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Posts Tagged ‘human rights violations’

This has been difficult to write. We’ve been telling people vaguely, but here goes:

PARC IS CLOSING SEPTEMBER 7, 2017

There are many reasons, but before we get into what they are, we want to emphasize the need for more places like PARC to be created. And maintained.

PARC (Peoples’ Action for Rights & Community) has existed for 10 years- all of our work has been volunteer and all of our funding and supplies have been from community donations (including our own pockets). We have no 501(C)(3), no statistics, no lists of all the people who have come through the door, and no purse strings (or other strings) that keep us quiet or prevent us from risking arrest, organizing with whomever we want, and doing and supporting whatever actions we find worthy in defense of the people, the Earth, and the critters. Not one donation we get stops us from choosing to publicly take positions on government, police, prisons, community, homelessness, laws, businesses, racism, Palestine, etc; nor have we ever signed an agreement with anyone that precludes us from opposing the concepts, systems, structures, and people who we find to be harmful or threatening to dignity, fairness, and life.

We are proud of our stances against such things as capitalism, racism, police, borders, war, GMO’s, death penalty, and animal abuse. We don’t change to attract a donor or government, and therein lies our integrity. That, plus our commitment to care for people every day, morning to night, has kept us supported for this long.

We are so grateful to the principled and generous people and organizations who have supported PARC with money and all other types of donations, invitations to events, letters in our defense (remember those?), volunteer time, hours of dishwashing, long distance solidarity, artwork, animal care, vehicles and rides, home-made and special event foods, college/university internships, and spiritual and political backing.

Why are we closing?

PARC has been in its current location for 8 ½ of our 10 years. In Oct 2016, new owners bought the property from our very supportive landlord. Our new lease guaranteed our tenancy for a year, but the new landlords have been trying to get us out since shortly after they became the owners. (Unfortunately for them, we do a little tenants’ rights work, so we know how to defend ourselves.)
Now that it is almost a year, we will close PARC on Sept 7th and take a few weeks to clear out the space.

For those of you asking “What’s going to happened next?” that’s what we are trying to figure out. Over the 10 years that PARC has existed, the inequalities of capitalism have gotten worse, and more and more people are suffering. More people have been pushed into poverty and have greater difficulty meeting their daily survival needs. The impact on PARC has meant more time, effort, and resources devoted to helping people to just get by, and less time doing the political work to end the conditions that are putting people on the streets. 10 years of working here ‘as’ PARC has provided a wealth of experience; we have learned a lot; and in this period of having to shut down in this location, we have the opportunity to evaluate our responsibilities moving forward, committed to working for justice and social change.

To the people who rely on PARC for survival, for respite, for shelter from the storm, we send you these words of encouragement:

Keep your heads up. Welcome new cycles in your lives. Even with so much against you, you persist and survive and help people who are more vulnerable than you. Work on your health and the health of the people around you. Take care of the land and the water. ORGANIZE so things will be better. You are the experts on how you’re being treated by the police, businesses, housed community people, organizations, city government, etc. Use what you know and learn about other movements from the streets. Understand that people who bring you food or give you a blanket want to help stop the oppression you are experiencing. Talk with them about that. ORGANIZE so things will be better. Love, PARC

Volunteers who become familiar with the people and the rhythm in the chaos and come on a regular basis are critical. Countless volunteers have helped PARC over the years. We will not try and list all the names, for fear of leaving someone out, but everyone’s contributions were part of PARC’s spirit and success.

Each month we write an email asking for money donations to pay bills and rent. Here is the last one, which is a great explanation and her/history of PARC. https://peopleproject.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/parcs-presentation-to-veterans-for-peace/

Some of the projects you may remember or have participated in, largely based out of PARC include:

  • End the War on the Poor weekly demonstrations and dinner;
  • PEOPLE PROJECT Good Morning Neighbors Breakfast Program;
  • Days of Action Against Police Brutality;
  • 33-night winter Safe Sleeping Space at Eureka City Hall;
  • monthly radio show, Radical Rap;
  • community produce table;
  • 5pm for the 5 Demands weekly informational demos in support of the CA prisoner hunger strikers and against long term solitary confinement;
  • dog rescue + fostering and adopting;
  • Music for the People concerts at Clarke Plaza;
  • guerrilla film showings about the MOVE 9 political prisoners in efforts to win their release;
  • Know Your Rights workshops;
  • many street music and speaking events with PARC’s portable sound system;
  • Grub n Grab events;
  • summer film screening and discussion series;
  • the Eureka Fair Wage Act;
  • lots of public dinners;
  • Jail Support;
  • Richardson Grove Action Now organizing; and
  • Homeless Persons Memorial Day marches & gatherings.

