• 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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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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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.

Volunteer Tomorrow for upcoming video on VA Mask Law

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