VPA Protest March On Saturday

I have not seen this covered yet by the other neighborhood blogs- here’s the announcement: Virginia coalition to hold ‘Jan. 9 March on the State Capitol for Jobs, Peace & Justice’ On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Virginia People’s Assembly, a statewide coalition of labor, community and peace organizations, will sponsor a march on the State Capitol to oppose more budget […]

I have not seen this covered yet by the other neighborhood blogs- here’s the announcement:

Virginia coalition to hold ‘Jan. 9 March on the State Capitol for Jobs,
Peace & Justice’

On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Virginia People’s Assembly, a statewide coalition
of labor, community and peace organizations, will sponsor a march on the
State Capitol to oppose more budget cuts and layoffs of state workers.

The demands of the march include: “Jobs, Peace, Justice! Don’t balance the
budget on the backs of Virginia’s workers! Make the big corporations pay
their fair share of Virginia’s tax burden!”

The announcement of the march follows outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine’s proposal
for the 2010-2012 state budget, which includes $2.3 billion in new cuts,
including the loss of 2,543 state jobs, 664 through direct layoffs, as
well as slashing aid to cities and counties. The new cuts would be in
addition to the more than $7 billion already cut from the present two-year
budget in response to declining revenue caused by the ongoing national

Bob McDonnell, who takes office as Virginia’s new governor on Jan. 16, has
already rejected revenue increases proposed by Kaine, so the actual
threatened cuts and layoffs will likely be even more severe.

“Gov. Tim Kaine and incoming Gov. Bob McDonnell are both talking about
more layoffs of state workers, more cuts in social programs, higher
university tuition and less aid to the cities and counties,” said Lillie
Branch-Kennedy, a prisoner rights advocate and founding member of the VPA.
“But nobody is talking about the fact that Virginia has one of the lowest
corporate income tax rates in the country. We say raise the tax rate for
the biggest corporations and you won’t have to balance the budget on the
backs of working people and the poor!”

On Jan. 9, the VPA and its allies and supporters will rally at 3 p.m. at
Kanawha Plaza, at 8th and Canal streets next to the Federal Reserve
Building in downtown Richmond. At 4 p.m., participants will march through
the city’s Financial District, past the offices of the banks and
corporations the VPA charges are not paying their fair share of the
state’s tax burden. The march will end at sundown outside Capitol Square.
City permits have been obtained for both the rally and march.

The march and rally will be preceded by a meeting for VPA affiliates and
allies, to be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Baptist
Church, 505 N. 33rd St. in the city’s East End.

The Virgina People’s Assembly was formed in the fall of 2008 to sponsor a
march and rally on the opening day of the 2009 General Assembly session.
Organizers of the march and rally scheduled for Jan. 9, 2010, include the
Richmond organizations Richmond Jobs with Justice; Defenders for Freedom,
Justice & Equality, Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged;
Prisoners & Families for Equal Rights & Justice; and United Parents
Against Lead National, Inc.; the Coalition for Justice (Blacksburg) the
People United (Charlottesville); Plowshare Peace Center (Roanoke);
Mexicanos Sin Fronteras / Mexicans Without Borders (Prince William
County); OffBase GI Coffeehouse (Norfolk) and many individual activists.

A complete list of endorsers follows this announcement.

For more information, call (804) 644-5834 or e-mail
vapeoplesassembly@gmail.com. Also, visit the VPA Web site at

The following organizations and individuals have endorsed the
Jan. 9 March on the State Capitol for Jobs, Peace & Justice

After Downing Street; David Swanson, Co-Founder – Charlottesville
Phyllis T. Albritton – Blacksburg
Breanne Armbrust, Director, Richmond Jobs with Justice
Michael S. Berg, Peace & Social Justice Activist – Norfolk
J. Daniel Bickett, Activist – Richmond
Lillie “Ms. K” Branch-Kennedy, Director, Resource Information Help for the
Disadvantaged (RIHD)
Margaret Breslau, Chair, Coalition for Justice -Blacksburg
Rev. Indee Hopewell Brown, Concerned Virginian -Midlothian
Rain Burroughs, Code Pink – Richmond
Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
Ana Edwards, Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project – Richmond
Sa’ad El-Amin, Human Rights Activist – Richmond
Lillie A. Estes, Community Strategist – Richmond
Flying Brick Library – Richmond
Rev. J.E. Gash, Exec. Minister, The Active Hand Ministry – Richmond Pastor
Benjamin W. Harris Jr., Concerned Community Activist – Richmond Rev.
Marilyn Heckstall, Activist – Richmond
Pearl & Lawrence Hopewell, Concerned Virginians – Richmond
Rev. Rodney Hunter – Richmond
Rev. George Jordan, Founder, A.F.R.I.C.A. – Richmond
King Salim Khalfani, Executive Director, Va. State Conference NAACP Little
Flower Catholic Worker Farm – Louisa
May Day 2010 – Richmond
Mexicanos Sin Fronteras – Prince William County
Donnell Newton, Community Activist – Norfolk
Tom Palumbo, Interim Project Manager, OffBase Coffeehouse & Activist
Center – Norfolk
The People United
Rev. Nichole Phillips, Concerned Virginian – Midlothian
Tench Phillips, President, Art Repertory Films, Inc – Norfolk
Charity Pierce, President, Afrikana (VCU)
Plowshare Peace Center – Roanoke
Prisoners & Families for Equal Rights & Justice
Prosser-Truth Division #456, UNIA-ACL
RePHRAME – Richmond
Richmond Anarchist Black Cross
Richmond Peace Education Center
Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project
Richmond Social Justice Collective
Adria Scharf, Peace Activist – Richmond
Jennifer Schockemoehl, Labor Organizer – Richmond
Self-Improvement and Education Center – Norfolk
Queen Zakia Shabazz, Director, United Parents Against Lead National, Inc.
Brian Taylor, Democratic Congressional Candidate, 7th District
UE Local 160, Va. Public Service Workers Union
VA CARAT (Virginia Community Action & Response Against Toxins)
Virginia Solidarity Association
Joan Wages – Floyd County
Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender
The Wingnut – Richmond
Cathy Woodson, Activist – Richmond

Outside Virginia

The Virginia People’s Assembly is attracting attention from beyond Virginia.
As of Dec. 21, the Jan. 9 march has been endorsed by:

Pam Africa, Co-Chair, The International Concerned Family & Friends of
Mumia Abu Jamal – Philadelphia
Ramona Africa, Minister of Communication for The MOVE Organization –
Black Workers for Justice
Noam Chomsky, Professor, MIT – Lexington, Mass.
Donna S. Dewitt, President, S.C. AFL-CIO – Columbia, S.C.
Fellowship of Reconciliation – USA
Sara Flounders, Co-Director, International Action Center
Yoshie Furuhashi, Editor, MRZine
Teresa Gutierrez, Co-Coordinator, May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant
Mike Konopacki, Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons – Madison, Wis.
National Assembly to End the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars & Occupations Rostam
Pourzal, Former President, Campaign Against Sanctions & Military
Intervention in Iran (CASMII) – Washington, D.C.

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