Open Letter in Response to Eureka Police Chief, Andrew Mills

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Humboldt Grassroots was asked to pass this letter along where Andy Mills could see it (we know you’re watching). They have chosen to write under a moniker out of concern for their safety.

Dear Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills,

How dare you compare a band’s name that makes you uncomfortable to genocide! In what world do you live in where the two are even remotely similar? The band is called Millions of Dead COPS so don’t act like it has anything to do with Jews just to make a point. You chose to be a police officer, and while some Jews converted, most of us were born into it. How can you possibly compare our real tragedy with political satire? How do you even feel so attacked and marginalized by the name of a band that you think the Holocaust is a reasonable comparison? As long as we’re making huge jumps, what about the millions of dead Natives who lost their lives so you can call your city Eureka? Why wouldn’t you reference a genocide that you have personally benefitted from?

You think this band’s name is a hate crime? Do you know what a hate crime is? I have had FOUR ACTUAL HATE CRIMES committed against me in the City of Eureka since the election. They happened because of my brown skin and African features, which is something I did not choose and cannot change. You were not born a police officer, that was a life decision you made as an adult. It was not forced on you. There is a huge difference between people hating you because of the color of your skin and because you choose to associate with the largest and most organized violent gang in America. And don’t fool yourself, you are a gang. You travel in packs, heavily armed, wearing matching colors and other identifiers, you speak to each other in code and use fear tactics and brute force to control people. That is why I never reported either instance of somebody deliberately trying to run me over while yelling racial slurs out their window, or the person who tried to physically intimidate me in front of the Coop while screaming in my face and not letting me pass them. I didn’t report any of these actual hate crimes because I already knew from personal experience with your department that you wouldn’t do anything to help me. Why should I trust you now? In ten years I have not dealt with nearly as much racist bullshit as I have encountered since the morning of November 9, 2016. And you have the audacity to insinuate that the name of this band a hate crime? Now that is what I call “repugnant”!

Do you realize there are children in this country who wonder why they are hated? Black children internalize the hatred, bigotry, marginalization and violent treatment black Americans face today and have faced ever since the days of chattel slavery. Native children wonder what they’ve done to deserve having their land stolen and their water poisoned. Jewish children wonder how horrible they must naturally be to deserve near extermination. So if children are wondering why people blindly hate them for things they have no control over, why don’t you, as an adult, think about why people hate the police? If soul searching and reading up on your history was too much, you could have attended last night’s performance as a patron and talked to other attendees about their opinions, rather than try to stifle a message you disagree with on the surface. Anyone with a brain between their ears can come up with a few dozen reasons why people don’t like you. Your asinine, thoughtless, insensitive, inaccurate tweet and pathetic attempt to damage a local business is a perfect example.

Do not pretend to be for freedom of speech while actively trying to silence someone’s message. If you were just some angry citizen, I would hold nothing against you for your statements yesterday. But since you are the police chief, your word is law as far as many people are concerned. Should local business owners be worried you’ll call for a boycott against them for exercising their First Amendment Rights as well?

You’ve insulted the Jews in your community by comparing our genocide to a band’s name that you dislike.You’ve insulted everyone who has endured real hate crimes in your community with your foolish comparison.You’ve asked for a boycott against a safe, all-ages music venue in your community.You’ve responded to an anti-Trump event in his signature style; by using your power and authority to threaten the reputation of Siren’s Song because you dislike the name of a band they hosted. Sad.

Look at your actions and ask yourself why people hate the police. Ask yourself why a band called Millions of Dead Cops had a line going around the corner.

I write this to you anonymously not because I am ashamed of anything I have to say, but because I am afraid to stand up to a police officer while also referencing my race and religion. I fear what your supporters would do to me if I make my identity public, and I am certain that you would not help me.

Yours truly,
MADaf

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Calling BS on EPD’s PR Tricks

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9/28/2016

In response to Andy Mills outrageous OpEd on LoCo this morning: if the website for Redwood Curtain Copwatch weren’t currently being blocked, we would be able to provide you with a long list here of people who have been slain and/or brutalized by the EPD and other departments in Humboldt County. We’ll provide the list as soon as we can access it. The list will include people like Richie Estrada, a 17 year old boy from the Hoopa Valley Tribe, who was gunned down by a local CHP officer for allegedly wielding a knife, and Tommy McClain, a 22 year old man from Eureka, who was taken down in a shower of gunfire by the EPD in his own front yard, supposedly because of the BB gun that was still tucked into his waistband when he died.

Granted, from the list you would see that most of the victims of police brutality in Humboldt County are Indigenous and White, primarily poor. If you would peruse the latest Humboldt County census (http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/06023), you would also see that Black and African American people make up only 1.4% of Humboldt County’s population.

It is very easy for them to avoid the appearance of systemic violence against Black and African American people when they reside in an area of the system where Black and African American people are such a tiny portion of the population. This is not to say Andy Mills, the EPD, and the rest of Humboldt County law enforcement don’t show themselves to be complicit in upholding the same racist, classist, patriarchal, brutal system of capitalism as the rest of the police departments in the country. Shame on them for using Black and African American people, including the NAACP, in their publicity stunt. And shame on LoCo for being their unabashed lapdog. The idea that they have anything to teach the world about love is preposterous.

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More about  how and why the police are inherently oppressive, and ways to oppose, abolish and replace them here. http://www.redwoodcurtaincopwatch.net/, http://www.infoshop.org/pdfs/Our-Enemies-in-Blue.pdf  , https://mega.nz/#F!JoICRKza!ffnX_zHciASVxuQs6nxjsA

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TAKING BACK THE COMMONS! A discussion

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TAKE BACK THE COMMONS

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Arkley and his Buddies War on the Poor

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Arkley and his Buddies War on the Poor

by Cassandra

The Devils Playground is located behind the mall just past the bushes; a place known by local artists as the best public art gallery. There are also about a hundred people living back there, including families. There are even second generation residents.

This eviction equates the destruction of homeless camps, and the intimidation of those who stay. The people who are pushed out, who have it really hard as it is, are left with no where else to go. We can’t fix the “homeless problem” by trying to push them out; people don’t disappear into thin air just because they lost their homes. Instead, they’re becoming refuges from this man-made disaster.

The Devil’s Playground is not a safe or sanitary place to live, but this is more the city’s fault than the squatters. The city never installed garbage cans or toilets in the Devils Playground despite the obvious environmental need over the last 15 plus years. How can anyone be surprised by buckets of human waste, when there’s no toilets back there? And all those pallets that were hauled away aren’t just random trash; fires is how you stay warm when you’re living outdoors. There is still a serious need for trash service. If the garbage company stopped collecting for houses, the streets of Eureka would be filled with trash pretty soon.

The city is evicting the Devil’s Playground residents under the pretense of concern for public health and the environment. Meanwhile, the Eureka bay and all the areas surrounding it are incredibly contaminated by Dioxins and other carcinogens and toxins from the mill that used to operate in the area that is referred to as Parcel 4. This area includes the Devil’s Playground, which they have never done anything to decontaminate.

 

Instead they provided a grant to New Directions to manipulate homeless people into volunteering to dismantle camps and pick up trash. New Directions will pay these homeless workers for about 60% of the hours they work, and their workers don’t have many other options for employment. So homeless people are being paid less than minimum wage to destroy homeless camps, which in the end leaves these same people in a worse situation than before. They have a little more cash in their pockets but there’s far fewer places to stay now. These evictions shine yet again a light on how desperately our community needs at least an affordable place to camp.

There are deeper issues at play here than merely bad policies regarding sanitation and treatment of the poor and homeless. It isn’t just bad policy, in fact it isn’t even an accident. This act of destroying of a long time encampment area, even though it’s outside of the public eye, is part of a very ugly process. This act is a political push, that is in step with a very troubling ideology that is currently wreaking havoc across the country and around the globe.

 

Humboldt County politics have always boiled down to class war, whether the working class, employed and unemployed, get a share and a say in their community. This today is expressed in the fight over services and resources for the poor and homeless. It’s a constant struggle to hold on to affordable housing, healthcare, food, and education while people with sway in local and state politics lobby to end these services. Right now, these local elite and politicians are pooling their resources to get rid of these social services. Why? Because if they make enough cuts to affordable housing, social security and food stamps, many of the people considered “eyesores” will be forced to move on. If you agree with this policy, think again; If these elitists succeed, don’t think they will see a distinction between homeless people and the working class people who are the backbone of Eureka.

 

The Eureka city government wants to serve the well-to-do, attract businesses and wealthy and upper middle class families into the area. Businesses and wealthier individuals pay more taxes; meaning the city “as a business” will do better. This is an ideological conception of the city’s main purpose being to make money, rather than serving as a home where we care for one another. This idea reduces us all to consumers who either pay or are in the way, because in business the bottom line is all that matters.

 

The people who are pushing to cut services and kick out homeless people at any price, are the same ones who would have us believe that homelessness, unemployment, and addiction are all self-inflicted problems—not at all a result of a social system that creates and perpetuates the environments that necessitate all of them. The city’s local elites and their allies complain of impoverished people destroying the environment. At the same time, they try to develop and profit off of plots of land never cleaned up from corporate toxic waste dumping.

 

Attacking the homeless and their camps and evicting them, when the city has provided nothing for them is worse than shameful. It lays bare an ideology of economic progress over people—profit over people—at a time when poverty and desperation increase and the climate stutters and groans under an unsustainable way of life.

 

The way the economic and environmental crisis is going, anyone could be put out of doors any time. There is little doubt that the number of climate refugees and economic refugees will increase, with nowhere for anyone to go unless we establish a camp site. If the city is our home we the people should take care of each other. We should protect our home from the business interests who would harm and rob us. Should we as a community take back our dignity by establishing a more healthy place to live? For example, establishing a camp site now, as a temporary place to stay. We can easily fit a camp with composting toilets, trash cans and water using the appropriate technology skills and know-how that is available in droves in our community.

 

We need resources for locals who have been thrown out in the cold by our local economy. Everybody should have solidarity from their fellow workers, employed or not, because their fate could easily be yours. We need to get together and find a way to get our dignity and integrity as a community back.

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New Oregon Laws Would Make Environmental Protest “Terrorism”

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By Will Potter

Most people have heard of tree-sitting—a tactic environmentalists use to prevent old-growth trees from being cut down and whole forests decimated. In its heyday, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, members of groups like Earth First! climbed 100-foot-tall Redwoods and stayed there to save them. Beginning in 1997, one woman in Humboldt, California, named her tree Luna and stayed in it for two years, until enough money could be raised to prevent it from being axed. In 1998, in a Northern California old-growth forest, another treesitter named David Gypsy Chain was “accidentally” killed when loggers felled a tree that came crashing into the protester. He died instantly of massive head trauma.

This style of protest was also hugely successful—that is, until a series of arrests in 2005 against radical environmentalists who were labeled “terrorists.” It scared the shit out of the environmental-activist community, and folks started drifting away.

Now, there's a vibrant national protest movement reviving those "direct action" tactics of civil disobedience again, and adding a new political savvy to the mix. They, too, have been incredibly effective. In Oregon, in the summer of 2011, one blockade took 50 cops, a backhoe, and a 125-foot-crane to remove treesitters. A few days later, activists locked themselves together in an Oregon Department of Forestry office. The group responsible, the Cascadia Forest Defenders, say they won't stop until the Elliott State Forest is protected from clearcutting…

Read More: New Laws Would Make Environmental Protest "Terrorism" (vice.com)

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May Day

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On May 1st may day let’s let everyone know how we feel about Walmart lowering average retail wages nationally. Let them know that we won’t stand by silenty while the greatest ripoff in recent memoryi8 certainly,causing the largest transfer of wealth from 99% of the population to 1% continues unabated. We won’t stand for our future being stolen for the sake of short sighted callous pursuit of profit and power. Gather together wednesday May 1st. Take an action in solidarity with fellow working people. Cause if we don’t stand and fight we lose. Plan an action that applies to your life. Your college program being cut? You have a degree and are just sattled with debt to show for it? Your friends or family in the military cause they couldnt find decent work? Your medical insurance doesn’t work? Police messed you over at occupy? Your working all the time and never getting ahead? May day is International day for the Workers http://www.wsm.ie/content/international-anarchist-mayday-statement This is out day don’t be invisible. Cause when we the working people really get together we’re invincible!

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Towards Anarchy-Many Anarchist Projects are Growing in Humboldt

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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

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The 4th issue is out!

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HumboldtGrassroots#4web

We are looking for writers and editors graphic designers and others who are interested in taking on The Humboldt Grassroots Newspaper project. The project is important to report on what is happening anarchist perspective, What actually matters to us,(things that concern regular people in peoples lives)report on movement activity- what the anarchist community is doing- what sort of trouble is the system trying to brew…

We want  the Humboldt Grassroots Paper to serve as a vehicle of communication between the Anarchist Movement and the broader community and oppressed people with potential allies

This could be a much more successful project put in capable hands. We distribute 2000 copies of Humboldt Grassroots from southern Humboldt To northern Humboldt. We will be nominating a new head Editor and reorganizing the paper and may be changing the papers layout depending on what those new to the creating the paper decide. The editorial collective must operate Consistent with the Our platform, but not all articles must do so.

Please if you are interested in joining the paper or contributing in any way get in contact.

Humboldtgrassroots@riseup.net

707-616-4700

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