PARC has been an important resource center and organizing hub for 10 years.

PLEASE: Call PARC (707.442.7465) or email peoplesarc@gmail.com, if you would like to get together and talk about what you could do in the near future to prevent huge gaps in relief, food, bathrooms, showers, safe(r) space, computer use, phone use, mail service, legal support, etc. Without community action, these gaps will exist for people living on the street and for housed and unhoused people who need space, use of office equipment, and/or advocacy, for myriad reasons.

We want to talk with people about how to work a place like PARC, or a space that fills one or more of the needs that PARC has met, and how to establish this space and keep it going. There can and should be multiple places and methods that take care of community needs. Simple and consistent acts of creativity and dedication can do so much.

PARC needs to strategize with donors where to bring the clothes, food, and towel donations that we usually get. It is unacceptable for all donations to go to well-funded places (e.g. Eureka Rescue Mission, Betty Chinn) where only “certain” people can access them, and most can not.

Please consider the following needs that will no longer be met by PARC:

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PARC’s Presentation to Veterans for Peace

Please check out the below presentation we gave in April 2017 about the origins and work of Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community.  Also, here is an anti-war Radical Rap radio show that Verbena hosted on KMUD April 17, 2017: https://www.mediafire.com/?4ljyg6dw8y4ecob


WE THANK AND ACKNOWLEDGE ALL OF YOU who donate to PARC– we know you support us from your Social Security checks, your as you struggle with health problems, while you raise a family, while you support your loved ones, as you work your asses off, even though you are thousands of miles away, while you struggle with injustice, as you create your art, as you teach, while you build or work to repair your communities, as you provide daily healthcare, as you rescue animals, and while there are so many worthwhile projects and movements and people to support. THANK YOU!

PARC Presentation to Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Bay, Chapter 56 

PARC is an organizing and resource space that has been in Eureka CA, where it started, since Nov. 2007. Many of us who established the space had been organizing as PEOPLE PROJECT and Acción Zapatísta for several years. Earlier in 2007, we created a beautiful encampment in Arcata, the purpose of which was to expose and bring attention to: the fact that there is no free and legal place for people to sleep; the criminalization of people who are poor, homeless, and have no place for dignified rest; and the human rights violations that accompany an intentional politics of cruelty. Some of you might remember that 12 day and night encampment because Jim Sorter and other Vets For Peace would share dinner with us during sunsets.

So, PARC was created with that kind of organizing in mind- the need for space to meet and simply be, to work and build solidarity and power among the people, and a space that was welcoming, and often run by people of color and LGBTQI folks. In the summer of 2007, Martin Cotton II, a white homeless man with visible mental health issues, unarmed, was beat to death by Eureka Police in front of the Eureka Rescue Mission, and thrown in the jail- where he died. Those of us doing copwatch work realized that we needed a place where the many witnesses could safely come and talk about what they saw and experienced.

Those are the origins of PARC which we say is “focused on justice and care.”

We have run a modest, grassroots space for almost 10 years now- all donation-based, all volunteer. We’re still dealing with the same realities that led to the PEOPLE PROJECT encampment, and have created other safe sleeping spaces in Eureka, weekly “End the War on the Poor” protests, a campaign to raise Eureka’s minimum wage, and myriad projects against state violence. Many groups have used the space. Many military veterans plug in with PARC, as volunteers or to access resources. PARC is very active in the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS), working to end solitary confinement in CA prisons and jails and support the prisoner class led human rights movement. Currently, we are trying to end a torture campaign of sleep deprivation in CA’s solitary confinement units. We have 4 phone lines-for the statewide PHSS, PARC, Jail Support, and Redwood Curtain CopWatch. We do court support and strategizing- for tenants’ rights, for people getting put through the in-justice system, assisting people who’ve had their rights violated, child custody and family court support, help with restraining orders, homeless court intake, filing paperwork, documenting situations, and the list goes on. We also do a lot of dishes, laundry and vacuuming.

PARC is open 7 days a week, 9-12 hours a day, facilitating many essential community functions and what the Black Panthers would call “Survival Programs.” Unlike other facilities, we have a no paperwork, no hoops policy. No applications, no breathalyzers, no proof of id. A person does not have to meet any special requirements in order to receive experienced advocacy or have their basic needs met. No one is charged (or gets paid) for assistance, space, food, literature or other resources.

PARC is the ONLY place that provides jail support to assist people who’ve been arrested. Many of these arrests result from direct actions (environmental, anti-war, homeless rights, immigration rights, anti-police brutality). Also, jail support is provided for people arrested unexpectedly on the streets or in their cars.  We help people successfully navigate through the complicated court proceedings resulting from arrest and organize more support.

PARC takes a stand against sexism, racism, heterosexism, homophobia, bullying, and state intrusion. PARC not only provide services and resources, but we ACTIVELY organize and speak against oppressive state forces of violence, intimidation, control, and harassment and discrimination from anyone in general. The daily PARC crowd is multi-racial, multi-generational, multi-gendered, and from a wide spectrum of life experiences. We assist people on an individual basis, understanding the ‘big picture’ injustices that have created such needs, traumas, and crises of humanity and planet.

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City of Eureka: designated a Place for the Purpose purpose for the Homeless to Sleep and Grant a Pardon to  Dane Carr for Sleeping with-in City Limits.

City of Eureka: Designate a Place for the Purpose for the Homeless to Sleep and Grant a Pardon to Dane Carr for Sleeping within City Limits.

https://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-eureka-designated-a-place-for-the-purpose-purpose-for-the-homeless-to-sleep-and-grant-a-pardon-to-dane-carr-for-sleeping-with-in-city-limits

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Days Of Action Against Police Brutality, Oct 22-23 2013 EUREKA

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Below is a reportback from Skye, a participant this year.  Verbena, of Redwood Curtain CopWatch, wrote the following 3 paragraphs only to fill in what Skye was not present for.

Sending love & comfort & solidarity to young Andy Lopez‘ spirit and his family & community.  13 year old Andy was killed by Santa Rosa deputies on Oct 22.Image

from Verbena
On the night of Oct 22, 2013, while some protestors slept at Cesar Chavez park, a couple of us went, from midnight to 3am, to the Humboldt County Jail for “Welcome Out”!  ImageWe sat in a car right near where people exit the jail, with a bin of warm socks and clothes, tobacco, and a sign on the windshield to welcome people out on the cold, blustery night.  It is such a worthwhile and necessary activity; should be a regular thing. We encountered about 7 people who needed something warm, the use of a phone, maybe a cigarette, a friendly face and listening ears.

The next morning, October 23rd, people gathered for breakfast at Clarke Plaza, open to everyone who was hungry or wanting coffee or tea.  One of Chris Burgess’ brother’s came by; this being the 7th anniversary of his brother’s death.  Even those of us who never met Christopher during his short life, will always remember him.

After some music, some tears, and gathering up our signs, we marched and biked to Eureka Police Department where murder and cruelty are common practice.  And where violent creeps, like Terence Liles, Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez, Murl Harpham, and Justin Winkle, reside.  We are not afraid to call that out. Then we moved on (happily) to the neighborhoods of Eureka, where we talked with folks, and people remember Christopher and show spirited agreement- from their cars, houses, and yards- with the messages in our chants and banners: STOP POLICE BRUTALITY, LILES IS A KILLER, BEING A YOUTH IS NOT A CRIME, R.I.P. ZACHARY COOK (DEC 23 1989-JAN 4 2007) KILLED BY EPD’S LILES, CHANGE IS POSSIBLE,  WE REMEMBER CHRIS BURGESS. With dignity and strength, and care for each other, we decry and defy the intimidation of the police state.  ~Verbena

from Skye 10-25-13
For the past eighteen years, cities across the United States have rallied on October 22nd to show solidarity against police brutality. I am learning that occurrences of police brutality are much more numerous and severe in the United States than they are back home in Canada. A sad truth that is only deepened through the discovery that such violence often leads to death. This sharp reality felt all too often in the communities of the most northern part of California where police brutality ranges from daily intimidation to outright murder, tasering to decades of confined isolation.

