by Ned Oliver
About three-dozen activists started singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting protest slogans in the middle of a Richmond City Council meeting Monday night.
The protesters identified themselves as members of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Earlier in the meeting, speakers threatened “international protest” in September when the city hosts the 2015 UCI Road World Championships if the city didn’t address a list of grievances and demands.
The protesters said City Council and Mayor Dwight Jones are failing black residents. Among other things, the protesters said they wanted to see Shockoe Bottom, where Jones proposed building a baseball stadium, designated as a protected historical district. Other issues they listed include: funding for city schools, the Department of Social Services, Care Van price increases, and failure to follow the recommendations of the city’s Food Policy Task Force.
The interruption in the proceedings led City Council President Michelle Mosby to call the meeting into recess and most of the council members left the chambers until order was restored about 15 minutes later.
Following several minutes of chanting, someone yelled, “Alright, y’all, let’s get out of here,” and the group left en masse, only to return about five minutes later to march a final loop around the room as they chanted “we told y’all we’d be back.”