Richmond, VA–Back in March, before all the Occupy Wall Street craziness began, a small group of activists in Richmond were already in occupation. They were protesting a new city ordinance that would make it illegal to stay in public parks after sunset, which was to inevitably displace many members of the local homeless population. The occupied site was nestled in the middle of Virginia Commonwealth University’s main campus, in Monroe Park.
After the occupation was demolished, the homeless population who were living in the park were directed, by the city, to downtown’s Kanawha Plaza. Several occupiers were arrested and convicted of minor crimes. Now, three of those occupiers are appealing their verdicts, and if they win it would certainly bode well for Occupy Richmond. We support our them in their struggle, but we’re not waiting around for the city to tell us where we can and cannot go.
The past week has been spent re-grouping and re-organizing after our camp in Kanawha Plaza was raided on Halloween morning by the Richmond City Police Department, but now it is time for us to move forward. The General Assembly of Occupy Richmond decided tonight that we will begin occupying again this Wednesday night (11/9/11).
This time we will occupy Monroe Park, where the occupation earlier this year took place, and we’re making a fucking event out of it. At 7pm on Wednesday, there will be a screening of a film about Occupy Richmond, called All Night, All Day, at Gallery 5. After the film we will march to Monroe Park and set up our camp.
In addition, we have gained support from several faculty members at VCU, who are holding an educational forum on campus this Tuesday night to introduce Occupy Richmond to students and other faculty (and anyone else who shows up). It’s at the Commons Theatre from 7pm-9pm.
So, we’ve come full circle: Monroe Park was occupied in March; it was busted up and the homeless moved to Kanawha; Occupy Richmond came along and occupied Kanawha, got busted up, the homeless were again displaced, and now we’re moving to Monroe Park, but with a lot more people.
There is a lot of preparation to be done, but we are gettin’ busy. Please join us.