Monthly Archives: March 2013

Towards Anarchy-Many Anarchist Projects are Growing in Humboldt

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Many Anarchist projects have been rolling and are picking up speed and steam since the 5th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair on December 8th, 2012. Amazing and vibrant scene and zine Humboldt D.I.Y, is coming out of Arcata, courtesy in large part from the Humboldt Garden Collective, and many people from the various houses and radical spaces of Arcata. Humboldt Grassroots introduced the most recent Humboldt DIY with a little call out for more Anarchist media and coordination and cooperation. (That will be available online soon- the zine is only hard copy format now)
It is great luck to have more anarchist media and this Humboldt DIY zine is a fun read.
If you’re not familiar with the Humboldt Gardening collective, you might remember The recent Anarchy and agriculture workshop at the 5th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair, presented by farmer Paul and Ryan of the Humboldt Garden Collective.
The Humboldt Gardening Collective are helping grow anarchism in Arcata by getting together and growing food. You will heat more about them on our site and elsewhere for sure.

But wait there’s more

The work shop on transformative justice and community accountability – One of the important local workshops at the 5th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair- has spawned a study group-studying and discussing ideas methods and Strateging to create community accountability processes that work for our communities.
This is important work, if we want meaningful solidarity we can all rely on, we need to be accountable to one another so that oppressive and fucked up behaviour doesn’t go unchecked. At the same time no one is perfect, and kicking out each person who does something messed up is not the greatest way to solve problems and encourage personal and community growth.
Also violence and ostracizing methods tend to help encourage friends of abusers to make excuses for their friends behavior.
It is a big undertaking we are starting with posters that will be available online and at the infoshop as soon as they’re made.
The transformative justice study group meets at the Crescent house in Arcata and the Rhizome infoshop in Arcata check on Facebook for current meeting details.
Oh! The Rhizome infoshop, thanks to 10 dollars a month throw in from in infoshop Members, and of course all the volunteer work in fundraising all the rest, we have internet cheaper copy service than staples and regular open hours. Plus the multimedia lending library is fully operational.

Last time I talked with our treasurer we are doing all that without relying to heavily on HGR general fund needed to start projects, basic upkeep (like this website) emergencies and to put out print media and put on the book fair(travel costs materials etc.)

This may come as a surprise to some, but we are already looking towards the next Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair. We need people who interested in learning how to put this all together, some newer bottom liners, experienced-and non experienced HABF volunteers, contact people brainstorming, poster designing and making .etc
We’re getting the 6th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair organizing collective together. So if you like the Book Fair consider helping put it on this year.
Everyone who wants to help will need to know deadlines and an idea of (brass tacks) how all the different components of the Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair come together. So we are organizing/calling out- to have a first meeting to let you get an idea. Veteran book fair organizers will share knowledge and experience with those who are new to it, and together we will come up with new ideas also.
Maybe a two day thing? An day of discussion like they do in SF? It is up to those who organize for it to decide.
So contact us lets get things going.

You can help with Humboldt Grassroots put this very important event on.
Contact Humboldtgrassroots@riseup.net
707-6164700

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

No Clearcuts Near Strawberry Rock! Green Diamond Needs to Protect More than a Pittance of Trinidad's Famous Forest

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

As the issue of Green Diamond's proposed 85 acre clearcut goes before the Trinidad City Council tonight, the determination of the community that has risen up to defend Strawberry Rock's forest is stronger than ever. The demand is simple: cancel the Strawberry Rock THP and turn the 1 square mile around the Rock into a community forest that will never be clearcut or developed.

So far, Green Diamond has only responded with the bare minimum offer: leave the Rock and the trail to it alone, as well as 27 acres of forest adjacent to the trail. This offer does not go nearly far enough in preserving the historic character of the area's 100-year-old temperate rainforest. The right thing for Green Diamond to do is to place ALL of Strawberry Rock's forests into a conservation easement, so that it may become Trinidad's next old growth forest.

The fact is, there is a very strong case that the public already has a legal entitlement to access Strawberry Rock. This fact turns Green Diamond's "offer" to protect the trail to the rock, the rock itself, and an additional 27 acres into a legal obligation rather than a gift.

California's laws on public easements and right of way makes it so that we, the people, have the absolute legal right to access Strawberry Rock, and hike the trail to do so. The fact that Green Diamond has done nothing to prevent the public from accessing the Rock in their 20+ years of ownership means even if they started arresting people tomorrow, they would have no leg to stand on in court. The public currently holds a prescriptive easement to the trail and the Rock.

The 27 acres they "offered" the public at February's public meeting is required by their own voluntary certification standards of retaining 27% of a given THP. Further, they have no right to "give" the public what is rightfully theirs–public right of way to Strawberry Rock has existed long before Green Diamond ever acquired the Trinidad property.

