Brandon Seward’s letter to the editor about mass incarceration.
The Virginia Defender
Established in 2005 as The Richmond Defender, The Virginia Defender is a free community newspaper, published quarterly for the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. Print distribution is 16,000 and statewide. The online publication launched in Summer 2020.
Things are not going well, to put it mildly. Take a break, then get back to it.
A newly formed coalition of more than 30 activists and advocacy groups is promoting a federal bill that would force the FBI to allow full disclosure of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s program that targeted civil rights, antiwar and leftist organizations with the aim of disrupting their activities, no matter how legal and Constitutionally protected they might be.
Workers at the Hershey Chocolate plant in Stuarts Draft, Va., filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board Jan. 18 to be represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTGM). According to the Staunton News Leader, workers say the main issues are a lack of time off, disrespect on the job and frequent changes that are poorly communicated by management.
There’s a quote at the bottom of this page by the famous Russian novelist Dostoevski: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” More people should visit Virginia’s prisons and jails.
Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore with three locations in Washington, D.C., is the first bookstore in the district to unionize. The approximately 100 workers are now represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. The Virginia Defender spoke to Isa Salazar of the Politics and Prose Workers Union Organizing Committee about the process of getting organized.
WHY WE SUPPORT THE MEMORIALIZATION OF SHOCKOE BOTTOM, BUT ARE OPPOSED TO SPENDING $220 MILLION ON A LEGACY MUSEUM
Yes, there needs to be a slavery/slave trade museum or interpretive center in Shockoe Bottom, but it doesn’t need to be a $220 million legacy project for people who have played a very mixed role in the ongoing struggle to reclaim and properly memorialize what once was the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade.