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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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Humboldt Grassroots has been hosting the Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair for 9 years now! This year’s theme is The Reading Rainbow of Resistance, to reflect the need for solidarity amongst diverse groups, as well as solid education through reading and taking in a variety of perspectives so that we can resist the increasing oppression that is upon us.

Here is our exciting and diverse line-up for this Saturday, April 29th, with the descriptions we have so far:

10:00

Room A

Title: Why Feminism Is Necessary For Liberating Life with the Eureka Assembly Feminist Reading Groups

Description: Join folks from the Eureka Assembly Feminist Reading Groups as we share some of the ideas we’ve discovered while exploring feminist readings together. Discover why feminism is necessary for the liberation of ALL life. Come help make this a lively discussion!

11:00

Room A

Title: Global Grassroots Movements for Sex Education and Reproductive Rights with Corinna Rosella

Description: As a continuation of our discussion on feminism, hear about grassroots movements that are happening all over the world for sex education and reproductive rights.

12:00

Room A

Title: Safe Consumption Sites are Social Justice with Humboldt Area Center For Harm Reduction

Description: We will discuss why Safe Consumption Sites are necessary, their history and where we are at currently in our own community with implementing this life saving approach.  We will also have an exhibit of a safe consumption site for this event.

Room B

Title: From The Frontlines Of Forest Defense In So-called ‘Humboldt’ County with Earth First!

Description: A spotted owl hoots echo deep in the woods of the Mattole watershed, pleaing for the last bits of old-growth douglas fir, madrone, and tan oak to be preserved. The pacific fisher’s screeches carry through the redwood forest, dissipating in the clearcuts, longing for the home it once knew.

Multinational corporations have turned this land into treefarms and are
determined to lay waste to anything that’s left from the old days. In the face of conflict, we say enough is enough. Lock-downs, road blockades, tree-sits, and everything else. For the wild!

1:00 —

Room A

Title: Fighting the Alt-Right and White Nationalism with 21st Century Anti-Fascism with James Anderson

Description: In the last two years, we have seen a growth of far-Right forces hit the streets in reaction to Black Lives Matter, in support of the
Confederate flag, backing up ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ and acting as an
auxiliary force to the Trump campaign. This new generation of white
supremacists are keen to take the streets and use violence to further
their fascist cause. This workshop will discuss who the Alt-Right is
and how people have been organizing against them across the US and
beyond. Moreover, we discuss the current Alt-Right and white
nationalist groups and individuals in the bay area and push people to
mobilize against Milo Yiannopoulos, one of the biggest mainstreamers
of the Alt-Right, who is scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley

Room B

Title: No LNG Pipeline! with Erik Rydberg

Description: Come hear about the details of the Jordan Cove LNG Project, including how you can go to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Website and summit comments opposing the
pipeline and fracked gas export station. This was the excuse Energy
Transfer Partners used in approving the Dakota Access Pipeline. We are not going to give them that opportunity with LNG. Also we will share the Klamath River Keepers petition to block the pipeline from being drilled under the Klamath River. There will be a Q&A after the presentation.

2:00 —

Room A

Title: Trump vs. the Environment: What is to be Done? with Jeffrey St. Clair

Description: For the first time in decades, the federal government is under the complete control of the political right. At the top of their agenda is the complete dismantling of 50 years of environmental protection laws and regulations. The traditional avenues of environmental action–lobbying and litigation–will likely prove fruitless with hostile politicians and indifferent courts. So how do we respond? How do we build a mass movement to confront the coming assault on environmental laws, agencies and our wildlife, public lands and rivers? What are the lessons that can be learned from the anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s and 1980s, the Redwood Summer protests, the mass civil disobedience that seized the streets of Seattle during the WTO ministerial, the campaigns that hounded McDonalds, Chevron and Monsanto? How, in other words, can Trump be Trumped?

Jeffrey St. Clair is co-editor of CounterPunch. His books include: A Guide to Environmental Bad Guys, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature, Born Under a Bad Sky and Heatstroke: Earth on the Brink (with Joshua Frank). He lives in Oregon.

