May Day Organizers Need Help!

Police Repression and Censorship in RVA:
A coalition of local activist groups plans to hold a parade in Richmond this Saturday, May 1, to commemorate May Day. On March 16, 2010, Fellow Worker Kenneth Yates, one of the event organizers, submitted a parade permit application to Sgt. Selander of the RPD Special Events Division. According to the relevant city ordinance (Chapter 102, Article X of the City Code, pertaining to Assemblies, Demonstrations, and Parades), the police should have responded within five days. Instead, nearly a month went. On April 14, Sgt. Selander informed Mr. Yates that, in order to receive a parade permit, his group would have to pay for two off-duty police officers. According to Attorney Rebecca K. Glenberg of the Virginia ACLU, who has been in touch with both Mr. Yates and Sgt. Selander on this matter, the city code does not include any authority for the police to impose such a requirement.

Sign the letter here: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/free_speech_for_richmonds_may_day

Dear Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood:

I am writing to protest the fact that the Richmond Police Department is attempting to deny a parade permit to organizers of a Richmond May Day Parade planned for this coming Saturday, first by failing to respond to the organizers’ permit application within the time limit imposed by city law, and second by demanding that the organizers first agree to hire two off-duty police officers, a requirement not included in the relevant city ordinance. I urge the City of Richmond to do the right thing, respect the First Amendment right to peacefully assemble and immediately grant the parade permit.

Sincerely,

The Parade is scheduled to continue. Folks who want to participate should show up at 4pm in Clay Abner Park to rally and parade out onto Broad Street (or the sidewalk)! There are press conferences and pickets being planned for tomorrow and possibly Friday, keep up to date at http://www.maydayrva.org or follow them on Facebook. And don’t forget the workshops Friday night at the William Byrd Community House in Oregon Hill and Saturday at Gallery 5 in Jackson Ward!
Solidarity, Forever
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~ by flyingbrickrva on April 29, 2010.

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