Tag Archives: monroe homeless

Update from the Monroe Park Occupation – 1 week in

14 Mar
From the website of the Monroe Park Occupation
RPD continue to kick people out of other parks and camps in Richmond.The Monroe Park Occupation is now having people who get kicked out of places like Kanawha Plaza come to join the camp. A lot of the time though, RPD does not let people grab their belongings before kicking them out. So more blankets/tents/tarps/food/entertainment is crucial.
The Occupation had about …8 people show up in the middle of the night last night and folks are excited that the Occupation is a safe place to sleep, but would also like it to be warm!

To contact the Occupation come to the corner of Main and Laurel. You may also email monroparkoccupation@gmail.com or visit http://www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com for more updates.

The Monroe Park Occupation is a group of people forming a community in Monroe Park near the corner of Main and Laurel.
They are a multi-issue Occupation that has been encamped in Monroe Park since 4pm on Monday March 7th.
A City Official informed the Occupation on Friday March 11th that City Administrators wanted to negotiate with the Occupation.

However, the Occupation will only meet to discuss demands once the City gets the cops to stop busting up all homeless camps. Once that is agreed upon, folks from the occupation will meet with City Officials in the park at 11 at night.

Current Demands:
– Don’t cut down trees in Monroe Park
-Legalize Squatting in Richmond
-25-100% of Monroe Park should remain open at all times
-Stop destroying/busting up homeless camps Continue reading

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