Room B

Portland Assembly

3:00 —

Room A

Title: Taking Away the Power of Criminal Charges: Combating State Repression to Strengthen Our Movement with Tilted Scales
Synopsis: The Tilted Scales Collective will present ideas from their book, A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant, which can help people facing criminal charges not only figure out how to handle their legal cases, but also how to think about their cases. This book offers a way of thinking about criminal charges that is based on defendants’ goals: personal, political, and legal. And these goals are framed with this question in mind: “How is my case part of revolutionary struggle?”

Description: The government has historically used criminal charges to disrupt and destroy radical political movements and to repress targeted communities (e.g., people of color, poor people, houseless people, queer/trans/gender nonconforming, etc.). Criminal charges are designed to keep communities under control and they are successful in a variety of ways, from putting millions of people behind bars or on probation to targeting prominent radicals to punish them while scaring others away from organizing. In political struggles, criminal charges often disrupt organizing by diverting people’s time, energy, and resources into legal battles and prisoner support. While criminal convictions and jail/prison sentences are an inevitable part of fighting for liberation, we do not have to allow this tool of state repression to be so destructive.

In this presentation, the Tilted Scales Collective will present ideas from their book, A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant, that are aimed at taking away the power of criminal charges while strengthening our struggles for liberation. This book is meant to help people facing criminal charges not only figure out how to handle their legal cases, but also how to think about their cases. Rather than being a how-to guide, this book offers a way of thinking about criminal charges that is based on defendants’ goals: personal, political, and legal. And these goals are framed with this question in mind: “How is my case part of revolutionary struggle?”

A Tilted Guide to Being a Defendant was written by dedicated, long-term legal support activists and draws on the wisdom of dozens of people who have weathered the challenges of trials and incarceration, including many former and current political prisoners/prisoners of war.

Room B

Society For Poetic Action

4:00 —

Room A

Title: Burning Down the American Plantation: Call for a Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement with The Base

Description: The ascendency of Donald Trump to the presidency has polarized society and exposed the fragility of the political institutions in the US. With very little effort Trump and his administration have managed to erode the thin veneer of legitimacy that liberal democracy still retained. The foundation of the political conflict today does not begin with Trump, but is situated in the context of the US Civil War – a war that was never actually resolved. Slavery has never ended in the United States. Instead it was reinstituted after the war, expanded through mass incarceration, and normalized through the deputization of civil society against black people. The expansion and acceptance of terror in American society has now turned against many other segments of the population culminating in the conflict we have today.

Anarchists from The Base, a political center in Brooklyn, will look at how we can orient our struggle towards the abolitionist movement, and the black freedom struggle. Following the lineage of the black struggle, from Nat Turner to the Black Liberation Army, we can learn from the most revolutionary traditions of our society. We will talk about our projects and how we are trying to build 21st century underground railroad coupled with a militant strategy. Could the formation of these new political projects catapult us out of the cycle of protests and help us create revolutionary organization? For insights we’ll analyze the Rojava Revolution, the most advanced anti-state struggle in the world, as we chart out an insurgent direction for anarchist organizing today.

Room B

Title: We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States with Anneke Campbell

Description: Anneke Campbell will share specific inspirational stories from her book, *We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States*. She will describe how folks organized in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, to protect themselves from toxic waste dumping and passed into law the first rights of nature ordinance in the USA. How in Barnstead, New Hampshire, residents wrote an ordinance which successfully protected their local water from corporate water withdrawal. And how in Broadview Heights, Ohio, people are protecting themselves from fracking by passing into law by local referendum a community Bill of Rights.

Then Anneke will explore the underlying legal issues — how the Supreme Court has eroded community control by giving corporations ever more rights which are protected by state and federal law. Thus democracy at the local level barely exists and sustainability is virtually illegal. She will show how passing community laws stripping corporate rights are a form of legal civil disobedience, akin to women going to vote before they got the legal right to do so. And she will trace the exciting development of rights for nature and a sustainable climate happening here and abroad as well as the beginnings of indigenous communities getting in on the Community Legal Environmental action.

