• 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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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

 

Virginia Felons- pictures from upcoming film

Follow this link to see pictures from Mark Strandquist’s upcoming short film:

http://cargocollective.com/markstrandquist/2306459/virginia-felons

This project is a direct response to the arrests in made in Richmond, VA November 10th, 2011. Two individuals, one a student, one a local activist, were arrested and charged with a class 6 felony for concealing their identity with handkerchiefs.

Crimes which fall under a class 6 felony include;

-assault and battery
-recruiting juveniles for criminal street gangs
-property destruction of $1000 or more

and

-concealing of one’s identity

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. The film will 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.

Movie Screening to Support Eric- Next Saturday!!

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

Shop for a Reason at Rumors for Eric- Nov. 28th

Rumors boutique will be hosting a Shop For a Reason event on Monday November 28th from 3pm to 7pm.

20% of all sales that happen during those hours will be donated to Eric’s legal defense fund.

Eric Scott is a Richmond activist, anarchist, and Food Not Bombs participant. He is facing felony charges for wearing a mask during an Occupy Richmond march on the sidewalk on November 9th. Many people participating in that march had bandannas and other cloths over their faces, soaked in vinegar for protection in case the police used tear gas.

Come support a local business owned by two amazing women who support the Richmond community in so many ways.

Rumors is located at 404 North Harrison Street near VCU.

More information on Eric’s case at http://www.richmondlegalsupport.org

Solidarity March in Charlottesville on Monday

On Monday:

In response to the violent arrests of Hunter Singleton and Eric Scott on the evening of November 9th during a march in Richmond, Occupy Charlottesville will be holding a solidarity demonstration along the Downtown Mall on Monday November 14th around 7:30 pm after the General Assembly in Lee Park on Market street.

Eric and Hunter are facing felony charges for wearing masks during the march, something that most everyone in the march was doing as a protective measure against tear gas and police surveillance. This move shows that the police singled them out for being openly involved in activism and anarchist organizing.

We march in Charlottesville to show that solidarity with those imprisoned is possible doesn’t matter where we live and to strengthen the regional movement to occupy public spaces and all spaces. We march also to stand by the age old conviction that “An injury to one is an injury to all” among those who resist systemic oppression and injustice. To Richmond mayor Dwight Jones and Police Chief Bryan Norwood we want to show that even outside Richmond, people are watching and have each other’s backs. To the Charlottesville government and police department we also say that we have comrades all along the region that will support each other and organize to keep our city’s occupation going for the long haul.

Folks from Richmond who want to carpool to Charlottesville should call 804 300 0023 or email wingnut_collective@yahoo.com We will probably leave from the Wingnut around 5pm. Contributions for the cost of fuel would be appreciated

Call to Support Local Activists!

Hello Friends!

This is a draft of a letter concerning a pattern of discriminatory police repression and intimidation of local Richmond activists. If your organization supports the Occupy Richmond movement, the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, causes for social justice, or our civil rights in general, please consider endorsing, posting on your websites, sending out on your email lists, and sending the following letter to the addresses below:

letters@styleweekly.com, letters@timesdispatch.com, letters@richmondfreepress.com, editor@commonwealthtimes.com, editor@rvanews.com, editor@richmag.com, “Kevin/GayRVA” , news@richmondfreepress.com, news@timesdispatch.com, news@wric.com, newstips@wtvr.com, news@wrir.org, newsroom@nbc12.com, Reva.trammell@richmondgov.com, “Robertson, Ellen F. – Council Member” , bruce.tyler@richmondgov.com, Marty.Jewell@richmondgov.com, charles.samuels@richmondgov.com, Kathy.graziano@richmondgov.com, ASKTHEMAYOR@richmondgov.com, “chris hilbert” , doug.conner@richmondgov.com, cynthia.newbille@richmondgov.com, BRYAN.NORWOOD@RICHMONDGOV.COM

Get the word out and help support local organizers! If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

Thank You!

To Whom It May Concern:

We the undersigned would like to express our concern that members of the Richmond Police Department may be singling out a group of Richmond activists for harassment. Specifically Richmond’s anarchist community, including the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is an anarchist organization based in Richmond’s Southern Barton Heights neighborhood on the Northside. Its members are involved in helping to feed homeless people through their support of the free weekly Food Not Bombs meal in Monroe Park, facilitating a neighborhood grocery distribution, and encouraging correspondence with prisoners. They are also active in local anti-war, civil rights, LGBTQ, and womens reproductive freedom movements.

Wingnuts also participate in a program called CopWatch, in which volunteers observe and record police activity and watch for abuses. The program has been particularly active during the First Fridays art walk, which has seen encounters between police officers and Black youth.

While participating in September’s First Friday monthly CopWatch patrol, Jeremy Hawthorne, a member of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective, was arrested and is currently awaiting trial on fallacious charges.

On Nov. 9, two Richmond anarchists, Hunter Singleton and Wingnut member Eric Scott, were arrested while marching around Monroe Park with hundreds of members and supporters of Occupy Richmond. The march took place 10 days after a massive police operation, carried out at 1:15 in the morning, that shut down the Occupy Richmond encampment at Kanawha Plaza.

On the evening of the march, people were concerned that the police, again out in large numbers, might use tear gas against the marchers. As a result, many marchers wore kerchiefs, scarves, or other cloths soaked in vinegar around their necks or faces. And yet, only Eric and Hunter were arrested, handcuffed, and charged with wearing a mask in public. Video footage of the arrests show no resistance on the part of Eric or Hunter.

All of these cases carry felony charges, which following a conviction would severely curtail the accused’s rights and make finding employment an even more difficult prospect in the current job market.

Our concern is that at least some members of the Richmond Police Department may have decided that the Wingnut and anarchist activists are fair game for harassment. Given the volatility of the times – high unemployment, deep anxieties over the economy and growing concerns about police conduct, as in the department’s overreaction to the Final Four street gatherings around Virginia Commonwealth University, we the undersigned organizations and concerned individuals of the Richmond area hereby call on Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood to make it clear to all members of the Richmond Police Department that discriminatory treatment of members of the public, regardless of political beliefs or affiliations, will not be tolerated.

Signed:

Summary of 1st Court Preceedings Nov. 10th

From Thursday November 10th:

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.