Thursday, April 29, 2010

Help out our Virginia Comrades!

Help out our comrades from the Socialist Party of Central Virginia; please sign their petition protesting the order to hire and pay off-duty officers to police their May Day parade.

Below is their letter:

Hi friends,
The Richmond Police Department has decided that the May Day parade planned for this Saturday must hire and pay for police presence in order to parade in the streets.
We are doing our best to resist this on a number of grounds. This creates a terrible precedent for other groups in Richmond to have to follow. This is an assault on our rights to peaceably assemble, and the RPD has already violated numerous ordinances in an effort to deny granting any permit at all.

A lawsuit is being planned, with the help of the ACLU, in the event that the parade will have to be on the sidewalks instead of the streets, but we hope that with enough public pressure we will be able to have our parade on our terms.

PLEASE follow this link and sign our letter,

A press conference and picket will be held tomorrow (Thurday 4/29) at 5:00 pm in Richmond in front of the Police Head Quarters on Chamberlayne Avenue where Captain Shamus and Sgt. Selander's Special Events Division is located.

This is how the petition reads-
Free Speech for Richmond's May Day!

Dear Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood:

I am writing to protest the fact that the Richmond Police Department is attempting to deny a parade permit to organizers of a Richmond May Day Parade planned for this coming Saturday, first by failing to respond to the organizers' permit application within the time limit imposed by city law, and second by demanding that the organizers first agree to hire two off-duty police officers, a requirement not included in the relevant city ordinance. I urge the City of Richmond to do the right thing, respect the First Amendment right to peacefully assemble and immediately grant the parade permit.

The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Richmond Free Press, Richmond Voice The Virginia Defender, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Style Weekly, WRIR, Richmond-area Clear Channel radio stations, WTVR Channel 6, WRIC Channel 8, NBC Channel 12, May Day 2010 Richmond Organizing Committee


[Your name]

For more info on Richmond May Day go to

and please pass this on to your friends!

1 comment:


    Hi friends!
    Thanks to all who signed the mass e-mail. Just got word that May Day will be in the streets this Saturday! Info at
    here's the good news:

    Good News! Due to the success of an action taken by hundreds of activists in solidarity with Richmond May Day 2010 through a 24 hour letter writing campaign, with over 350 signatures, targeting Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood (Richmond City Chief of Police) and Mayor Dwight C. Jones (Richmond City Mayor) we were granted a permit allowing the use of the street to march.

    The letter was concerning their requirement that organizers be responsible for the hiring of off duty police officers, an infringement on our First Amendment Right to free speech and freedom of assembly. Without all of your diligent solidarity and action including the experience and advising efforts of the Virginia ACLU and Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, we have avoided a potentially dangerous situation. The city has granted two police vehicles at no cost to the organizers as an escort to Richmond May Day Parade 2010.

    We still plan to work closely with the ACLU from this point forward to insure that anyone else who wishes to exercise their First Amendment Rights may do so without the deterrent of any government ordinance requiring payment to do so.

    In Solidarity,
    Richmond May Day Organizing Committee 2010