City Council GRTC and Transit Study Task Force to hold meeting Thursday

From City announcement:

All residents are invited and encouraged to attend

WHAT The Richmond City Council GRTC and Transit Study Task Force will hold a meeting. The purpose of the Task Force is to make recommendations to Richmond City Council with regard to enhancing mass transit in the Metro-Richmond area and the efficiency and effectiveness of the GRTC Transit System. The meeting is free and open to the public and all residents are invited and encouraged to attend.

WHEN Thursday, April 12, 2012
4:00-6:00 p.m.

WHERE Richmond Department of Economic Development
Richmond Main Street Station – 3rd Floor Conference Room
1500 East Main Street; Richmond, Virginia 23219
(PARKING: Free parking is available on the west side of the building by using the Franklin Street Entrance and using the lot below the Interstate. When facing the Train Station from the Franklin Street Entrance, make a right and park towards the Clock Tower end. When facing the building from the parking lot, the entrance door to the Richmond Department of Economic Development is located on the right of the building.)

WHO Members of the Richmond City Council GRTC and Transit Study Task Force

CONTACT For more information, please contact Councilman Bruce W. Tyler, Richmond City Council, West End 1st District, at 804.357.6007; or

Background ____________________________________________________________________________

Richmond City Council GRTC and Transit Study Task Force
Richmond City Council established the Richmond City Council GRTC and Transit Study Task Force on September 27, 2010 by Richmond City Council Ordinance No. 2010-173-166.

The objective of the Richmond City Council GRTC and Transit Study Task Force is to provide a report to Council within in a year of its first meeting which recommends the following:

1. Any legislation, plans, policies, and programs that promote efficient mass transit in the city;

2. Economic development, economic growth, employment and tourism strategies that include public transportation; and,

3. Public relations and education programs to increase public use of mass transit.

4. The Task Force shall also work with interested private organizations to improve the service and efficiency of the GRTC.

James River Film Festival at Main Library on Friday

From announcement:

Join us at the Main Library on Friday, April 13 from Noon to 3, for the 19th James River Film Festival
Free and open to the public!

Futuropolis (Phil Trumbo and Steve Segal, 1984, 40 min.) with star Tom (Cosmo) Campagnoli! This is the granddaddy of Richmond independent film, the third time we’ve screened Futuroplis since the festival began in 1994. Shot over nine years on sets constructed in the basement of the Broad Street Station (now the Science Museum of Virginia), using an animation process known as pixilation, Futuropolis has the feel of a 1930’s comic strip and the warm synthesis of atomic age nostalgia. With Futuroplis actor Tom (Cosmo) Campagnoli on hand for a Q&A

19th JRFF: Mark of the Damned
Mark of the Damned (Eric Miller, 2007, 90 min.) with director Eric Miller! Made by Richmonders over an 8-year span at a cost of $10,000, Mark of the Damned is a sci-fi/horror hybrid, full of ambience and shot in the stark chiaroscuro of the silent cinema years. A self-proclaimed “journey beyond truth into an amplified world,” Mark of the Damned’s cursed legacy includes a screening in Sicily where the power in the theatre inexplicably failed. Director Eric Miller will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

VCU SDS: “Defend Your Right to Peaceful Assembly and Protest”

From a statement for the VCU Students for a Democratic Society:

VCU recently proposed amendments to its student code of conduct. The proposed rules prohibit demonstrations that disrupt the normal functions of the university, but the language is so vague that, if interpreted by a trigger-happy administrator, you could be punished for non-disruptively, peacefully, and legally exercising your First Amendment right to peaceable assembly and protest.

“Demonstrations/riot – Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the University and/or infringes on the rights of others; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.”

VCU is not alone in this crackdown on active citizens; measures are being taken to criminalize free speech throughout the city and country.

On the 3rd of March, 30 peaceful protesters were arrested by Virginia State Police in riot gear for sitting on the steps of the Virginia Capitol building. They were demonstrating for an end to anti-choice reproductive legislation. In a further attempt to scare citizens away from expressing their First Amendment right to peaceful assembly, the female arrestees were held for nearly nine hours in a paddy wagon and prevented access to restrooms and drinking water.

In Georgia, members of the state legislature unsuccessfully attempted to restrict the right of protesters and union members with SB 469. The bill would have made it a felony to protest near a private business. Imagine being charged with a felony for simply holding a sign!

VCU’s Monroe Park is also significant. Last Spring, several activists were arrested for camping out on the corner of Main and Laurel in protest of City Council’s attempt to gentrify the park and criminalize homelessness. Later in 2011, members of Occupy Richmond were brutalized by Richmond police and denied access to Monroe Park after being forcefully removed from Kanawha Plaza, a camp that passed the City’s sanitation standards.

And so, we, the VCU chapter of Students for a Democratic Society are protesting today to publicly exercise and protect our freedom to peacefully assemble, to stand against the unjust and unprovoked attacks on civil disobedience, and to demand transparency in American society.

**This is an orderly, peaceful demonstration. We are practicing what we are trying to defend. Behavior that is harmful or disruptive to our fellow students or homeless won’t be tolerated.**

There is a Facebook page for a protest this Friday in Monroe Park at 1 pm: