The Richmond Powerstructure is Fracturing

•May 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So, there has been a ton of buzz in the media and across the city this week regarding developments around the Shockoe Stadium plan and the crumbling public schools. There have been ever changing reports coming from city council, the mayors office, developers, and others. Its all a little confusing, but what we have taken away from things is that the chaos internally regarding the corporate developers and the city is a sign that things on their side are beginning to fall apart. WE ARE WINNING. Another group of developers announced an alternative plan for a stadium on Boulevard instead of in Shockoe, and combined with the actions of public school students organizing against horrible conditions in the school system*, the powers that be have been thrown into a frenzy.

Friends at the Alliance For Progressive Values have done a really good synopsis of the developments over the past week, and so instead of trying to duplicate work thats already been done, we suggest you check it out here, on their blog:

apvonlineblog.wordpress.com

 

Love and Rage!

*please visit the Facebook page, Presence RPS, to submit photos of poor conditions in the schools. This is an ongoing effort by some of the students to bring awareness to the conditions of the schools. Please include the name of the school where the picture was taken. You are welcome to submit anonymously.

DEAR STUDENTS

•May 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

These pamphlets showed up on our porch this morning:

 

A Solidarity Letter From a Few Anarchists

To the students who walked out on April 28th:

First and foremost, wow. We could not be more impressed. Your actions and ability to articulate your reasons for acting have been inspiring and reinvigorating for all of us who might see something of ourselves in your struggle. Only a few of us knew about your plans to walkout, but once it happened the buzz did not stop. People are still talking about it. Our hats are off to you!

Why are we writing you?

You might ask, why? Why do these anonymous weirdos that call themselves “anarchists” want to write an open letter to public school students? Who are these people? What do we have in common?

Those of us that discussed your actions and decided to write this letter can’t speak for everyone, but we can touch on some common ideas that we think reflect at least the general sentiment that is felt, not just by “anarchists”, but by many folks who were inspired by what you did.

Richmond is fed up. Residents of this city are tired of the ever expanding push of developers and other capitalists to control and shape this city into a playground for the upper classes and tech elite. This can be seen in the poor funding and maintenance of schools, the increasing presence of police and criminalization of youth (see: Targeted Enforcement Zone), the funding for sports stadiums and economic initiatives that do not benefit the people who live in the immediate area, the crackdown on DIY and self-made cultural spaces through alliances like CAPS, the noise ordinances, the leasing of public spaces like Monroe Park, the harsher and harsher penalties for petty vandalism and of course, the building of a new jail…. *ahem*, ”Justice Center.”

Mayor Jones wants a Tier One City

This reflects a trend in hundreds of cities across the country. This is coded language. The image brought to mind, and in their countless powerpoint presentations, is one of an urban “Downtown Short Pump”. One that is sterile, overwhelmingly white, rich, and suburban. We are forced to imagine the city we love as a breeding ground for khaki shorts wearing young professionals that only consume culture, and never create it. Never participating but always observing, policing, and obeying. This is not what has made Richmond a place that so many different people love to live in.

Keep Struggling!

As we are sure you know, this is not over. The pillars of power are being shaken in this former Capitol of the Confederacy. Your actions have not only driven the public eye to look deeper into the problems of the school system, but your connecting of the issues around the Stadium Plan have propelled that struggle forward as well. The Mayor and City Council are on the defensive. They can only look like fools in the face of pointed and articulate criticism from the school students they supposedly care so much about.

We want to meet you!

We have heard rumors that you were threatened with “consequences” for taking action, and we want to offer our solidarity and aid in any fight against repression you may end up facing. We want to meet you. We work and play in this city as well, and it isn’t hard to find us. We are your neighbours. You may already know some of us. This is an open invitation to you: come find us at shows, libraries, cooperatives, art studios, protests, coffee shops, corner stores, and parks.

After you graduate, whether you go off to college, move to a different city, or whatever path you walk, don’t forget what you have already won. Take the skills you have learned in this struggle elsewhere and keep fighting. These same forces that are keeping your schools in disrepair are doing similar things in every corner of the world. You have joined a tradition and a struggle that is international and stretches throughout history. 

We welcome you! We are so happy to see you!

So often we look to struggles elsewhere to be inspired and feel connected, and your actions have reminded us to look in our own backyards. We applaud you. We thank you. We can’t wait to meet more of you.

In love and rage,

Some Friendly Neighbourhood Anarchists

Nazis At the Easter Parade?

•May 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Nazis At the Easter Parade?

photo by a local anti-fascist. Please keep an eye out. After being confronted about a small “SS” tattoo, they lifted their shirts to reveal swastikas on their chest and gave the fascist salute.