Typically a one day event, the March is extended to two days in Eureka to honour the memory of Christopher Burgess, a 16 year old who was shot by a Eureka police officer on October 23rd, 2006. The supporters met at noon on the 22nd to share in discussion, food, and sign making. Despite the cloudy skies and serious purpose, spirits were high with the anticipation to flex our vocal cords and work our legs during the march. The call went out to begin and we each picked up a sign and gathered outside the park on the street.

Marching along an unplanned route, the group walked past the high school as the students were being released for the day. ImageMany showed their support to the idea of removing police from schools. An understandable reaction from students who are finding their schools resembling prisons more and more – security check points, undercover police, random locker searches, metal detectors. I hope we realize soon that treating people like criminals does not help in any way, especially when they are not. After a quick break the group continued to march through the city, waving signs, yelling chants, and throwing up peace signs to passing traffic.

Much to the group’s gratitude, the police encounters passed by without incident. Many people showed their support for our protest with honks from their vehicles as they drove by. The drivers who found themselves in a hurry were not too pleased with our presence on the street, even though we always left room for them to pass around. An understandable reaction to the injustice of having one’s life run by a clock – we wished them free time in response to their show of frustration. As the time to march came to a close, we stopped at another park to set up for the evening’s events.

An abundant feast was gifted to the sore footed group to nourish their bodies and hearts after the day’s walk. And while we ate, entertainment of the highest calibre was shared for our pure enjoyment. As night fell the community came a little closer together through the sharing of gifts and the exciting of our taste buds and ear drums. The live music provided reflection and introspection, as well as laughter and participation. Deeper connections were made as we were given space to share stories, jokes, and hugs. Through the coming together over a common surface problem, we are given practice to dive deeper into a shared community experience.Image

 After dark fell, a humid, foggy candlelight vigil took the remaining group back to the day’s starting point for an overnight park camp out. This is where my path diverged – to return the next day in the late afternoon with one of my gifts – fresh cucumber mango guacamole and baked yam fries. Posted on a busy street corner with signs and free food for whomever was hungry, the group honored the fallen victims by sharing their stories with passerby’s. Another year to gather and remember those whose lives continue to be afflicted by the brutality of violence from those we give our trust to be protectors.

I am grateful for the opportunity to show support to a community bringing awareness to an important shadow of our culture – the disconnection that allows one person to take another’s life and to perpetuate violence of the most disgraceful sort. The pervasive and obvious favoritism, elitism, and corruption infecting the enforcement agencies of this area have left me stunned and humbled. I honor and acknowledge the challenges faced by a population of people who are dealing with such a horrible treatment on a regular basis. No being deserves oppression at any level – be it physical, psychological, or spiritual. To commit such acts of violence require a disconnection from one’s heart so vast that the whisper of consciousness seems to have disappeared entirely.

Somewhere inside, buried deeper in some, the spark of light resides and awaits its chance to be heard and felt. This light exists in all of us. A hell inside creates the horrors of our lives. The love inside creates heaven on Earth. In this dawning age of truth, justice, and integrity we are each asked to step into our highest expression and to take responsibility for the actions we take and words we speak. Are you looking at a badge, uniform, or costume – or are you looking into someone’s eyes and seeing them standing there – as scared as you are – as full of beautiful creative potential as you are? The resolution and healing processes being born through the new consciousness of humanity will seek not the false, demeaning, and inadequate deterrence and ‘punishment’ oriented solutions, but ones focusing on root causes, emotional healing, and collective community restoration. Sickness and health in a community is shared by all.

photos from Rogue Planet News and radmul.blogspot.com

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November’s “Radical Rap” Addresses Inhumane Treatment of Houseless People in Southern Humboldt

Radical Rap is a radio show on KMUD radio that runs the 2nd Wednesday of the month (most months).  You can listen live at:  http://kmud.org/programs-mainmenu-11/listen-live-kmud

Here is a link to download and hear Radical Rap from Nov. 14, 2012:  https://www.box.com/s/m6qi2q41bt3xf9g3fh75

 

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