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Join us for May Day, the original Labor Day! May 1st is the Day all over the world that we celebrate our collective struggle for freedom and honor all those who live and die in solidarity for a free and just society.

It is even bigger this year! Ten groups are co-organizing, and seven performances confirmed there are more being confirmed, find them here as we update. This year is going to be huge! There is going to be a Rally, March, and Festival starting at noon going till 9 pm. The event will begin with a rally on the steps of the Humboldt County Courthouse at noon. An interpretive march will start at 1:00, where you can learn about historic local struggles.

The march will bring us to the Old Town Gazebo in Eureka, where you can enjoy some music, hear from speakers, and visit with tablers who are doing great work for our community.

From 2:00 to 4:00, we will hear from speakers on a wide variety of topics covering the history of May Day, local unionizing and labor struggles, economic democracy, racial justice, and immigrant rights, ecological resilience, and anti-colonization/ anti-imperialism.

Beginning at 4:00, we’ll celebrate with music and dancing, compliments of Moonsong Band, Irie Rockers, Dead Bird Son, DJ Pressure, Unholy Orifice, Blackplate, and more!

 

The eight Anarchists martyrs persecuted and killed for organizing for the eight hour day and for being anarchists advocating for a free and just society. It was their anarchism was put on trial not any alleged crime on the books advocates for better conditions for working people, the eight hour day and the emancipation of humanity put them in conflict with all tyrants. For that, the court sentenced them to death. We will hear more about that when our local historian gets on his soap-box to tell us about it!

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There has only ever been one march for women in Humboldt County and it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of.

 

Eureka Women’s March Protest surrounds truck that attempted to run over protesters as they crossed. EPD and journalists block 101 south.

The first “Women’s March On Eureka” event, held in January of 2017, was rife with oppressive policies that mirror the very system of patriarchy and white supremacy that fittingly places Donald Trump as the figurehead of the whole mess. The event was to not only include the grossly patriarchal and racist institution of the city police, it was to be led by it! And the organizers assigned official “monitors” to mix into the crowd and snitch to the police on any marchers who dared to “step out of line,” a line that was determined for us by the police.

The organizers did not reveal this information to prospective attendees until just two days before the event was supposed to happen. A “march” that was very clearly shaping up to be a parade for the patriarchy, one that was expressly permitted and regulated by the institution that most of us thought we were going out there to protest. The very institution that oppresses women, the group we’re supposed to be “marching” for.

I expressed my alarm at their choices to the organizers via their public event page. In response, they chastised me as “divisive” and quickly moved to silence me by removing my post. But they did not manage to get it down before it was noticed by a handful of folks who were also alarmed to learn of the organizers intentions. Folks who also recognize the systems and institutions that oppress us.

I was contacted by women of color who had been approached by the organizers to speak “for their people,” in an attempt to display racial inclusivity in the most tokenizing of ways. These women were contacted completely at random, based solely on their race, while never having put themselves forward as delegates for the people of their race. Furthermore, they were informed that if they were to speak at this “Women’s March,” they would be disallowed from expressing ideas ‘against’ anything, including Trump. They were told by the organizers to “keep it positive,” in an act of policing not only the messages that were supposed to represent the people of their races but also the emotions of participants. Just a whole lot of policing going on.

I also heard from folks concerned that women were being represented in a narrow way that sought to erase the voices and legitimacy of our trans sisters, which further reflects the system of patriarchy. Another important factor that event organizers had failed to mention was the colonization of the very ground we were to march upon, where indigenous peoples, the Wiyot, had enjoyed a home before white settlers brought their systems of terror and devastation.

With only one day until this charade of a parade was scheduled to take place, a handful of us decided to attempt to organize a protest. We posted a call-out for at least 50 people to commit to publicly protesting the policies of the event organizers and of the institution they were reinforcing, that of the partriarchal, colonial, white supremacist, capitalist, police-state. Within an hour we had our dedicated 50, and then some.

On the day of the event, nearly a hundred protesters gathered together on the waterfront of Eureka, under a banner that denounced the oppressive institutions that ultimately brought thousands out to the streets that day, even if not all in attendance fully understood what brought us there. As the parade passed, we raised our voices, chanting and singing our messages to the mostly silent crowd, which brought many smiles, nods of approval, handshakes, and hugs from them. Some joined our ranks and eventually we began to march, until it was time for the leaders of the parade, the Eureka City Police, to make a U-turn bringing them face-to-face with hundreds of us who let them know in no uncertain terms that we see who they are, we know what horrific systems they enforce, and we do not approve.

At that, we broke from the parade and marched ourselves out into the 101, luring the police away from the platform and pedestal they’d been provided by parade organizers. By my count, there were more than 300 of us chanting, singing, drumming, and dancing in the streets. Do not be fooled by lapdog media accounts that attempted to minimize our gathering by focusing on the few who chose to have themselves arrested that day. We made a large, jubilant, powerful display of resistance. We marched in solidarity with women and all other oppressed people that day. To my knowledge, it is the only women’s march to ever happen in Humboldt County because it was the only march in express resistance of patriarchy. For me, that march brought a lot more than a sense of empowerment and joy. It broadened and strengthened my connection with other solid resisters who I have had the pleasure and honor of organizing with over the past couple of years.

I’m pleased and relieved to see that the parade that deemed itself The Women’s March in Humboldt County finally had organizers with enough understanding of the oppressive systems we find ourselves in that they decided to cancel the event to draw attention to some of its flaws. As for the organizers who’ve decided to continue the tradition of ignorance this year, there will always be those. But it’s my deepest hope that soon enough, more and more people will wake up to the truth about our situation, and the resisters of these oppressive structures we’re all subject to will be enough to overcome those who uphold them. With that goal in mind, we must continue to work and fight our way toward freedom.

I recommend reading and organizing discussions of the following text for a quick study on the roots of patriarchy and how it is tied to all systems of oppression:
http://www.freeocalan.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/liberating-Lifefinal.pdf

Bright Starling

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facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail 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 facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail
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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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imageTo Change Everything, Start Everywhere — including in Humboldt! Read More »

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