Tag Archives: Wingnut

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).

Continue reading

Insulation is itchy

5 Nov

We’ve been trying to get the Wingnut ready for Winter. I have been focusing my efforts on our long neglected crawl space. The first step was to put down a 4 millimeter plastic vapor barrier on the floor of it. Today I put R19 insulation up between the floor joists. Lesson of the day- insulation is ITCHY. But I got the whole big section of crawl space done, and hopefully that will help keep the Wingnut a lot warmer this winter. Last winter we barely had any insulation up in the attic either. This year we will have finished insulation in both the attic and the crawl space as well as a wood stove. I’m gonna guess this will make some sort of a difference. Not much we can do about the old leaky single paned windows however.

Progress is great! Come check it out at Wingnut open hours sometime!

This Is War- From Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants #5

17 Oct

<!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>This is an essay from the 5th issue of Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants. If you want to get the whole zine you can mail me 2 bux to Mo Karnage P.O. Box 6025 Richmond, Va 23222

This is War

 

This is War. We exist in a state of war. I strongly suspect that stating “This Is War” is going to be taken by some as a declaration of war. It is not. This is an observation of war. This is an acknowledgment of war. Anarchists are at war. People of color are at war. The poor are at war. Women are at war. Queers are at war. Animals, the environment, differently abled folks, and the elderly are at war.

This war was declared on us. And I think it might have always been a factor, since the beginning of human history, at least for some of these groups. Capitalism is a major factor in the way that today’s situation is played out- it defines the format of the struggles/war.

Let me break it down some. War is defined as- 1- a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations or -2- a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism- a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end.

Without even stretching the definition of war it is clear that the capitalist/straight/white/rich/male powers that be are at war with the rest of us. The capitalist system, as well as the governing system in the United States of Amerikka, depend on hierarchy to exist. And hierarchy is maintained by keeping certain people down/oppressed.

Memes like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs make this situation even more explicit. The bottom line is that for centuries people have been enslaved, hurt, tortured, harassed, sexually assaulted, imprisoned, massacred, murdered, executed, assassinated, assaulted, and generally speaking really fucking oppressed. Our side is losing and it hurts.

Memes like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs are also important to understand as meaning more than simply fighting drugs and fighting terror. Because there are basically certain groups of people who are more effected by these concepts than others. The War on Drugs is basically a cover for a racist and classist war against people of color and poor people. The War on Terror is racist, colonial and Islamaphobic, as well as clearly an oppressive political tool.

Why does this matter? Might be the question running through your head. I strongly believe that we need to conceptualize this situation as war in order to understand fully the gravity of it, as well as in order to develop appropriate and effective tactics and strategies. Continue reading

Anti-Death Penalty sign making at craft night

18 Aug

Come on out to the Wingnut Anarchist Collective to make signs/banners for the anti-death penalty protest the next day.

Virginia is planning to execute Teresa Lewis on September 23rd. The Anarchist Black Cross is planning a protest on September 23rd from 4-6 at 1111 West Broad Street. We will also be going to the Greenville Correctional Facility where they execute people in order to have a presence there.

If you want to come to either part of the protest, this craft night the night before will be a good chance to make signs that have messages that you would feel comfortable holding. For instance, I personally have no interest in holding signs that advocate for longer prison sentences as alternatives to the death penalty. But there are certainly lots of people who are ok with that and will hold those signs. Making a custom sign helps ensure you will feel comfortable and confident with your message at a protest.

If you want to come and work on other crafts as usual with craft night, that is totally fine too!

August Really Really Free Market

11 Aug

Richmond has had its very own Really Really Free Market for over 2 years now. And simply having been maintained on a monthly basis for over 2 years is quite the accomplishment.

However I think it is important to recognize that there is a lot of room for improvement with the Richmond Really Really Free Market. We have had a very hard time engaging more of the community in the event. It has had little success including things like food, workshops, music, games etc. Many months it ends up just being a place where people come to get free stuff. So it has not been very successful in building a community that helps each other in solidarity outside of the restrictions of a capitalist market.

This month’s event will be on Saturday August 28th. It starts at Noon and will go until 3pm. It happens in Monroe Park at the corner of Main and Laurel, near VCU.

At 2pm there will be an organizational meeting about the RRFM. Anyone is welcome to come. With originally just 1 person organizing it, and now just a small handful, it has been hard to maintain the energy necessary to build the RRFM into a vibrant community event. I hope that more people will want to get involved in terms of organizing for the RRFM.

Organizing it can mean making facebook events, making fliers, sending press releases, emailing your friends, facilitating a workshop, coming up with themes, volunteering to take the leftovers to Diversity Thrift at the end of the day, bringing games or sports to play during the event, getting people to come play music during the event, sharing a skill at the RRFM- giving massages, doing henna, reading tarot,  etc.

I’m excited to see what happens at this meeting!

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