Information on political and community events in and around Richmond, Virginia. There will be occasional listings for other nearby cities, mostly Charlottesville, Roanoke, and Washington DC. Also, less commonly, people's history, citizen journalism, information and instruction generally relevant to action.
This is not a theory blog; its primary purpose is to compile news and opportunities for local action.
Please note the side links, especially the Calendar link. All events reblogged or publicized here end up on the calendar.
On Wednesday January 9th, the opening day of the 2013 Virginia General Assembly, Ken Cuccinelli is attending the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast with the Family Foundation in preparation for their anti-abortion event at the Capitol. Cooch Watch will, as Cuccinelli’s sworn protest entourage in his attempt at governorship, be attending as well.
The breakfast will be held from 7am at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, followed by a return to the Capitol with the Family Foundation. See event page for more details. Cooch Watch is requesting attendees wear red. Bagels and cream cheese provided.
On Tuesday, January 8th, at 5pm, at the Westin of Richmond (6631 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230), Cooch Watch anti-Cuccinelli activists will be attending AG Ken Cuccinelli’s fundraiser, in preparation for his gubernatorial bid. Details to be announced.
Cooch Watch is a Richmond-based group of reproductive rights activists who are working on establishing a presence or counterdemonstration at every event that Ken Cuccinelli ever holds. The presence of opposition makes his wealthy contributors uncomfortable.
RSVP through the title link. Inquire with the organizers pertaining to accessibility information for the venue.
Virginia police in full riot gear showed up at a women’s rights protest at the Virginia State Capitol this weekend. Hundreds of people were protesting a new amendment that passed that Virginia House that would require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. 31 people were arrested.
This is what happened to the thirty-one after being arrested. They were zip-tied and left on a bus without water for hours. The men were all released within four hours, but the last of the women was released after nine hours. An ambulance had to be called for one of the women with a heart condition, but the Capitol Police still refused her water, citing protocol regarding the transfer of arrested people. And so on, and so on.
Imagine what could have happened had their processing not been witnessed by an enormous crowd of supporters.
That didn’t stop the thirty-one arrestees at all. The majority are still involved in organizational and ground work surrounding reproductive rights, to this very day. Some of them went on to form Cooch Watch.
This Saturday, at 3:30pm, at 505 South Independence Blvd, Suite 113, Virginia Beach, VA 23452, Cooch Watch, the Richmond-based reproductive-rights and anti-Cuccinelli group, will be Cooch Watching at the opening of AG Ken Cuccinelli’s Virginia Beach campaign office. Arrangements for rides may be able to be made.
Cooch Watch, the Richmond-based grassroots anti-Cuccenilli/ women’s rights/ reproductive rights and access group, has constructed a WePay site to allow for donations.
From a Cooch Watch organizer: “Want to make a small (or large) contribution to Cooch Watch this season? Check out our store where you can sponsor us by purchasing an “item” such as markers for sign-making, paper for flyers, or new t-shirts! The “item” is actually a donation so that we can purchase those supplies. There is an “item” for everyone’s budget, too!”
Tomorrow, Tuesday November 27th, the Bainbridge Collective (1300 Bainbridge Street, Richmond VA) is holding a party to celebrate the death of HB 1, the fetal personhood bill, in committee, and to brief friends and allies on other bills pertaining to reproductive rights coming up this legislative season.
On Saturday November 10th, from 9am-9pm at the Virginia Capitol Square, local artists are inviting women (AFAB and identifying) to stand on the Capitol steps and have their picture taken, as a legal art piece. All are welcome to attend.
The state has recently decided to establish a monument to Virginia women on the grounds of the state capitol: last March, capitol police arrested 31 pro-abortion-access protestors (19 women, 12 men) for failing to disperse from the capitol steps. The women who were arrested were held for hours longer than the men and denied water.
I’ve just returned from the Virginia Board of Health meeting. When I left, public comment was ongoing, and the vote had not yet been taken.
Here is what I saw: I arrived around 7:30am at the building where the Board of Health meets. Protesters with signs, stickers, and buttons lined the lot, with the OK of the police officers standing in the building. The count at 8:00am was 130 protesters, the count at 9:00am was 175 protesters. The crowd was quiet, and didn’t impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic. Three media outlets were present.
While there were only two Henrico police officers present on location, an unmarked police van driven by a Henrico officer parked in the side parking lot, and cruisers circled the building and its parking lot. Across the street in the lot of an adjacent building, visible but not obvious from where we were standing, were 23 Henrico police cruisers, one Henrico PD Mobile Command Center, and a small group of officers in tactical gear. These police vehicles and personnel were present from 7:00am onward, but had left at around noon when I went outside to look again.
All of the protesters were inside at the hearing by about 9:00am. The hearing (which is ongoing as of now) was held on the second floor; not everyone could fit in the room, because the building officials required (ostensibly for fire code reasons) that everyone in the room must have a seat. There were unoccupied seats, segregated from the others, identified as press box, and after some argument, protesters were allowed to sit in the unoccupied press seats. The Fire Marshall was called.
The public comment period began immediately after the first break, and was ongoing when I left the hearing. The majority of the comments spoke against the Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers, although Virginia Women for Life and the Family Foundation were represented.
I’ll post more when I hear more.
Live footage of the hearing should be available locally on CBS 6.
From those who brought you Speak Loudly With Silence and related protests, a day of action to protest the proposed TRAP regulations. This will be a silent protest beginning at 7:30am, at 9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond VA 23233. Maryland and Gaskins Streets, Perimeter Center.
From the event description: “CALL FOR ACTION: On June 15th at 7:30 am, we call for 500 women (but men are very welcome and wanted!) to line either side of the walkway at the entrance to the Perimeter Center. We will do so in SILENCE as Board of Health members enter the building to vote on the permane…nt regulations that unfairly target abortion providers (TRAP). These regulations will shut down many clinics in VA. and are oppressive to women, reproductive rights, and access. Signs, Banners, T-Shirts, All Welcome! *Please visit http://www.facebook.com/OpposeTRAP for more info on these regulations, and http://www.facebook.com/events/393130917387537/ for other actions to be taken.
NO ACCESS! = NO CHOICE!
Sign up to speak to the Board will begin at 8:00 am, and the meeting (which is open to the public will begin @ 9:00.)
***Important note: if you can’t attend this event please “decline” it. We are trying our best to get accurate numbers ***”