 

 

We invite you to share your ideas for presentations and send tabling requests to: Humboldt grassroots [nospaces] at rise up dot net and  https://www.facebook.com/humboldt.grassroots , twitter @humboldtgrassr1

Also, if you’re interested in volunteering for the Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair, please be on the look-out for our volunteer meetings, which will be posted on our FB page, or private message us here or at humboldtgrassroots at riseup dot net. We are in need of musicians/bands/artists and venues to help with fundraising. We are in need of poster puter-uppers. And for the day of, we need people to join the kitchen crew, the security crew, and the clean-up crew. Thanks in advance!!

 

Download the 8 1/2 x 11,  black and white poster here:9thposter

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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.

——————————————————————–

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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Poster 8.5x11 2016

The year 2015  was one of inspiring resistance and revolution. Let’s carry that same ferocity into the new year! We are glad to be starting 2016 off with the 8th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair.

The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair plays a part in strengthening connections and solidarity for building a new world.

We are excited, as many of you are, about the Rojava revolution, along with the uprisings across the U.S. There is a lot happening; lots to talk about!

The 8th Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair is bringing it January 23rd, 2016!

This is a FREE, all-day, radical event! Join us in the main hall at 10am to nourish your body with some of the FREE FOOD cooked up by Food Not Bombs and friends (which they’ll be serving up the whole day), browse the tables of radical publishers and community groups, mingle with some good, free-thinking folk, listen to a little comedy from Robo and poetry from Gork and Jovannah. This is a family-friendly event with the Kid’s Corner featuring FREE CHILD CARE and activities, hosted this year by The YES House. The kid’s can hang out there while you move between the two meeting rooms to catch inspiring presentations from authors and activists and share your own ideas and experiences during interactive discussions, beginning at 11am.

Here is the line-up so far:

11am:
Room A:
Black Rose Anarchist Federation:
Black Rose is a nation-wide, anarchist federation in the U.S. that formed in 2013 and has been involved in struggles from Ferguson to Rojava. Hear about this ambitious and exciting project from Francisco, a member of Black Rose LA.

 
Room B:
Earth First!
Tales of frontline forest defense in so-called “Humboldt County.” With the last bits of old-growth forests remaining and the system’s failure to protect them, we must do it ourselves. From road blockades to tree-sits, defeats to victories. Hear the wolves howling and the owls hooting. For the wild!

12pm:
Room A:
Addressing Our Needs Through Direct Action and Cooperation:
Come join us for an open discussion led by Ryan Ayala, a recent graduate from HSU in Psychology. Looking at the Queer community, he will discuss the challenges of bureaucracy in making social change and ways in which such topics as harm reduction can be approached in substance abuse.

Room B:
Workers Power Panel:
The Industrial Workers of the World will once again be present at the Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair. Providing a glimpse into the Wobblie’s secrets of on-the-job organizing and spells to rid workers of bosses and other demons set against the working class by the atrocities of Capitalism. Whether you toil away your days taking orders from moms and pops for minuscule pay at restaurants and boutiques or you work at low paying, part-time jobs with no benefits at chain stores, you may benefit from a few devices to wrangle profits from the profiteers. Learn about and discuss successful job actions like slow-downs, sick-outs, safety meetings, and such. Discuss how to organize the aforementioned. Stay on the job earning meagre wages (which pay the rent) while you stick it to the boss. Remember you are a member of the working class, with a union card in your pocket. Whether you ride the rails, study in the library or toss pizzas, the IWW is here every day and we don’t contribute to slick politicians that promise one thing and do another. If you work, organize to improve working conditions. If you don’t work for a boss, carry your union card wherever you go. Meet Steve and Bruce, longtime Wobbly organizers and twenty-year members of the IWW. Steve is currently a ferry boat deckhand on San Francisco Bay. Bruce is a former truck and bus driver among other jobs.

