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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:

(more…)

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DO WE REALLY HAVE A CHOICE?

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First Friday Actions May 7th. and June 4th.

Dear Friends,

Two years into the “Great Recession”, nearly 30 million people are unemployed or underemployed*. As people lose their jobs they also lose their health insurance and as unemployment benefits run out, they find themselves in dire financial straits. Millions of working people have lost their homes, and tens of thousands are homeless. Basic human needs are not being meet*. We are asking groups to hold actions and educational events starting with First Friday actions on May 7th. and June 4th. 2010. Why the First Friday?

On the first Friday of each month the Labor Dept. releases the previous month’s unemployment numbers, and the issue of unemployment and joblessness gets regular attention from the news media.

We are asking groups to organize rallies, picket lines and news conferences aimed at local sites on the First Friday or Saturday or on another day during this spring. We encourage people to organize town hall meetings or teach-ins on unemployment and the economic crisis. We urge groups to brainstorm creative actions to bring attention to the unemployment crisis and the need for a significant jobs bill. We will be linking these actions to other human needs fights and specific local issues.

For Jobs and Peace Logan Martinez,

Outreach Coordinator / The National Jobs for All Coalition / Campaign to Create Living Wage Jobs for All*

937-275-7259 / loganmartinez2u@yahoo.com

*1. February’s Officially unemployed: 14.9 million (9.7%)

Hidden unemployment: 15 million, 8.8 million working part-time because can’t find a full-time job and 6.2 million people who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics.

*2. Tens of thousands of unemployed people are running out unemployment benefits each week, even with the extended benefits. The most a worker can receive is 99 weeks and the unemployed who lost their jobs at the beginning of recession are running out now. Less than half unemployed are receiving unemployment benefits. TANF time limits, sanctions and low grants are pushing millions of American families deeper into poverty. Most states have no program to support unemployed single adults living without adequate income.

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::: SIDEWALKS 4 PEOPLE PART II :::
::: SAT. APRIL 24 :::
::: ALL DAY / CITYWIDE :::
::: SAN FRANCISCO :::

WE HAD SO MUCH FUN ON THE SIDEWALKS ON MARCH 27th, WE MADE IT A MONTHLY RITUAL!

MORE INFO AT:
www.StandAgainstSitLie.org
.

:::WHAT::: SIDEWALKS ARE FOR PEOPLE is a monthly citywide celebration of San Francisco’s public space, its vibrant and diverse culture, and its tradition of tolerance and compassion. People from all walks of life, across the city, will be doing what they love on the city’s sidewalks: barbecues, chalk drawing, chess, yoga, reading, knitting, jumprope, playing music, painting, tea/coffee parties, sunbathing, meditating, DJing, hanging out, tai chi, hot tub parties, dancing, anything — you name it!

::: WHERE/WHEN ::: Gatherings will be happening all day in multiple locations across the city. People can post their events or find other events on the official map at www.StandAgainstSitLie.org.

::: WHY ::: The Board of Supervisors will soon be voting on a “Sit/Lie” law that would make it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalk anywhere in San Francisco. We think it’s a really bad idea to criminalize the act of sitting in public space and that it’s a clear violation of our basic civil liberties. We think public spaces are safer when people are encouraged to use them to meet with neighbors, friends, family and others from the community. We like how our sidewalks reflect the diverse, vibrant culture
of our city. We believe in freedom of expression, the right to peaceably assemble, and the pursuit of happiness on our sidewalks!

We acknowledge and empathize with legitimate fears or frustrations that people encounter while sharing public space with others, but we do not believe that a sit/lie ordinance would address these fears and frustrations in a truly effective way. We are interested in participating in dialogue around real solutions they address core issues. For starters check out, A Very Different Approach to the Sit-Lie Law by Gabriel Haaland.

::: RSVP on facebook :::
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112164578810394&ref=ts

::: WHAT CAN DO FOR SIDEWALKS ARE FOR PEOPLE? :::
Anything you want! Be creative — or not. It doesn’t matter! Just be sure to have fun on the sidewalk and invite friends, family, and neighbors to join you. Please avoid obstructing the free flow of our fellow San Franciscans! Take pictures and shoot video to document your event. Post your event on the interactive map at StandAgainstSitLie.org so that we can show that people all across our fair city love our public spaces.

We will provide you with some basic materials to hand out to curious pedestrians, along with tools to support you in orchestrating this in the most effective way. Other than that, we leave it up to you to organize the best event that you can. You can do whatever you want, but please do something!

CONTACT: info@StandAgainstStiLie.org if you have questions or would like to offer your skills and passion to help put this event together. Or call Andy at 415-533-4694.

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