Don’t Reform Prisons, Abolish Them

•January 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Mayor Announces Plan For Shockoe Bottom Stadium, but Not Without Resistance!

•November 12, 2013 • 4 Comments
Ten AM on a Monday morning is a hard sell to get people to come out for a City announcement. Despite the fact that growing numbers of people find themselves working service jobs with irregular hours, apathy with political engagement and night shift sleeping schedules are large hurdles to anyone trying to show opposition during City government events. For the City of Richmond, this seems to be something they increasingly count on, as a way to appear “engaged with the community” and never have to face organized resistance to whatever half-assed attempt at “revitalization” they scheme up.  So when 80 to 100 people turn out on a chilly November morning to oppose the proposal to put a baseball stadium in historic Shockoe Bottom, its easy to see that the City is striking a chord with the larger community, and it isn’t a good one. Add to that the broad spectrum of participants; young and old, students and families, white, black, and brown, then its easy to see that in the Capitol of the Confederacy, people are really fed up with the City government and the small group of developers who call the shots in this City. Once the site of the largest slave-trading district north of New Orleans, Shockoe Bottom has been a contested area for decades now, with its close proximity to downtown, historic buildings and iconic architecture. It sits at the juncture of diverse and sometimes antagonistic communities and commercial districts. In addition to the slave trade (and its subsequent resistance), Shockoe boasts histories like that of The Bread Riots, when mostly working class Southern women took their share of food and clothing during the Civil War, nearly storming the Confederate White House. More modern times have witnessed all sorts of displacement and police violence, all aiming to make the area more “comfortable” for newer, wealthier, business interests trying to set up shop close to downtown. A new stadium has shown to be opposed by more than just residents of Richmond, but the sports fans from surrounding areas whom the Mayor claims to want to bring into the center of the city. Fans from outside Richmond prefer the location of the current stadium because of its close and easy access to interstate 95, and its relative low traffic congestion, even during rush hour. This has been shown time and time again to be an all around bad idea for the communities that call Richmond home.
Please keep checking these sites for updates on the struggle. There is a vote planned at the City Council meeting on November 25th at 6pm. ITS VITAL THAT AS MANY PEOPLE WHO CAN COME ARE THERE. Please help spread the word!
NO STADIUM ON SACRED GROUND!

For more information:

No Stadium in Shockoe Bottom!

Facebook Event Page

If you are a Richmond resident, please call City Hall, letting them know where you stand:

Richmond City Hall Contacts

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The June 2013 Uprisings in Brazil: A Presentation by Participants

•October 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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We here at the Flying Brick Library are excited to be co-hosting this event with the William Byrd Community House!

When: November 17th, 7pm

Where: The William Byrd Community House, 224 S. Cherry St. in Oregon Hill

The June 2013 Uprisings in Brazil
A presentation by participants

Last summer, Brazil exploded in protests unlike anything in living memory. At the peak, a hundred cities participated in fierce clashes with the authorities; a movement that began with demonstrations against public transit fare increases and became a veritable popular uprising. Yet as the middle class joined in, nationalist
and reactionary narratives muddied the message.

Despite this, the movement succeeded in blocking the fare increases in many cities, demonstrating the effectiveness of new forms of struggle without parties or unions. Autonomous and horizontal groups forced other issues to the surface, including the consequences of the upcoming World Cup and Olympic games in Brazil.

In this presentation, Brazilian anarchists will describe the context from which the events of 2013 emerged, and explain their impact on other ongoing struggles. What conclusions are Brazilians drawing from their experiences, and what can North Americans learn from them?

For more background:
http://crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/brazilpt1.php
http://crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/brazilpt2.php

Facebook Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/728696440492566/

Volunteers needed!

•October 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hello! Not many updates for a while, we know. We’ve been trying to take the summer slow here at your friendly neighborhood radical library.

Fall is in full swing here now! And that means we need more volunteers! So please! Stop by! Email us! Hit us up on Facebook! We want to meet you, chat about books and the state of radical politics in Richmond! And definitely drink lots of coffee and hot chocolate!

And don’t forget to come by for prisoner letter writing night, the 3rd Thursday of every month, 7pm. Supplies and snacks provided. This is a great chance to find out about political prisoners in the US, and remind our comrades that while they may be behind bars, they are not forgotten. We know their struggle continues, and so does ours!

Email: theflyingbrick@riseup.net

Address: The Flying Brick Library, 506 S Pine St. Richmond, Va. 23220

Open Hours: Mondays – 9am to 4pm, Thursdays – 4pm to 9pm

Find us on Facebook too!

 
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