Mayor Announces Plan For Shockoe Bottom Stadium, but Not Without Resistance!
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:
If you are a Richmond resident, please call City Hall, letting them know where you stand: