Tag Archives: Food Not Bombs

Staying in RVA

16 Dec

Because the roof of the Wingnut needs fixin, and half of our property tax is due in mid January, I am not going to New Orleans this winter. Which will be the first winter in a while in which that is the case. But there is important stuff going on in Richmond with the Anarchist Black Cross and Food Not Bombs etc.

Today it is supposed to snow and they are shutting down everything. Sounds like a good day to bunker down in Southern Barton Heights. I painted signs yesterday for the new radical lending library, the anarchist black cross, and wingnut open open hours. Don’t know what I’ll be doing in the snow today.

Come visit Richmond and the Wingnut, since I can’t go anywhere.

Richmond Tent City

23 Nov

This is a section in my upcoming book, The South is Still Rising. If it doesn’t totally make sense out of context it is because they are parter of a much larger piece about activism and anarchism in Richmond.

But I figured, given the current situation in Monroe Park, and the campaign to keep it open throughout renovations, it might be good to get the information out, and show people that the park has been occupied before.

Tent City

One of the bigger events organized by the General Strike Collective was a Tent City in Monroe Park in 1998. “It was in the late spring of ‘98 that the collective decided unanimously to propagandize and organize a four day takeover of Monroe Park in the form of a tent city aimed at exposing VCU’s ongoing meddling in the homeless community and rapidly increasing gentrification of the Carver Community just North of the main artery of the campus” (Wells 89). Tactics the group used in organizing involved planning sessions, alliance building, fliering campaigns, and street work.  The entire summer gave the group time to organize and strategize.
The event was scheduled to start Friday August 28 at noon, and continue through until Monday morning, August 31 (DOC T). This event was radical, noteworthy, and combines many of the subjects which activists in Richmond have organized around. It shows the potential scope of radical activism in Richmond, and it also shows some of the potential pitfalls of such activism.
A Tent City is “where any large group of individuals gather in a single location and utilize it as a temporary living quarter in protest of an oppressive entity”(DOC T). Described by General Strike, the Tent City in this instance was “a non-violent, direct action approach to exposing injustice in this society” (General Strike Oct./Nov. 1998). Tent cities have occurred around the world. They are in some ways associated with the homeless in general. Some of them are more political in purpose, where as others are more survival based- people form tent cities because they have no where else to go. The Tent City in Richmond was of the more political variety, and less about providing a place for people to live for any significant amount of time.
General Strike advertised about the Tent City in a couple of ways. Word of mouth was important, and they talked to people in the park during Food Not Bombs on Sundays about the plan. A flier advertising the event was created, titled in “Monroe Park Tent City” (DOC T). It also featured a photo of a man in a business suit with a briefcase walking by the words “Smash Capitalism” spray painted on a wall. The content of the flier, including the image, show the political leanings of the event, and reveal the radicalism behind it. “Why does this concern you? It is quite simple really. It is the age-old theory of not waiting until the problem is upon your door and there is no one left to fight for youཀ V.C.U.’s ongoing development and gentrification has affected thousands of Richmond’s citizens and it is just a matter of time before you are all that is left…” ( DOC T).

Continue reading

Making Banners

22 Nov

If anyone in the Richmond area has an interest in helping to make banners for Food not Bombs or about the Monroe Campaign please let me know. If you have paint or banner material you want to donate to the cause that would be rad too.

I also want to work on the Wingnut’s collection of banners. We are trying to make a bunch that work for a variety of situations that way we are prepared for last minute protests etc.

Topics we are thinking about making multiuse banners for include:

Jail solidarity

Police Brutality

Anti-Death Penalty

Housing Justice

Gentrification

Environment

Worker Sollidarity

Indigenous Solidarity

Queer

Anti-War

Did we miss any big anarchist topics?

