On Aug. 9, the Defenders attended the first public hearing of Mayor Stoney’s Monument Avenue Commission, which is supposed to come up with recommendations about what to do with the five Confederate statues on Monument Avenue. But Mayor Stoney has already ruled out taking down the statues! On July 29 we sent an OPEN LETTER to the commission members, asking that they publicly state that removing the statues will be on the table; that they invite opponents of the statues to join the commission; and that they invite New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to speak at the second commission hearing, now scheduled for Sept. 13. Mayor Landrieu has issued a wonderful statement explaining why his city took down their monuments. The commission members did not respond, but our letter was published in the Richmond Free Press, which is also calling for the statues to be removed.
The Defenders are urging all people who oppose honoring these shrines to white supremacy to attend the next commission meeting, scheduled for a Sep. 13 hearing, 6:30 pm at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard, and voice your opposition to the statues that honor the generals, admirals and president who fought to defend the system of slavery. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/opinion/mitch-landrieus-speech-transcript.html
We are asking you to please join us at the Sep. 13 hearing, 6:30 pm at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard, and voice your opposition to the statues that honor the generals, admirals and president who fought to defend the system of slavery.
Meanwhile ... ALL OUT FOR CHARLOTTEVILLE!The Defenders will be heading out to Charlottesville Aug. 12 to join a massive protest against a right-wing rally called to support that city’s Confederate monuments. The so-called “Unite the Right” rally will bring together Klansmen, Nazis and other white-supremacist groups. Local Charlottesville organizations like Black Lives Matter, Solidarity-C’ville, SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice) and local religious leaders are appealing for anti-racists to come to Charlottesville and stand with them against these reactionaries.
The Defenders are working with SURJ-Richmond to bring people to the protest. We’ll be leaving Richmond early Saturday and coming home that evening. We’ll be going as an organized group, fully aware that this may be a difficult day and relying on our ability to carefully plan our participation to maximize our solidarity while minimizing the potential for problems.
If you would like to come with us, let us know at: DefendersFJE@hotmail.com