1pm:
Room A:
Lessons for Rural and Small Town Anarchists:
Doug Gilbert discusses strategies and lessons learned from his involvement in the group Modesto Anarcho, based out of Modesto, California located in the Central Valley. Modesto Anarcho published a magazine of the same name, ran a social space, Firehouse 51, and was involved in a variety of struggles including organizing with families of those killed by police, gentrification, foreclosures, and housing, and much more. More than just a history, Gilbert will discuss how anarchists in small and rural towns face special challenges, especially in areas that do not have established anarchist groups and spaces.

Room B:
Crimethinc: Democracy or Freedom?
CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective:
What’s the difference between democracy and anarchy?
Democracy is the most popular buzzword in politics. From the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the most radical social movements, nearly everyone claims to be democratic. In this provocative presentation, we will discuss what ties all these different understandings of democracy together and what sets anarchism apart. Reviewing how recent social movements have experimented with democratic rhetoric and practices, we will conclude by exploring other ways to understand what we are doing together when we make decisions.

2pm:

Room A:

The Governmentality of Immigration:

Human migration has created great challenges for both host societies and migrating communities, which have elicited dramatic responses from both populations. My academic and community work has examined the ways communities in Humboldt County have responded to changing social realities through the lens of governmentality (or the art and techniques of governance).  What I have attempted to do is to rigorously interrogate the various arts and techniques of governmentality. The investigation into this research topic is particularly timely because of the various legislative polices that are being advocated for on a local, state, and national level which has created an opportunity to further immigration advocacy work. Understanding that this is part of the work we must do because of the hardships the immigrant communities live under, it is not the end goal, which is to go beyond advocacy to dignity. My work uses the September 2008 raid on the Sun Valley Flower Farm as a starting point to explore the related social, political, economic, and cultural forces at play before, during, and after the raid. From there I continue the analysis to the current organizing efforts for immigrant policy reform in Humboldt County and beyond. Using militant research as a theoretical framework for the organizing work. I contend that the outcomes of this research can have local implications as it could inform local organizing efforts and unpack interlocking systems of oppression in operation in Humboldt County.

 
Room B:
Student Unions and Combative Syndicalism:
Fannie from Montreal will be Skyping in to talk about their experience in the largest and most successful student strike, which helped bring about the largest general strike in Canadian history. They will discuss the ideas, methods, and organization that made it all possible. There may also be organizers from HSU to present some of their organizing work.
http://freeeducationmontreal.org/confrontational-combative-syndicalism/

3pm:
Room A:
Anarchist Organizations In Social Movements Panel:
Members from Humboldt Grassroots, Black Rose Anarchist Federation LA, and Crimethinc will discuss how their organizations contribute to a wide variety of social movements and why it’s important to bring anarchist voices to these movements.

 
4pm:
Room A:
Slam Poetry Workshop:
Gork Burns and Jovannah Hoboo

Room B:
The Rojava Revolution:
Our keynote speaker will be Paul Z. Simmons, journalist, and author recently back from the Rojava Revolution. Writing under the pen name, El Errante, he is the author of a series of recent dispatches from the liberated territories of Rojava in Northern Syria. Simons has just returned from a region besieged by war yet is also in the midst of one of the most far-reaching social experiments of the 21st Century: the ‘Rojava Revolution.’ The liberated territories of Rojava are a thriving example in new forms of democratic practice and of a people who are overturning traditional, coercive institutions in favor of direct democracy and the empowerment and enfranchisement of women. Simons talks about his experiences including crossing international boundaries under false pretenses, attending commune meetings in Kobane, high-velocity detours around ISIS sympathetic villages, and the camaraderie of the YPG militias. Simons had full access to the various revolutionary organizations and militias and will discuss their mandates and implementation issues associated with realizing a new society. Paul Z. Simons’ report is a part adventure, part journalism, and part political analysis, of the Rojava Revolution.

