Virginia People’s Assembly, January 14th

Join us for the fourth annual Virginia People’s Assembly with the theme, “Jobs, Peace & Justice!” at St. Stephen’s Koinonia Church, 505 N. 33rd St., Richmond, VA 23223.

A networking conference (10:00 am-4:00), followed by a march (5:00-6:00 pm) to the Virginia General Assembly and then an indoor rally (7:00-9:00 pm).

Lunch and dinner are provided.

Each January for the last three years, progressive forces from around Virginia have gathered in Richmond on the Saturday before the opening session of the General Assembly to tell the legislators “Don’t Balance the Budget on the Backs of Virginia’s Working People!” This demand is especially important for state workers, whose pension fund has been raided to balance recent budgets.

While many organizations hold lobbying efforts during the GA sessions, what distinguishes the VPA is bringing all the issues and struggles together in one united movement. Trade unionists get to hear about the issues facing immigrant workers. Anti-war activists listen to reports of struggles of prisoners. Young activists benefit from the insights of the elders, who in turn learn from the innovative spirit of the youth. No just cause is left behind. The VPA raises the broad range of issues facing our state’s poor and working people, Black and other communities of color, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, students and youth, veterans and more.

One particular focus is the plight of prisoners. In 1995, Virginia abolished parole. And Virginia is one of only two states in the country that, without action by the governor, permanently denies voting rights and other civil rights to those convicted of a felony, which is a new form of the Jim Crow-era discriminatory laws. Each year the VPA encourages support for bills in the General Assembly being promoted by the prisoner advocacy organizations Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (R.I.H.D.) and Prisoners and Families for Equal Rights and Justice (PAFERJ). In the same way, the VPA encourages support for all struggles raised at the networking conference.

Endorsers (as of Dec. 6, 2011)

ARMBRUST, BREANNE – Community Activist (Richmond)
BINTA, KWAME – President, Prosser-Truth Division #456, UNIA-ACL; Regional Representative, November Coalition
BRANCH-KENNEDY, LILLIE “MS. K” – Executive Director, Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (R.I.H.D.)
RAIN BURROUGHS – Industrial Workers of the World, World Can’t Wait (Richmond)
COALITION FOR JUSTICE (Blacksburg)
DEFENDERS FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE & EQUALITY (Richmond, VA)
EDWARDS, ANA – Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
FLYING BRICK LIBRARY (Richmond)
HARRIS, REV. BENJAMIN – PASTOR, ST. STEPHEN’S KOINONIA CHURCH (RICHMOND)
HOUSE OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Norfolk)
JUAREZ, RICARDO – General Coordinator, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras / Mexicans without Borders (Prince William County)
HUNTER, RODNEY M. – Pastor, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (Richmond)
OCCUPY BLACKSBURG
OCCUPY RICHMOND
OCCUPY VIRGINIA BEACH
OCCUPY VIRGINIA TECH
PALUMBO, TOM – Activist (Hamptom Roads)
PLOWSHARE PEACE CENTER (Roanoke)
PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF AMERICA – VIRGINIA
RICHMOND REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM PROJECT
ROYANIAN, SIMIN, (Co-founder, Women for Peace & Justice in Iran, Fairfax)
SCHARF, ADRIA – Director, Richmond Peace Education Center
SHABAZZ, QUEEN ZAKIA – Director, United Parents Against Lead National, Inc
SOCIALIST PARTY OF CENTRAL VIRGINIA
SOUTHERNERS ON NEW GROUND (SONG)
THE SOUTHSIDE ALLIANCE (Charlottesville)
SWANSON, DAVID – Author, “When the World Outlawed War” (Charlottesville)
TAYLOR, JANET “QUEEN NZINGA” – Trustee, Prisoners and Families for Equal Rights and Justice (PAFERJ)
WAYSIDE CENTER FOR POPULAR EDUCATION (Faber)
WILAYTO, PHIL – Editor, The Virginia Defender
WILLIAMS, ANN – activist, Hampton Roads
YATES, KENNETH – Industrial Workers of the World (Richmond)

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~ by flyingbrickrva on January 4, 2012.

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