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COVERING ALL THE BASES: Fighting the Good Fight, Abroad and at Home

On Saturday, June 28, Richmond’s gonna raise its hands up in the air ‘cause we know we care, all in the name of freedom for Palestine. Arab-American MCs the Iron Sheik and Tarik the Eccentric have embarked on the Palestine Truth Tour and are trekking across the country all the way out from California just to bring a little hip-hop to our humble town. So mark your calendars and come on out to the Pace Center at 8 p.m. to hear poetry about the plight of Palestine and what it means to be of Palestinian descent in the U.S. today.

Moving from the ruckus endeavor of celebrating and educating to the serious business of organizing: On Friday, June 13, Richmond Jews for a Free Palestine celebrated its rebirth as the local chapter of Jews Against the Occupation, an internationally active group that gives voice to the countless Jewish folks who support of the Palestinian’s people struggle against Israel’s brutal, illegal and ongoing occupation. Just two days later RJATO, together with Free Palestine Now!, issued a strong condemnation of recent anti-Jewish vandalism, as well as anti-Palestinian creeds. Another local activist was quick to put out the call for written responses to racist and ignorant articles published last week in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and its online partner Richmond.com. While you anxiously await the arrival of the Palestinian Truth Tour, why not whittle away the hours by making our local major media press a somewhat less evil enterprise, simply by writing a quick letter to the editors of these publications?

While vigilance in responding to what the major media publishes is crucial, we must also be ever alert of local developments that go unreported or unanalyzed by the for-profit press. A recent poster exemplifies this with his brief summary of the building of a new Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) biocontainment lab at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. In short, these labs are capable of testing and producing biological weapons, and now that we’ve got one in the neighborhood, it’s our responsibility to ensure that this one doesn’t.

Richmond’s got good company when it comes to organizing around progressive issues -- Fredericksburg and Virginia Beach have both recently announced exciting projects in their towns. Fredericksburg’s looking to launch a comprehensive education campaign dealing with everything from queer liberation to social justice globalization, while Virginia Beach is trying to start a Food Not Bombs chapter down in the heart of the Tidewater region. Both of these invaluable undertakings need your help. Join the struggle, follow the links and volunteer to lend a hand.



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