Monday, May 2, 2016

US Delegation part of Memorial for May 2 Massacre in Odessa Ukraine


US observers, including Phil Wilayto of The Virginia Defender and the United National Antiwar Coalition, documentary filmmaker Regis Trembly and activist Bruce Gagnon, were of the 3-4,000 people attending today's 2nd anniversary memorial of the massacre of pro-federalist Odessans which took place at the Trade Unions Building of Kulikovo Square in Odessa, Ukraine on May 2, 2014.
".... the May 2 memorial has emerged as an important focus in the fight to keep fascist forces in Ukraine from being able to intimidate their opponents into retreating from political struggle and at the same time strengthen their own role in the post-coup government. Another focus is a WWII veterans march planned for May 9 in the capital city of Kiev to mark the end of Nazi occupation. The march is being threatened by the paramilitary Right Sector organization. The elderly veterans, who often display socialist symbols, are saying they will march anyway and, if threatened, will defend themselves. There's also a lot of politics involved, but too much to get into here."

Monday, March 7, 2016

8th Annual Virginia People’s Assembly for Jobs, Peace & Justice

Make your plans now to attend the 2016 Virginia People’s Assembly For Jobs, Peace & Justice!

The 8th Annual Virginia People’s Assembly for Jobs, Peace & Justice will be held Saturday, April 23, 2016, at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike) in Richmond, Va. Doors open for onsite registration at 8 am, with the conference starting at 9 am.

The VPA is an annual gathering of people from many communities across Virginia who are engaged in a broad range of struggles. We are union members, community activists, ex-prisoners and prisoner advocates, immigrants, students, youth, elders, women, antiwar organizers, veterans, members of Black Lives Matter, members of the LGBT community, the physically and mentally disabled, environmentalists and more.

We are fighting against police abuse and for a $15 wage for fast-food and other low-wage workers. We are defending our unions and organizing the unorganized. We are struggling against war, racism, classism, and sexism in all their many forms. And with the VPA we help to bring together all those who are working to win justice for our local communities and for the world as a whole.

At the VPA we meet people from other communities and learn about their struggles. We share our own experiences. We make friends and allies, pass resolutions and plan future actions. Together, we help to build the progressive movement in Virginia.

Read the full announcement, with the call for resolutions and workshop proposals here. You can also register online today!


Please use our contact form if you would like to work with us in building a people’s movement in Virginia!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 20 Solidarity Forum

The Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality will be holding a Public Forum on Saturday, Feb. 20, to promote solidarity among local communities and struggles now under attack.

Please think about joining us - to learn what our sisters and brothers are going through now, and how we can come together in mutual defense.

https://www.facebook.com/events/616893275115539/

This forum represents a major theme for this year's Virginia People's Assembly, scheduled for April 23, 2014.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

February Updates and Announcements

MON., FEB. 1 – "TALK TO THE EDITOR" – The Defenders live, monthly, call-in talk radio show with host PHIL WILAYTO, Editor of The Virginia Defender. With this month’s special guest CAROLINA VELEZ, speaking on efforts by the local Latino/a community to defend itself from the threat of federal raids against undocumented immigrants. Plus, get the latest updates on the Shockoe Bottom campaign and other important community news. WCLM 1450 AM and online at: www.wclmradioonline.com Call in at (804) 231-7685.

FRI., FEB. 5 - The first incredible GENERATION DREAM - a moving youth production in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 7 pm, Richmond Public Library's Main Branch, 101 E. Franklin St.. Sponsored by the Richmond Peace Education Center. www.rpec.org

THURS., FEB. 11 - 38th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. DROP ALL THE SANCTIONS NOW!

MON., FEB. 15 - MARCH FOR OUR RIVERS - Noon, Virginia General Assembly, 201 9th St., Richmond. Sponsored by NO APC. www.facebook.com/events/1681600028780988

TUES., FEB. 16 - RICHMOND CRUSADE FOR VOTERS FEBRUARY MEETING - 7 pm, 2nd Baptist Church, 1400 Idlewood Ave.

WED., FEB. 17 - BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION - Presented by the Black Male Emergent Readers Literacy Program (BMER). Book Signings - Virginia’s African American Authors - Discussion led by Richmond’s own Clarence McGill, one of the Syracuse 8. 5-7 pm, Main Public Library, 101 E. Franklin St. Refreshments provided. FREE & Open to the Public. Information: 804-646-7223

SAT., FEB. 20 – SAVE THE DATE: Defenders Public Forum Examining Racial and Religious Prejudice - 2:30 pm, in the Gellman Room, Main Branch Richmond Public Library, 101 Franklin St., Program details to follow.

TUES., FEB. 23 - RICHMOND BRANCH NAACP FEBRUARY MEETING - 7 pm, 533 Club, 700 N. 3rd St. in Jackson Ward. www.richmondbranchnaacp.com\

SUN, MARCH 6 - FUND RAISER FOR THE VIRGINIA DEFENDER! - Revolutionary Love Songs! Music, song & dance with The Professor & The Madwoman - and Special Surprise Guests! 7-10 pm, at Sub Rosa Bakery. 620 N. 25th St. in Church Hill. Suggested Donation: $5.

THURS., MARCH 10 – SPRING EDITION OF THE VIRGINIA DEFENDER – Look for it at more than 300 distribution sites across Virginia and online at: http://defendersfje.blogspot.com NEW DISTRIBUTORS ALWAYS WELCOME! Just reply to this email and someone will contact you.

TUES, MAR. 15 - “SCHOOLS & JAILS IN THE LONG SHADOW OF SLAVERY” - A panel discussion with Ben Campbell, Kristen Green, David Coogan, Stanley Craddock, Terence Scruggs and Kelvin Belton. Moderated by Ana Edwards of the Defenders’ Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project. 7-9 pm, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, 1812 W. Main St. Information: (804) 422-8066.

SAT., APRIL 16 – 2016 VIRGINIA PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY FOR JOBS, PEACE & JUSTICE! – Virginia’s 8th annual statewide gathering of progressive activists from all our varied communities and struggles. Stay tuned for details. To volunteer, please reply to this email. http://www.vapeoplesassembly.org/

“HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MAX?” Please visit this Facebook page to see how you can support Christopher Maxwell, the founder of Richmond’s community radio station WRIR. Max is facing severe health and financial problems. An FB page has been set up to help him meet these challenges. Note: From 2005 through 2013, Defender Ana Edwards hosted the WRIR program “Defenders Live!” which would not have existed if it weren’t for Max’s selfless work. https://www.facebook.com/events/1681600028780988

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Virginia Defender Special Issue


This issue is an expository to help visitors to Richmond learn the current social struggles in Richmond regarding Confederate symbolism, racism and coming to terms with the conflicting narratives of our history as a freedom-seeking nation.

Learn about the call to move the race route from highlighting the city's largest single Confederate shrine: Monument Avenue; the struggle to protect Shockoe Bottom from destruction just as we're coming to understand the enormity of its role in the slave trade and the origins of the city; and on the community proposal for Shockoe Bottom.

Richmond today bears the scars of our country’s original contradiction: that the “Land of the Free” was founded as a slave society, and continued as such for 246 years. The effects of that history on today’s social, economic and political issues have never been fully examined.  
Shockoe Bottom can be the place to finally conduct that examination.  
The Memorial Park can be a 9-acre campus of beautifully and thoughtfully designed memorial and educational spaces -- walkable and technologically connected to our city’s wealth of museums, libraries and universities. It can be a living Site of Conscience and a fitting legacy for this generation of Richmonders to gift to our children.  
A Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park, located within a day’s drive of half the country’s population, can be a national site for truth, compassion, freedom and progress.

Your voice is needed to make this vision a reality. 

To get involved, please contact: 

Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223 
Email: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com
Web: www.SacredGroundProject.net
Ph: 804-644-5834