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Autumn 2023 Edition of The Virginia Defender!

The Autumn 2023 edition of The Virginia Defender is now on the streets. Find it online at . Featuring: A 7-page report on the People’s Tribunal on Virginia’s Prisons, Jails & Detention Centers 3 pages on Palestine A photo essay on the Day of the Dead Ceremony at Richmond’s La Milpa Restaurant & Market Update on the ongoing struggle to properly memorialize Shockoe Bottom & more!
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Sign the Open Letter to Senators Kaine & Warner

Sign the Open Letter to Senators Kaine & Warner: No More Money to Israel! In response to the genocide now taking place in Gaza, the Virginia Defenders have initiated an Open Letter to Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, calling on them to oppose any new “aid” to Israel.  To add your name, please send the name of the endorsing organization, or, if an individual, your name and some identification (community or prison activist, professor, attorney, minister, etc.) and your city or county in Virginia. The Open Letter will be delivered to the senators’ Richmond offices and released to the news media. The letter is HERE .

Protest: Sunday 10/15 at 2 pm in Monroe Park

“NO MORE U.S. 'AID' TO ISRAELI APARTHEID GOVERNMENT!" Sunday, Oct. 15, Monroe Park, Richmond, VA! In response to the escalating massacre of the people of Gaza by the Israeli apartheid government, the organization American Muslims for Palestine has called for a protest to take place at 2 pm this Sunday, Oct. 15, in Richmond’s Monroe Park. The protest will demand no more U.S. “aid” to Israel. The Virginia Defenders for Freedom Justice & Equality strongly urge all our friends and allies to join us in supporting this action!

21st Gabriel Gathering is Tues, Oct 10 at 6:30

This year's commemoration is in two parts: Part One-- People's Tribunal for Virgina's Prisons, Jail's and Detention Centers --takes place on Sat. Oct. 7 from 10 am to 4 pm and features testimony of current and formerly incarcerated men and women and organizations working for criminal justice transformation. A report from the event will be published in advance of the November 7 election. Find details here: Part Two-- Breaking the Chains in Virginia --borrows its title from artist Melvin Edwards' depiction of Gabriel the blacksmith transforming iron objects into tools of liberation. Join us on the African Burial Ground in Shockoe Bottom as we * Honor the memory of the peopel interred in the first municipal burial ground for Black people of early 19th century Richmond, Virginia, who made up 50% of the population, and * Remember Richmond's role as a slave trading epicenter made it an early site of mass incarceration for the distribution o


On Oct. 7, 2023, the Virginia Prison Justice Network and the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality will co-sponsor a PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL ON VIRGINIA’S PRISONS, JAILS & DETENTION CENTERS, an all-day public hearing to be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. 3rd St. in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event, scheduled to run from 10 am to 4 pm. Testimony about injustices in the state’s prisons, jails and immigrant detention centers will be presented by prisoners, formerly incarcerated individuals, family members and advocates. The testimony will be heard by a panel of Community Judges from the legal profession, academia, the religious community and more. (See below.) After the Tribunal, a report will be published and presented to every candidate for the 2023 election to the Virginia General Assembly, and every candidate will be asked to take a position on the proposal to create an Independent Outside Oversight

Defying fear, VAPJN caravan demands COVID-19 protection for Va. prisoners

Staff Report - The Virginia Defender - RICHMOND, VA, Jan. 17 -- Three days before the presidential inauguration in nearby Washington, D.C., a state of emergency has been declared in Virginia. The FBI has warned of possible attacks this weekend on all 50 state capitols, including in Richmond. There was a bomb threat yesterday at the Virginia Supreme Court. And thousands of angry “gun rights” activists are expected to converge on the city tomorrow. Tensions are so high that even some county “militias” are saying they’re skipping that event out of safety concerns. And yet none of that prevented nearly 50 cars from joining the “Not One More Death!” caravan that drove through downtown Richmond yesterday to demand protection for the state’s prisoners from the COVID-19 pandemic. Organized by the prisoner-led Virginia Prison Justice Network, the mobilization attracted former prisoners and family members from around the Greater Richmond area and as far away as Staff

Check out the latest VDEF Updates & Announcements

Updates & Announcements   A service of  THE VIRGINIA DEFENDER   newspaper.  Editorial Board: Ana Edwards & Phil Wilayto Sept. 24, 2020 On this date in 1973, Guinea-Bissau declared its independence from Portugal.  The declaration was recognized almost a year later on Sept. 10, 1974. Sat., Sept. 26 -  PEOPLE FIRST FISH FRY 1-4 pm at the Marcus-David Peters Circle, Monument and North Allen avenues, Richmond.  Join  Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters  along with their partners for a People First Fish Fry, community day, and meet-up with Justice and Reformation’s 2020 endorsed candidates for Richmond City Council. “We’re raising up local leaders who put people over profit. Hear their vision for community care and real, people-first public safety. Supporting partners for this event: Richmond Action Alliance; Richmond For All; RVA26; Santos en Virginia; Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice, & Equality; Virginia Poor People’s Campaign. #TimeForChangeRichmondVA - On