If Green Diamond truly wishes to be a generous member of the community, they need to give more than simply the bare minimum required by law and their certification standards.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Eureka Mission Forces Guests to Study Bible, Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey in Exchange for Shelter

Category : Blog

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

The Eureka Rescue Mission has a questionable reputation amongst many people who have stayed there, and is loaded with a lot of terrible associations for a lot of people who have spent time there.  Similar to the prison system, the faith-based shelter system aims to subdue people into states of obedience, compliance, and powerlessness. This happens through manipulating one’s sense of self worth, compromising one’s integrity, and by convincing one that they are “in the wrong” and that they need to “change their ways.”

From personal experience, I would rather sleep outside behind a building rather than going back to the Mission for provisions. I associate the Mission with a man that I met there one night when I was eating dinner. I was new in town and did not really know my way around. It was my first time eating dinner there, and he offered to take me to a better spot to stay for the night after I finished eating, and I went along with it because he came across like a decent person, and because the Mission is incredibly dispiriting. He even said that he did not want to ask me for anything. He told me that it was rare to have someone want to help you without expecting anything in return. We walked across town, stayed at the devil’s playground, and then he molested me.

It is difficult to communicate the sensation of powerlessness and helplessness over myself within the situation and within the dynamic with him. I felt sexually violated and like my dignity was completely compromised. I was pretty clueless as to where else I could go, or what to do, or how to handle the situation. It was like I did not take myself to be capable of somehow leaving the situation. We were sleeping in one of the abandoned chambers where timber used to be stacked. He was able to pick up on me being queer, but tried to suggest that I was “like him” through subliminal questions and provoking mind-games inside of my head.

He was wearing an ankle brace, I think that he had raped other people before. He tried to create a complex inside of me. I think that it was my second day in Eureka.

I am much more familiar with how to handle situations like this now, especially how to handle situations with older men who have special interest. Anyways, that is what comes to mind when I think of the Rescue Mission, and I have consistently heard sleazy memories being elicited with the mention of that place.

My friend Jimmy told me about an experience that he had with the Mission. He  had one beer earlier in the day, went to the Mission later in the evening to eat and rest, and was then denied access because the light in the breathalyzer falsely indicated that he was intoxicated.

One should not be denied access to food and shelter for being under the influence of alcohol.

There are many people on the street who have a physical dependency on alcohol. Because of this addiction, they are not able to actively get around, communicate, and do things if they are forced to suddenly stop all alcohol consumption. When one is going through withdrawal from alcohol, and the body is detoxing itself, one is increasingly dysfunctional if they do not have lesser amounts of alcohol to help their body and mind work through the dependency.

A girl that I met on the streets in Portland comes to mind. If she did not have a beer by mid-morning, then she would be overwhelmed with  nausea. She told me that she can’t stop herself from throwing up when this happens.

It is not fair, decent, or reasonable to expect guests at a shelter to immediately conform to a standard of sobriety that they may not be physically or psychologically capable of meeting because of their past levels of alcohol use and because of their current dependency on alcohol to function.

The Rescue Mission offers a New Life Discipleship Program, which serves as a “clean and sober” program, but it is not without conditions. Despite one’s belief system, value structure, or spiritual orientation it is required that one must complete a minimum of 600 hours of “structured bible study” by the end of the one year program. One should not have to study the Bible for 600 hours for a temporary residential situation to become sober. The side of the Rescue Mission van that drives around town states in bold lettering “ Rebuilding broken lives, one life at a time.”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Police and Shelter Policies to Blame for Eureka's Winter Deaths

Category : Blog

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Since winter started, people have died in Eureka because of the cold. Well, that’s not what the coroner’s office has documented, but that is the word on the street. The temperature is what killed them, but insensitive policies might be more culpable than the winter weather. Upon walking into the Rescue Mission in Eureka, one has a breathalyzer inserted into their mouth to determine whether or not they will be allowed to have a cooked meal, bathe, and sleep inside for the night. If one doesn’t pass, then they are cast out into harsh conditions.

When alcohol is consumed and makes its way into one’s bloodstream it usually gives a sensation of warmth. This is deceptive, because alcohol causes blood to thin and increases blood flow near the skin. This means that blood which is flowing near the skin will be rapidly affected by the cold,which then inhibits one’s body from maintaining homeostasis. This causes the human body to loose its ability to sustain a living temperature, which increases one’s susceptibility to hypothermia.

This is relevant when one is denied access to shelter for having a drink and is forced, out of bodily necessity, to sleep underneath a building, in the woods, or out in a field. When one sleeps outside in Eureka they have to be concerned about the Eureka Police Department harassing them throughout the night. This tends to happen either through selective enforcement or violence.

By selective enforcement, an officer giving one a citation for illegal “camping”, which one probably can’t afford later, and which may become an active warrant. Or sometimes selective enforcement takes shape in other ways. In Eureka and Arcata people are commonly profiled for looking poor and arbitrarily searched for drugs without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Sometimes people who are profiled as being on the street are detained for no decent reason. For instance, a kid that I befriended while I was living at the Arcata Night Shelter showed me a detainment certificate one morning that he was given two days prior. When I asked him why he was detained, he told me that he didn’t know. Apparently, when he was walking down the street in Arcata, minding his business, a cop car rolled up, put him in handcuffs, and forced him into the back of the car. He was never told specifically why he was detained, the most that was told to him was that he looked like he was about to do something suspicious.

By violence, having your tent, tarps, or temporary shelter intruded upon, ransacked, and destroyed. Your belongings will be rendered unsalvageable and thrown into a locked dumpster. After being criminalized and dehumanized, there are few material possessions left to stay dry and warm which leaves one hoping they don’t die of hypothermia. Or sometimes violence takes shape in other ways. My friend “star gazer”, who I met during my stay at the Arcata Night Shelter, was lifted off of the sidewalk and thrown onto the concrete after she refused to communicate with cops who were asking her why she had blood on her forehead. She was unconcerned, minding her own business, and did not have any obligation to talk to the cops. They detained her and towed the car that she was living in which was parked at the end of the street. Because of this, she had nowhere to go after her car was impounded. Because she had nowhere safe to go after this happened, and because she was alone, she got taken advantage of one night and ended up getting raped. This would have never happened if her car was not impounded for no decent reason.

Houseless people continue to die and unnecessarily suffer. This is because they are denied access to shelter for drinking; because their possessions are looted and trashed; because of the callousness of John Shelter behind New Directions; because of the policies and the people at the Eureka Rescue Mission; because of the current policies, the lack of policies, and the lolly-pop lady at the Arcata Night Shelter; and because of the sick brutality of the Eureka Police Department.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Arcata Shelter Managers Discriminate Against Guests with Nowhere Else to Go

Category : Blog

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

They call the Arcata Night Shelter The Island.

It is on the outskirts of Arcata and the only way that one is meant to come or go is by the van that comes to town at designated times. Most of the time the van driver is the head staff member who I will refer to as the lolly-pop lady. I only stayed at this shelter for around two months, but this was enough time to get insight into the poor decisions she made and the people that were directly affected.

The first memory that I have of her was when I boarded the van one afternoon outside of the library. I did not realize that she didn’t notice me inside until she accused me of sneaking on the next morning when she was driving us back into town, told me that she was “at capacity,” and that I should try to get into the Rescue Mission in Eureka instead. I was not willing to stay at the Rescue Mission because of my past experiences and associations. I shared the news with someone who worked at the drop-in that I was going to, they told me I was being discriminated against, and were able to open up a space for me by calling and voicing that suspicion. I was then given intake and accommodations, but during my stay there I saw person-after-person turned away day-after-day. The usual excuse for rejecting people in need was that the shelter was “at capacity”, but the meaning of “capacity” was unspecific. Some afternoons when capacity was asserted, there would be no more than 15 or 16 people. Then, some evenings there would be around 20 to 25 people sharing the space with one another. Capacity was relative to the lolly-pop ladies mood at the time of pick-up.

Occasionally, new faces would be allowed to come to The Island. Usually, they would be turned away, with absolutely no help or concern as to what they would do that night or where they could go instead. Not only would people in need be excluded from services, but people in need would also be sporadically kicked out for two weeks.

My friend “canary” had been staying at the Night Shelter for three nights, did not have any better alternatives, and did not have any belongings other than the clothing she was wearing. One afternoon, when she was walking to the laundry room to get her bedding and a towel, a host’s son accused her of being on pills once he was out of ear-shot of anyone else. He responded to her frustration at this accusation by phoning the lolly-pop lady. She drove the van back to the shelter several hours later in the middle of the night, picked up “canary” despite her wanting to stay, and with no evidence to suggest that she had consumed pills, dropped her off that night somewhere in town. I haven’t seen her since then.

A month or so later, a friend of mine was accused of stealing some tobacco from a fellow guest. Despite there being no evidence to prove that he had done this and no legitimate reason to suspect this, he was prohibited from returning to the shelter for two weeks because of this accusation. He did not have anywhere to go, and he did not have sufficient gear to be staying outside. The last time that I saw him was a few days after he had been 86’d when he dropped into my work and told me about what went down.

There needs to be alternative shelter options in Humboldt. There needs to be different policies at the current shelters in Humboldt.

There should not be an imperative on sobriety at these shelters that causes people to be denied services. There needs to be enough room to accommodate every person who wants to sleep inside.

People should not be denied food for arbitrary reasons. People should not be marginalized for being perceived as mentally ill. People should not be demeaned, reduced, talked down to, or dehumanized by anyone, but especially through agencies that claim to help people in need.

People should not have their belongings stolen from them, destroyed, and thrown into a dumpster by agencies that claim to steward the environment.

People should not be given citations for sleeping. People should not be searched without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

People should not have to endure acts of violence from the APD and the EPD. People who look poor should not be detained for no decent reason.

People who live outside should not have their lives threatened by hypothermia because they are not allowed a place to stay inside. 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail