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(en) US, California: DAAA* Collective Year in Review 2005

Date Sat, 31 Dec 2005 14:16:54 +0200

2005 was an interesting and busy year for us here in Modesto. In
some ways we came into a routine in some respects, repeating many
projects that we have done in past years, and in some ways it was totally
new ground, as we ventured off into various new avenues of organizing, and
made new connections with our community. Bellow is a blow by blow account
of our actions, organizing drives, and projects throughout the year.
January 2005
January was a very busy month for us. In one week we did perhaps
two of our most important events back to back, and I must say, did
well at both. The first event was doing solidarity work for the Galvan
family at a protest march for Sammy Galvan, who was shot to death
by the Modesto Police in August of 2004. Sammy was cooking in his
room when police came and responded to a domestic call, and then
proceeded to shoot him numerous times. Police claim that he
threatened them with his cooking instrument, but witnesses in the
neighborhood state that Sammy make no threatening moves. The
relationship between the collective and the Galvan family grew after
meeting with them several times, and also providing a lot of the
things that they used for their demonstration outside of the police
station. The collective made flyers for the event, a large banner that
was used in the front of the march, and also made up close to one
third of the 60 person strong event.

Latter in the week we were back in the streets, with various other
global justice activists, to protest the inauguration of President Bush.
The event drew a crowd of about 90, and was complete with drums
and buckets, a film showing of “We Interrupt This Empire”,
and speaking from older activists who spoke on Bush and the Iraq
war. About an hour into the event, we took to the streets, and held
them for close to half and hour.

The “Community Alliance”, a progressive/radical newspaper
out of the Fresno CA, also did a story on the collective, which can be
read here at: http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/01/1712888.php

Related Reports:


February found us protesting with other animal liberation activists
the Wet Seal Company, for their practice of selling fur. Also in
February we were once again harassed by the Modesto Police
department for distributing free literature in the downtown area,
(“Anarchist Café”), and I was ticked for the offense. In
response to this we launched a call in campaign to the police chief.
Later all charges were dropped.

March found us in city meetings, defending Modesto Medical
marijuana, and also confronting the Department of Justice, and
Ceres PD, at a city meeting in the wake of the Andres Raya
shootings which led to repression in the Latino community in Ceres.
Along with others, we helped to disrupt the meeting, and also with
others walked out.

In April, we participated in the yearly Modesto Earth Day
celebration, and had a large interactive booth at the event, (booths
were only $10). We had free literature, free food, a television
showing various films, (including the ELF primer, perfect for Earth
Day!), and also a free patch making station. We also brought back
street theater that we had done at the last Earth Day, and this year
introduced, “Sprawly”, the corporate sprawl monster.
Sprawly interacted with people, harassed non-profits which helped
the environment, and thanked groups and corporations that hurt the
earth, and generally made everyone laugh. Sammy Galvan’s
mother also showed up, and when local police harassed her and
threatened to arrest her for handing out flyers, we did a spirited
march around the park, with signs we quickly made reading,
“Fuck Police Harassment”, and also telling the whole park
about what the police had done that day.

Also, in February, the local newspaper, the Modesto Bee, ran a total
of three articles on Critical Mass, which was organized through the
collective. One night I got a call from a report who wanted to talk to
me about the event, and I did so, thinking that it was off the record,
only to read the story the next day,
However after the article came out, the collective began speaking
again of putting on the ride, which lead to the writing of two more
Critical Mass articles,
Food Not Bombs was also featured in a small article about various
programs for the homeless, (the article also featured Turlock Food
Not Bombs, which is located very close to Modesto),
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/9898695p-10742572c.html, a
DAAA Collective member was also interviewed on Earth Day,

Related Reports:

May - August

In the Summer, Copwatch and Anarchist café was continuing
downtown, with various problems with police happening on and off.
Copwatch continued, as we had successes with the public, and
managed to become a trusted and common sight in Modesto’s
downtown. In May, we also protested again with animal liberation
activists, this time at KFC, and also brought a worker
liberation/anti-urban sprawl aspect to the protests, and ended each
protest by going into the stores, chanting, and passing out literature,
and generally making the bosses mad, and then quickly leaving
before the police came. In June we did a solidarity event for
anarchist prisoner Jeff “Free” Luers, and also protested in
nearby Tracey when “God Hates Fags” turned up to protest
a local Gay-Straight Alliance. With pink bandanas of solidarity, and
lots of free anarchist literature, we helped to create a militant and
anarchist presence at the counter event.

In July we engaged in our most outgoing event to date, with our
third annual “Reclaim the Parks”. The event was centered
around bringing various issues facing working, poor, oppressed, and
homeless people in Modesto together into one event. The event
featured three free meals, free literature, a piñata that was a pig
dressed up as a police officer, and finished with an unmerited march
involving about 40 people. Anarchists from Fresno, the Bay Area,
and Modesto were present, and also featured a round table
discussion about various issues and projects going on in California.
A video was made by one DAAA Collective member, and can be
viewed here, http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/07/1757046.php. A
Modesto Bee article was also published about it here,
The collective launched a call in campaign after three organizers
with the march were picked out of the group and ticketed.

Related Reports:

September - December

In September the collective joined with other community based
groups to protest the Tallow Plant, which is an animal rendering
facility that puts horrible smells into the surrounding community,
has violated numerous environmental laws, and owes the city
literately millions of dollars in various fines. In October the collective
was back in front of the plant, (protests were organized every
month), and landed in pictures on the front page of the Modesto
Bee, along with a hard hitting critical article on the plant. That article
with pictures can be viewed here,

Also in October, local workers at the Foster Farms chicken slaughter
plant in Livingston went on strike, and we went out to the picket
lines numerous times, with free food and literature. We got a good
response from the workers, and people from the union asked for our
information to sent us thank you notes. In November, with the help
of students at Modesto Junior College, we passed out canned food,
medical supplies, and literature on squatting to a mostly homeless
crowd waiting to get into a free Thanksgiving dinner event in

In December, rounding out the year we had one of our most
successful events yet, when about 300 people showed up to our
Really Free Market, in response to a Modesto Bee article on the
event, viewed here,
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/12/1787238.php. We also began
working with Ceres Copwatch, to monitor police misconduct in the
Ceres area.

Related Reports:

Ongoing Projects:

Food Not Bombs. Throughout the year we served at a total of three
parks. We served at Tower Park for most of the year, and for a few
months, we served at both Tower Park, and also Cesar Chavez park,
also in Modesto. For several months we also served in Ceres, (right
next to Modesto), at Whitmore park. Food Not Bombs picnics also
included free literature on the collective, workplace organizing,
squatting, know your rights info, and also information on upcoming
events like Reclaim the Parks, etc.

Anarchist Café: This event included free literature, which largely
was lots of pamphlets, journals, flyers, books, shirts, stickers, etc.
We also usually had some type of free food item, or dumpstered
goods. Anarchist Café’ took place over most of the year, and
happened on Friday and Saturday nights.

Copwatch: Took place along side Anarchist Café’, and
generally consisted of us keeping an eye out for police activity while
doing outreach, and then if there was any, documenting that
interaction, talking with people, and handing out free information on
Know Your Rights type stuff. We also would go to the police station
and get complaint forms for people, and also to hand out at
Anarchist Café’. Happened largely every Friday and Saturday

Really Free Market: Started in late 05’, starting largely as a one
time thing for Buy Nothing Day, turned into a weekly event.
Happened every Saturday, from 1pm-3pm. Largely made up of free
clothes, kids stuff, free produce and veggies, dumpstered stuff,
books, etc.

In Conclusion:

We made some very good connections in our community through
our organizing this year. Either with people being harassed by the
police in various communities, or with people fighting various
injustices like the Tallow Plant or at work. We also managed to go
over very well in low key situations, like the Really Free Market or
Earth Day, and we also managed to do well in the streets as
militants. As we go into this new year again seasoned more than
when 05’ started, we are working on new projects with new
groups. In happy news, the Tallow Plant is shutting down, and
Ceres Copwatch is a great success, with reports or little or no police
entering the areas that are being monitored.

Picture Album of DAAA Collective:

Personally I would also like to thank the following groups,
collectives, and people for all their help with organizing going on
here in Modesto, and in no particular order, (sorry if we forgot

Nick Degraff, RANCOR Collective, John M, Grayson Neighborhood
Council, Industrial Workers of the World, Harjit Gill, Bruce,
Industrial Worker, Green Anarchy and John Zerzan, Quiver Distro,
SHAC, ARA-LA/PART, Fault Lines, Not My Government, Raum
and others (for playing anarchist café‘!), Emcee Lynx, and all
the bands that played benefit shows for us, Anarchist Action,
Farhan, East Bay Animal Advocates, North Coast Earth First!,
Crimethinc, Rolling Thunder, Modesto Peace and Life Center (for
the scilla), Galvan Family, Raya Family, Social War, Sling Shot,
Berkeley Copwatch, Sally M., Professor Al Smith, Sacramento
Anarchists, Santa Cruz Insurrectionary Anarchy Tour, Turlock Food
Not Bombs, Brad and Sandy at 106.1, Maria, Nacho, and County
Rural Legal Assistance, Robert P. “The Cracker” Stanford
(for the bling), Bishop, Fifth Estate, Joe and Susie, Mike Napp,
California Coalition to Save “Tookie” Williams, Jim, John,
Julia, and all others at Food Not Bombs, local rank n file unions
members, Community Alliance, that weird photographer with the
Modesto Bee with the Hendrix t-shirt, and all those that donated to
help us with our projects, etc.

Extra shout out to Barbara, Barbara Kelly, who the collective helped
clean her house, despite the mice infestation.

No thanks to:
Modesto Police Department, Ceres Police Department, all the other
pigs in all the other cities, Modesto City Council, Mike Milich,
Tallow Works, Covanta Plant, Foster Farms Inc, Modesto Bike
Coalition, Modesto Bee for the misquotes, FBI, whinny and hatin
liberals and leftists (you know who you are), the drunk Ceres City
Council member who tore up our flyers, asshole Trader Joes
workers that kick us out of the dumpster, new Jamba Juice
manager, and many more!


Copied from infoshop.org
* DAAA = Direct Action Anti-Authoritarians (DAAA)
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