Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest today: Christy Coleman of The American Civil War Center

Greetings listeners,

My guest today was Christy Coleman, executive director of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. At the helm since 2008, this African American self-described "American Idealist" is leading her institution through the choppy waters of the observations and commemoration of 150th anniversary of the Civil War and Emancipation. Our brief discussion covered Tredegar's role in the story telling, as a part of a collaborative of 19 cultural, academic, civil and tourism institutions) known as the Future of Richmond's Past, the ongoing legacies for Richmond and our nation , especially in grappling with race and our sense of who we are in the world, then and now. Ideology vs Practice. Check in a couple days for a podcast of the conversation.

On November 14th my guest will be Dr. Ed Ayres, president of University of Richmond and chair of the Future of Richmond's Past.

Looking forward -

Police break up Occupy Richmond - 9 arrested

Dear friends,

This morning shortly after 1 am, Richmond police raided Occupy Richmond at Kanawha Plaza. Horses, SWAT, fire trucks, the whole nine yards. There were no reported injuries, but nine people were arrested. The park is now closed, taped off with yellow caution tape and guarded by police. A General Assembly was scheduled for 11 am - about 10 minutes ago. I'm on my way there now.

I visited  Kanawha about 7:50 this morning and spoke with several homeless people who were there during the raid. I also visited the office of the chief magistrate at Richmond Police Headquarters, stopped by Manchester Courthouse and just got off the phone with the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's office, trying to get information about those were arrested.

From what I've been told, nine people were arrested. All were charged with (1) refusing to leave property after being told to leave, a state Class One misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine; and (2) being in a public park after dark, a violation of the City Code.

I was told by a sheriff's deputy that the nine arrested people were arraigned before a magistrate this morning by videoconference while they were still in the police lock-up on 9th Street. Four were released on personal recognizance, five were held without bond, evidently because they indicated, or the magistrate concluded, that they intended to go back to the park.

The only two people I know for sure who were arrested and held without bond are Sur Williams and Farid Alan Schintzius, both of whom have played selfless roles in the occupation. Alan's court date is set for Nov. 29, which may be the same date for all five who are still being held.

The five who are still detained will likely be moved to the City Jail this morning.

This information will go out today at noon on the DefendersLIVE! radio program on WRIR radio, 97.3 FM ( I'll also be speaking tomorrow from noon to 1 pm on WCLM, 1450 am ( and will pass along any new information we receive and can verify.

There was supposed to be a general assembly today at Kanawah at 11 am. I'll stop by to see if that's still happening. 

If anyone has any new information, I would appreciate your calling or e-mailing me at (804) 644-5834 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (804) 644-5834      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or The Defenders will do all we can to support those who have been arrested, as well as Occupy Richmond as a whole.

in Solidarity,

Phil Wilayto

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bring flowers - bring candles - a chair and your creative expressions on paper to share at the community reclamation celebration for Gabriel's Rebellion and Richmond's African Burial Ground.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 10 Community Celebration - Flier for Printing

In case you've been waiting for those September shows, they've been uploaded to Search "defenderslive" shows.

Event flier: Be sure to adjust your printer settings to ensure 8.5x11 (letter size) output: