Some Much is Happening!

There have been so many awful and awesome things happening over the last few weeks, its been really hard to find the time to update this blog. Apologies to everyone who pays attention. Here are just a few of the things I could think of:

Friday, February 17th – The people of VA are getting hit hard this session, with repressive bills targeting immigrants, people of color, female-bodied folks, queer people, and prisoners. But there is resistance! About 50 people gathered to rally in support of immigrants and their families, and to protest the current bills that would require police to check the immigration status of people at the point of arrest, anyone who is convicted of a crime and needs an interpreter for their trial to pay for their interpreter, among other bills. Many of these bills were killed in committee, except for the immigration status check, which is still being debated. Please try and make it to the committee sessions if you can. No Body is Illegal!

Monday, February 20th – Almost 1200 people held a (technically) illegal, silent protest at the Capitol Building here in Richmond, in response to the ridiculously oppressive legislation aimed at female-bodied folks this session. Some of the bills would have required an invasive transvaginal ultrasound before a person could get an abortion, and another would have classified an embryo as having “personhood”, effectively outlawing abortion, many contraceptives, and requiring that a miscarriage be reported WITHIN AN HOUR for investigation. Because of the unprecedented gathering, and the continued presence throughout the rest of the week, most of these bills were then pulled or tabled until next year. It feels good to win sometimes, don’t it? Even if you know the war ain’t over.

Tuesday, February 21st – On a more personal level, our friend got his charges dismissed! The cops had no evidence, and it was obvious they were trying to trump up charges because he is an outspoken critic of the RPD and a former resident of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective House. Congrats! Jeremy, however, is still weighing his options while awaiting his sentencing hearing on April 6th. Please try and make it.

February 29th – Shut Down the Corporations! ALEC Street Theatre Production. Occupy Richmond and other groups will be participating in a National Day of Action called for by Occupy Portland, to highlight corporations who are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council. The day will kick off at 12pm at the Richmond Times Dispatch building at 3rd and Franklin, continue at the Altria Chemical Technologies Building at 5th and Jackson, and finally at 4pm at the Federal Court Building at 7th and Broad Street. For more details, visit their blog here, or the Facebook Event Page.

ONGOING – The Living Wage Campaign at UVA in Charlottesville, VA has kicked into high gear, with 12 students going on hunger strike, after an almost 12 year struggle to get a living wage for UVA workers (mostly employed by Aramark). There have been rallies, protests, and press conferences throughout the almost 2 week long hunger strike. Please give them support however you can.

March 2nd-4th – There will be an amazing 2 day workshop out in Faber, VA for student organizers called Bring It! Student Organizers Weekend at the Wayside Center for Popular Education. Scholarships are available!

March 23rd – 25th – The Wayside Center is hosting another important workshop, Interpreting for Social Justice. This will be a 2 day course on interpreter ethics, skills, and using equipment to aide in interpretation. This is also hoping to create a cadre skilled interpreters for social justice movements throughout the state. Please attend if you can!

I hope that covers a lot of what happened since our last update. There was much more depressing legislative news. A bill that would have outlawed the shackling of inmates while giving birth was struck down and a law that allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples was passed. These are awful blows to prisoners, female-bodied folks, and the LGBTQ community. The fight isn’t over for any of these bills, with legislators threatening to introduce similar bills next year, and resistance forces mounting to challenge ones that have passed. Keep up the good fight, and see y’all in the libraries and in the streets.

– N

~ by flyingbrickrva on February 28, 2012.

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