Tag Archives: mo karn

Settling in for the winter

29 Nov

I am always excited for sping and summer when they come, but there is also something relaxing about getting all ready to nest for the winter. There seem to be fewer scheduled activities and more time for drinking coffee and tea and playing scrabble and other board games with friends.

We’ve also been doing some renovations and improvements around the Wingnut- including repainting the bathroom, repainting the kitchen, attaching the base board correctly in the bathroom, hanging a potrack in the kitchen, installing 4 doorknobs in the past month, installing a threshhold in the upstairs bathroom, building panel walls for the front porch and painting some baseboard that only had primer on it.

Upcoming projects might include painting a mural on the porch panels, building benches out of pallet wood, building a coat rack, making concrete countertops for the kitchen, moving the sink onto a concrete counter top in a better location, fixing the backyard fence, building bookshelves for our radical lending library, demo-ing a trailer in the backyard etc.

But right now, I just ate some waffles and I’m going to drink some coffee to wash them down. Then the  post office and library!

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).

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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

Thanks to all Anti-Racists

10 Aug

To preface this, I am white- just to let you know if you don’t know me.

And where I was born and raised (Hanover and Richmond Virginia) the issue of racism is not dealt with particularly well. When I went to college in Massachusetts I found myself very out of my element. I did not want to be a racist, but back in Virginia had never encountered anyone challenging me on issues of race, privilege, appropriation, prejudice etc.

I had a hard time learning to deal with being called out on my behavior. I had a hard time coming to understand the difference between racism and prejudice. I was very difficult and I’m sure seriously upset and traumatized and angered people who were fighting racism and privilege. I’m sorry for any tears, sleepless nights etc. that my insensitivity contributed to.  I’m sorry it takes me being in your shoes to be able to even begin to understand the shit you have to deal with.

Now that I am going through the ordeal that is trying to explain to people what racism and prejudice are and are not etc., I have a serious appreciation for how much upset and strife I no doubt caused everyone who called me out in the past. I wish there was a better way to let everyone know how sorry I am for being so ignorant/resistant/defensive.

I am trying to not be so ignorant/resistant/defensive. I think working on privilege and race are life long tasks, so I am sure I am going to be making more mistakes.  I want to try not to, but I also want to try to be open to criticism and to avoid getting defensive. Please do call me out, preferably in a non-attack manner.  Genuine attempts to call me out will be met with a ready listener.