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Virginia

A Unique Community Land Trust Making Homeownership Affordable

When Michael Haggins’ credit score disqualified him for a mortgage preapproval in 2021, he was crushed. A single father who grew up in Richmond, Haggins dreamed of owning a house in his hometown where his two sons could play freely. A shortage of just five credit score points — plus systemic inequities and a national housing crisis — left them all living with his mother. But today, Haggins is the proud owner of a home in Church Hill, thanks to Richmond’s Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) and its pioneering model for creating permanently affordable housing. “I don’t think I could’ve done it without their help, honestly,” says Haggins.

Protester Blockades The Mountain Valley Pipeline Access Road

Roanoke County, VA - Early this morning, a pipeline fighter going by the name Mullein locked themself to barrels blockading Honeysuckle Rd, which provides access to the Mountain Valley Pipeline easement. This protest, along with many prior, is located on Poor Mountain, where the Yellow Finch Treesits protected some of the last standing trees in the MVP’s path for two and a half years from 2018-2021. About a month ago, a similar action took place at this same location. Two grandparents had locked themselves to a large wooden opossum, stopping work for the day. "Today, as I sit in the road on so-called Poor Mountain, it is the day after Nakba Day," stated Mullein.

MVP Protester Locks Himself To Construction Equipment

Elliston, VA — Early Wednesday morning, pipeline fighter Finn locked himself to a side boom on a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite on Poor Mountain in Montgomery County, VA, preventing MVP construction at the site for 11 hours. "Why risk arrest? Why risk my name? Why devote my time and energy, to be here protesting this pipeline in the backwoods of Appalachia?" Finn asked. "The truth is I've lost the ability to look away. And it no longer makes sense to be anywhere else." At the base of the mountain, nearby where the pipeline easement crosses Yellow Finch Rd, a rally of people gathered to show their support for Finn's action.

Married Couple Block Mountain Valley Pipeline In Large Wooden Possum

Roanoke County, VA - Early Wednesday morning, married couple Ted Glick (74) and Jane Califf (83), locked themselves inside a large wooden possum on Honeysuckle Rd in Roanoke County, VA, blocking Mountain Valley Pipeline construction in the area. Ted and Jane prevented MVP's access to the pipeline easement, a work yard, and 2 access roads, for 6.5 hours, before they were extracted from their blockade and arrested. They were each charged with 3 misdemeanors, given bail of $3,000, and bailed out the same day.

Resiliency Hub Provides Safety, Self-sufficiency In Disinvested Community

Queen Shabazz became an activist three decades ago, when her young son contracted lead poisoning in their rental home. She soon learned that “lead wasn’t the only problem out there”: her low-income, disinvested community in Petersburg, Virginia, contends with more than its share of environmental hazards — from air pollution to toxic waste. Increasingly, those hazards are compounded by climate change. As the planet warms, Petersburg is experiencing more flash floods, as well as power outages that last for days.

Protester Inside Mountain Valley Pipeline Blocks Work For Two Days

Giles County, VA - Early Thursday morning, a pipeline fighter using the name Ricky Bobby climbed inside the Mountain Valley Pipeline (which is 42 inches in diameter) atop Peters Mountain to prevent ongoing construction in the area. MVP security and law enforcement responded to the scene but did not enter the pipe; Ricky left after 2 days and was arrested and charged with 4 misdemeanors. A banner placed at the entrance of the pipe read, "FUCK YOU, MVP." People rallied in support of Ricky's action on the first day at the Jefferson National Forest gate on Pocahontas Rd.

Activists Establish Protest Camp Outside Antony Blinken’s Home

If the bags under U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s eyes have looked heavier than usual recently, it might have something to do with the wake-up brigade camped outside his $5 million dollar mansion. “Wakey wakey, war criminal! Good morning war criminal! How is your genocide coffee? How many kids did you kill while you were sleeping?” shouted Hazami Barmada at seven a.m. outside Blinken’s residence in McLean, Virginia, on Friday, February 2, along with several others who had spent the cold night in tents by the side of the road. As she has done nearly every morning since she and other activists began their campout on January 26, Barmada live-streamed what she called the “blinky blinky morning routine,” on her Instagram page.

Mountain Mamas Resistance To Mountain Valley Pipeline Continues

Early this morning Mama Julz, an Ogala Lakota land defender and water protector, locked herself to a Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) helicopter to prevent the transportation of pipeline workers onto a remote work site on Poor Mountain, where MVP is causing an immense amount of damage pushing the pipeline through rugged lands. Mama Julz prevented MVP's use of the helicopter for multiple hours before she was extracted from her blockade and arrested, along with one other person who supported Mama Julz' action this morning. Both Mama Julz and the supporter were charged with one misdemeanor; both were denied bond and are being held in jail unjustly.

2023, A Year Of Progress: Expanding Voting Rights Across The Country

This year, thanks to the tireless efforts of dedicated advocates and organizations, we’re witnessing a remarkable shift in the political landscape when it comes to expanding and protecting the right to vote for justice-impacted people. Advocacy Based on Lived Experience (ABLE) – an organization dedicated to working to engage people in the democratic process – held several community events across Kentucky, allowing attendees and lawmakers to hold discussions on pertinent issues in their communities, regardless of their political affiliation. Participants frequently discussed state legislation that would restore the right to vote to over 160,000 Kentuckians who are disenfranchised due to their history with the criminal legal system.

Activists Hold Mock Funeral On UVA Grounds For Monroe Doctrine

It was 200 years ago that President James Monroe delivered a speech that would later become the framework for the Monroe Doctrine. Activists around the world are now trying to bury the document. Some of those activists met on UVA Grounds Saturday, December 2, for a mock funeral service to put the doctrine and its ideals to rest. “This idea that somebody doing something the U.S. government doesn’t like thousands of miles away is a threat to U.S safety? That means you can go and attack Iraq and call it defensive, and this has been done for 200 years,” World Beyond War Director David Swanson said.

Six Activists Arrested Outside Raytheon Protesting War Crimes

Arlington, Virginia – Activists from across the country gathered outside of Raytheon’s office at 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA at 12:00 noon on November 8 to confront the war profiteer on its role in producing weapons that are causing extreme suffering and death to innocent children, women, and men around the world. As they gathered on the sidewalk outside of Raytheon, some of the individuals lay on the sidewalk and were covered with sheets representing people around the world who have been killed in US wars using weapons made by the war profiteer.  Others mourned over large dolls representing the children who have been killed by Raytheon’s weapons.

Appalachians Slap Back: Pipeline Work In National Forest Halted Again

Peters Mountain, VA — On Monday afternoon 10/9/23, pipeline fighter Ben locked himself to a sleeping dragon in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, preventing tree cutting and clearing in the area. A banner at the site read "Appalachians Slap Back," in reference to a SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) filed by MVP in September. "This is a pipeline that cuts through every county in Virginia that I’ve ever called home," Ben explained. "I grew up here. I live here. In 2018, people started putting their bodies in the way of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. They’ve been called a lot of things, including outside agitators and paid protesters.

MVP Construction Halted In National Forest Due To Pipeline Resistance

Peters Mountain, VA -- On Saturday morning 10/7, pipeline fighter Mickey locked themself to a sleeping dragon blockade on the Virginia side of Peters Mountain, in the Jefferson National Forest. A banner at the site read, "Defend the Forest Everywhere!" Mickey prevented tree clearing on the mountain for the full day. Around 8 PM on Saturday, Mickey was extracted and arrested. They were charged with 3 misdemeanors and bail was set at $2,500. Mickey stated, "The same thing is happening everywhere right now. Greedy corporations and politicians dirty the water and air for profit, then tell the people it's for their own good, to create jobs so that the lowly worker might have the chance to make enough to eat.

Biggest Health Worker Strike In United States History Begins

On October 4, 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities in several US states are set to go on strike for three days following the breakdown of contract negotiations last week. A coalition of several unions representing health workers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington, DC is battling the nonprofit health giant for safe staffing levels, cost of living pay increases, and against a two-tier pay system that Kaiser is trying to introduce. The largest union in the coalition is Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) with 57,443 members, but the coalition also includes Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30, SEIU Local 49, OPEIU Local 2 and others.

Healthcare Workers In Maryland, Virginia And DC Authorize Strike

Some 3,800 union healthcare workers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are threatening to go on strike at the end of this month if the leadership at Kaiser Permanente and the union cannot agree to a new contract addressing staffing shortages and low pay for workers. According to a Monday statement from OPEIU Local 2, which represents 8,000 workers in the region, about 98% of health care workers from the union voted to authorize a strike to protest “unfair labor practices” if no agreement is reached by Sept. 30. The health care workers represented by OPEIU Local 2 union include optometrists, pharmacists, nurses and certified nursing assistants.
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