We are sad to report that Michael Knapp, from TATORT Kurdistan, who was going to be visiting us from Berlin, Germany to discuss his own experience with the Rojava Revolution, has been denied entry by the U.S. government due to a recent policy which allows them to turn away without cause or explanation anyone who has even visited Northern Syria. How convenient during this refugee crisis. FUCK BORDERS!

5pm:
Room A:
Radical/ Independent Media Panel:
Greenfuse, Humboldt Free Radio Alliance, Slingshot, and 5th Estate.

You’re SO in, right?! Worried about how you’re gonna get there? We thought of that too! The Manila Community Center is one of the stops on the Redwood Transit Line that travels between Eureka and Arcata with stops in Manila. Get on the bus for us!

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Rhizome Info-shop Exits Ink Annex

Thank you for the last two years of interest, participation, engagement, and volunteered hours. Without these forms of community support, the Rhizome Info-shop, project of Humboldt Grassroots would not have been possible. The Rhizome info-shop has moved out of the Ink Annex, and the library installment has been temporarily discontinued. The organizing that was done out of this space, the discussions that we held, the events and workshops that were coordinated, and the benefits that were celebrated have been empowering. These efforts have contributed to ongoing discussions about how we can recognize and challenge systemic forms of domination, such as Patriarchy, and confront the harm that these social forces inflict on our communities.

In the near future, comrades are seeking to open a social center with computer access, a lending library, and a collection of zines. In the meantime, an online lending library catalog will be set up. Soon, you will be able to access our inventory of books on topics that include anti-authoritarian struggle, popular social movements, anarchism, prison abolition, do-it-yourself projects, and more awesome literature over an online database.

With an emphasis on movement building, HGR will continue our work as an anarchist organization in Humboldt County. There are principles that motivate the work that we do such as exercising mutual aid, honoring self-determination, building resilient communities, resistance to class domination, and solidarity with all people who struggle against oppression. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved , then definitely check out our platform. Stay connected for a multi-platform media outlet, and other exciting projects that are coming.

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On Thursday, Feb 13th the Ink Annex will host a workshop and discussion on confronting sexual violence.

We will be sharing tools and resources that will help empower participants to support loved ones who have survived sexual assault.

Topics include definition of terms, identifying silencing behaviors, supporting survivors in the short and long term, why sexual assault is a community-wide issue, holding perpetrators accountable, and further reading (print-outs available).

Whether or not you have experienced sexual abuse personally, the information in this workshop will help you to act as an ally to survivors of sexual assault.

The workshop will be on Thursday, February 13th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Ink Annex in Eureka.

The Ink Annex is located at 47 W 3rd St, through the 3rd St alley behind the Eureka Co-op.

A light meal, snacks and tea will be served.

Workshop is Thursday Feb 13 from 6 to 9 pm at Ink Annex in Eureka

Workshop is Thursday Feb 13 from 6 to 9 pm at Ink Annex in Eureka

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TAKE BACK THE COMMONS

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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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Come on Friday May 10th for a fun-filled night of circus performance, Humboldt bluegrass, local folk music, beers, DJs and dancing till late with friends old and new. 

Featuring:

            Sunshine and Yellabird (raucous folk)

            Mad River Rounders (Humboldt bluegrass jams)

            DJ Derail (Liberation Soundclash)

 and circus performances by Circus of the Elements.

+ $2 Mad River Brews! (with ID) 

$5 at the door gets you in to the party and helps support your local grassroots community!

All proceeds will benefit the Rhizome Infoshop, a radical lending library and community resource center in Eureka. We offer anarchist books and zines, free Internet, and low-cost copying.

The Rhizome Infoshop is inside the Ink Annex (47B W 3rd St in Eureka), 1 block south of the Eureka Co-op in the 3rd Street alley.

Bring your friends and come party for the cause on Friday, May 10th at 7:00 pm @ the Ink Annex in Eureka. See you there!

Contact: rhizomeinfoshop@gmail.com

Phone: 707-440-9310

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