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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
– 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
On March 2nd at 5pm I will be doing a book reading and signing at Chop Suey books in Carytown. If you haven’t picked up a copy of The South Is Still Rising yet, this is your opportunity.
I will be presenting on the Tent City Occupation of Monroe Park in 1998 by the General Strike Anarchist Collective.
The South is Still Rising: Contemporary Radical and Anarchist Movements in Richmond, Virginia from 1994-2004
The South is Still Rising explores the little known story of radical organizing in Richmond, Virginia in terms that Mo’s mom can understand. This story is contextualized in both within the history of Richmond and within the history of radical activism on a national and global scale.
The South is Still Rising reveals the things going on in the old capital of the Confederacy that are not played up in the media, and that many folks don’t get a chance to find out about. This is your window into a better understanding of what is actually going on in the South.
A new type of Southern Pride. A history that includes the resistance to racism, sexism, capitalism, and more.
Hope to see you there!
The Monroe Park Advisory Council is the organization which created the plan for the renovations of Monroe Park. They are also very unrepresentative of the people who use the park. They also fail to represent the diversity of Richmond- or come at all close. I have found one concrete way to show how different the lives of many of the MPAC members are from other people in the City. Doing some background research I discovered the following which goes at least a little ways towards pointing towards the obvious class prejudice present in the Monroe Park Advisory Council. I did property searches on the City of Richmond website to see who owned property and how much it was worth. There is of course the possibility that I have the totally wrong individuals, although I have done my best to research honestly. The people I was not sure about are listed at the bottom.
For full disclosure and to save the haters some time, here is the same information on myself:
The Wingnut has a total real estate value of 127,000. Worth a lot more to me though! (And owning ANY property at all, regardless of its value still denotes a good amount of privilege)
Owner: KARN MORIAH MARGARET
Mailing Address: 2005 BARTON AVE, RICHMOND, VA 23222
The Esteemed Councilman coming in at a relatively modest 264,000 value on his property:
Owner: SAMUELS CHARLES R & KRISTA M
Mailing Address: 203 N MULBERRY ST, RICHMOND, VA 23220
And now for the MPAC members:
Next Time Alice Massie tries to pull the poor teacher card….her house is assessed at over 1.1 million dollars. Those Monument Avenue addresses sure are pricey- but you’d have to pay me to live that close to statues of dead confederate assholes:
Owner: MASSIE WILLIAM MCKINNON JR AND ALICE MCGUIRE MASSIE
Mailing Address: 1643 MONUMENT AVE, RICHMOND, VA 2322000000
Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants # 5- An Anarchist Zine from Richmond, VIrignia is now available for download here:
Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants #5 (CPHP5) is a zine by Mo Karnage with other contributors including Kayla Dean (also of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective) and Autumn Springs! Topics include; gentrification, queerness, gay marriage, vegan recipes, accounability, copwatch, the campaign to keep Monroe Park Open, and more about the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.
All pdfs here are parts of the zine. we are behind the times technologically.
PO Box 6025
Richmond, VA 23222
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.
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).
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