If you have ideas for any banners or want to help email me! xveganarchistrvax@gmail.com

Keep Monroe Open- Video and Petition

12 Oct

Food Not Bombs Statement Regarding Monroe Park

10 Oct

Richmond Food Not Bombs has been sharing food in Monroe Park for over sixteen years now. We have developed many connections and friendships over the course of our existence, helped provide healthy food to many individuals who may not have had access to it otherwise, and become a staple of social activity for many people’s Sunday afternoons.

The proposed renovations to Monroe Park are an attack , a judgement on who the park should and shouldn’t be for. It is an attack on the homeless, the “homeless-appearing” (whatever that means – it’s in the Monroe Park Advisory Council’s renovation plans), and groups and individuals who don’t judge people by their social status or whether they have conventional means of acquiring shelter.

We will not stand for it.

The only change that the park really needs is for the city to do its job when it comes do doing maintenance on the bathrooms, as they are functional but one of the water pipes to the sinks has corroded away. Other improvements, such as installing permanent chess tables, or a playground area for kids would be nice, but NOT at the cost of driving out the folks who currently congregate in the park, shutting the entire park down for 18 months, or privatizing the security of the park. Continue reading

Wingnut Food Distribution Program!

11 Aug

This Saturday is the second monthly event coordinated between the Wingnut Anarchist Collective and the Virginia Food Bank. The Wingnuts have been handing out food vouchers throughout the neighborhood over the past month.

So Saturday the 14th at 12noon the Wingnuts will begin setting up the food with the food bank at the parking lot at the corner of Graham and North Avenue in Southern Barton Heights. Then at 1 the distribution will begin. Folks with vouchers will get priority, just because that is the only method we have to keep it organized. The Food Bank only brings but so much food a month, but will hopefully continue to bring more each month.

This month the Wingnuts will also be tabling with fliers about the numerous events and programs they are involved with, as well as know your rights literature. Continue reading

Guide to Richmond Food Not Bombs

6 Mar

This is a guide to Richmond Food Not Bombs that I have been working on for a while. I want to eventually have print copies that we can give to new folks so they can get a feel for what we do and why (and how). Any edits, criticisms or additions are welcome.

Welcome to Richmond Food Not Bombs!

This zine is meant to give you more information about Food Not Bombs so you can have many of your questions, including the ones you didn’t know you had, answered. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions not included in this zine, feel free to bring them up to folks at Food Not Bombs- we are always excited to challenge each other and grow as a community.

Richmond, Virginia Food Not Bombs

Started mainly as a political statement, Food Not Bombs, was born in 1980. The movement’s founding members served free food to the homeless outside of a stockholders’ meeting of the First National Bank in Boston. A bank which “red-lined” many poverty-stricken districts in the city while it simultaneously funded much of New England’s weapons industry. The group’s message was simple: “Less money should be spent on destructive military equipment while much of our nation’s population lives in poverty”. This first Food Not Bombs action made a strong political statement, while at the same time providing a simple and practical service to those in need. Now, 30 years later, groups all over the world operate with the same simple humanitarian cause using the name Food Not Bombs.

Food Not Bombs has been a Richmond organization since 1994. For over 16 years the Richmond group has served a weekly meal, only missing 2 servings in its history. The group was founded by activists, and while the membership has changed, there are still connections between the original members and todays activists. Not only that, but the spirit of the group remains the same.

What Does Food Not Bombs Do?

Like any major city in our country, Richmond has a growing number of citizens without homes or the means to acquire healthy food. Food Not Bombs Richmond serves a free, hot, vegan meal in Monroe Park, near the intersection of Main and Belvidere Streets. Close to 200 people eat dinner with us every Sunday, including families. Rice, vegetable stir fry, salad, fruit, bread, and drinks are typically prepared. After the meal, free groceries are made available. We also distribute baked goods and produce to other community organizations. Demonstrations and community events such as Really Really Free Markets, REPHRAME Meetings, the May Day Parade and more are other opportunities for Food Not Bombs to provide a meal while increasing our visibility and developing solidarity with local activists. Continue reading