This morning at around midnight a plane circled ominously over Monroe Park. As occupiers were discussing tactics on a police invasion, upwards of twenty RPD and VCU police vehicles surrounded the park.
A megaphone blared, with the police referencing City code–we were once again reminded that City parks close after dark and we were given 15 minutes to vacate the premises. What followed was a flurry of mass phone calls and text messages to our allies for support, personal belongings of those willing to be arrested were gathered and contact phone numbers were written on arms in sharpie.
With the exception of one person, those that refused to leave the occupation within the 15 minutes were detained. Eight of us have been detained for not identifying ourselves to the police.
Spotlights were brought out as news teams took down their stories. People in hazmat suits removed the latrine as a bulldozer leveled our structures. Other occupiers that were called in from elsewhere and our allies stood and watched as the encampment that we have called home for 9 days was hauled away in dump trucks.
We are currently awaiting word from five of the eight people, and one has already been released. We will know more as the day progresses.
We are unsure if bail will be necessary. Any and all donations to our bail fund would be appreciated. Call (804) 303-5449 or email email@example.com to donate. More updates to come.
Since the Monroe Park occupation began nine days ago, it has steadily gained momentum and visibility. Adequate media attention and support from members of the community have served to alleviate stresses from poor weather, a temporarily absent VCU student body – whose support and participation in these endeavors has surely been an indispensable resource; and curious police behavior in response to our action.
Initial sureveillance of the occupation by seemingly bewildered police forces have been replaced with an eerie policy of non-chalance in regards to the official legal disclosure defining the occupied park as common ground. This is accompanied by the incessant upheaval of homeless camps by the RPD, who subsequently directed those displaced persons to our camp. Thus we are left in dire need of supplies, as many who are now making their stay with the occupation have had their gear confiscated and so are left without the most rudimentary means of survival. The gravity of this deficiency is exacerbated by the fact that more than half of the occupation consists of chronically homeless individuals.
The support of the community has enabled us to establish sizable sleeping quarters for most occupiers, but we are currently short on the following-
-Sleeping bag, blankets
-Plywood, lumber, useful scrap materials
-Bail fund contributions
-Food and water
The occupation continues to build infrastructure and seeks to develop more infrastructure and seeks to develop more interpaticipatory soildarity by way of hosting community events and conducting workshops. Impromptu jams and other improvised music have been a regular occurance, and all those who wish to contribute in this or any other artistic format are certainly welcome.
In solidarity with Iron Rail, U. of WI, U. of P.R., and others.
Occupy! Strike! Resist!
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
- 10% of the wealth of the rich should be redistributed to the poor
- Stop wasting City money on gentrification plans
- City Council should resign and no new council be voted in
- Take down monuments and statues in the City
- No More Prisons
- No More VCU
- Richmond Police stop the criminalisation of people with mental illnesses
The Occupation has contacted the City with information about our requirements for a meeting. However, it is likely that they will not respond until Monday. Any questions should be referred to the corner of Main and Laurel where there is a 24/7 Occupation of Monroe Park currently on its 8th day.
The Monroe Park Occupation