richmond Legal Support has also been created to provide support for the activists, organizers, and community members in Richmond who are facing legal trouble and prison due to their participation and action around civil liberties and/or social justice issues.
Richmond Legal Support is also prepared to provide support to political prisoners from Richmond- helping with their cases, raising funds, and raising awareness. Fortunately, there are currently no explicitly political prisoners from Richmond. But if and when that day comes, Richmond Legal Support will be here to help.
We are also looking for ways that Richmond Legal Support can offer help to people before they get into legal trouble- hopefully finding ways to link people planning activist events to legal observers, copwatchers, and hopefully even lawyers before there is a legal issue.
If you would like to help run this website, get involved in a particular campaign for a Richmond legal case, offer a donation, offer your legal expertise, help organize, if you want you, your organization’s,  or someone you know’s legal issue to be covered, or if you have any questions please get in touch!
Email rvaabc@gmail.com with the subject “Richmond Legal Support” or call 804 303 5449
Thanks for all the amazing work you to do make Richmond a better place!

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Richmond Legal Support

Results from Jeremy’s Feb. 1st Trial (Late Update, sorry)

Today was Jeremy Hawthorne’s trial for charges brought against him back in September. Numerous posts on this website and others (www.richmondlegalsupport.org) detail the charges and circumstances around them. He was facing felony charges for vandalism that happened to 7 tires of VCU vehicles, including 2 cop cars in August.

Over 40 friends showed up to the court building today to show their love and support for Jeremy. It was clear that he is part of a large community that likes and appreciates him.

Unfortunately, today he was found guilty. There were many aspects of this case which were bogus, including the last minute cancellation of his lawyer, leaving him stranded with a public defender unfamiliar with the case. Jeremy was found guilty of Felony Destruction of State Property worth greater than 1000 dollars. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, and a fine of over 1300 dollars (the alleged cost of replacing the tires).

Fortunately, Jeremy is being allowed to remain out of jail until April 6th, when the details of his sentence will be decided in court. His lawyer will also hopefully be able to begin an appeal process before that date. We hope that court on April 6th and any future appeal dates go in Jeremy’s favor.

Our friend Kontra has written a very good article explaining in more detail the situation today in court, as well as the context which helps to better explain the overall case. Please take the time to check it out here:

http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/apolitical-politics/

Jeremy Hawthorne is an asset to the Richmond community, loved by many, friend to many, and will continue to be supported by these people and community, including us. Solidarity and hugs to Jeremy.

Support Protesters Arrested at Virginia Capital Earlier This Month

In case you haven’t heard, 33 people were arrested on Saturday March 3rd during a rally for women’s rights at the Virginia State Capital. The protest was one of a number of recent demonstrations held in Virginia to protest the oppressive proposed legislation which would severely inhibit women’s rights to reproductive freedom.

The people arrested on Saturday were held for hours in buses without access to food, water, or bathrooms. They were then later transferred to the Richmond City Lock Up where they were processed and released, late into the night. A group of supporters stayed outside of lock up the whole time, cheering as people were released and helping keep the spirits high with acts of solidarity.

They have been charged with unlawful assembly and trespass. They are facing up to 2 years for their participation in the demonstration at the capital.

Folks are collecting money to help out the arrestees with all of their legal fees. If you are able, please donate here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/179709?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150723832110505_22452582_10150724878410505#f16ba7792c

Upcoming court dates for the arraignments of the folks arrested on Saturday are: Friday March 9th, Wednesday March 14th, Thursday March 15th, Friday March 16th, and Monday March 19th all at 9:00am at the Manchester Court House at 920 Hull St. Keep in mind that cell phones, weapons, knives, guns, food, drink, etc. are not allowed in court rooms.

Here is a link to a video by amazing Richmond journalist/photojournalist/documentation Kontra of the events. Includes police violence: M3: Richmond Women Take the Capital http://player.vimeo.com/video/37925933?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0

There were many amazing anarchists and feminists who have been organizing and participating in these protests and this movement against the patriarchical system. The movement might not yet be revolutionary, but many of the participants are. Keep struggling, keep fighting!

The pieces of legislation being proposed right now in Virginia are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problematic, dangerous, and oppressive situation faced by women world wide. Misogyny abounds, and male privilege continues to dominate. The movement for women’s rights must continue after the legislative session, and beyond the political realm. Stopping pieces of law can be seen as a huge victory, and will certainly have a positive impact for tens of thousands of women in Virginia. But we have to push further, and gain more ground, so we aren’t fighting for the same turf every year. We need to consider intersectionality of oppression, the oppression inherent in the capitalist system, the problems of hierarchy, etc.  A better world IS possible. And Virginia has the people power to make it happen!

For a world where these sorts of laws aren’t even imaginable! For a world where women control their own lives, health, and reproductive choices! For a world where no one can make decisions about our bodies or sexuality for us! For a world without politicians, bosses, or cops!

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.

Do Not Cover Your Face- zine by Gary Llama

Gary Llama drew a zine in response to the arrests of Eric and Hunter-

Do Not Cover Your Face

Here is a link to the zine!

http://www.archive.org/stream/DoNotCoverYourFaceGaryLlama/donotcoveryourface#page/n19/mode/2up

And to Gary’s site:

http://ovolr.debackle.org/donotcoveryourface.html