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(en) US, Tween-City, The Jack Pine Community Center

Date Sat, 31 Dec 2005 14:23:00 +0200


The Jack Pine Community Center is a collectively run, intergenerational
free space committed to popular education, anti-oppression, and the fight
for justice, liberation, and autonomy. We seek to foster self-expression,
self-representation and radical activism by providing a family-friendly
space for skill sharing, events, meetings and art.
Our Values and Beliefs
We are committed to maintaining a radical community and resource
center, dedicated to popular education and the idea that reclaiming
responsibility for our own education is both necessary and
empowering. This space will not be dominated by any subculture but
instead bound together by a common willingness to fight for justice,
liberation and autonomy.

We are committed to being anti-racist, anti-sexist, class-conscious,
and queer and gender inclusive, and believe that all oppressions are
interrelated. We believe that substantive, positive change comes
through processes that recognize the different positions people
inhabit, and that facilitate their self-empowerment accordingly. We
recognize the rights of all people to self-expression,
self-representation, the governing of their own bodies, and the space
to grow. Furthermore, we believe that all people have the right to
fight for their own self-determination, by whatever means necessary.

We believe in the importance of ecological as well as human
diversity, and of a movement that demands environmental justice,
sustainability and an end to the unnecessary exploitation of all life on
this planet.

We are committed to collective, consensus process and continuous
self-critique, and support efforts at collectivity throughout our
communities. We oppose capitalism, imperialism and the state, and
stand in solidarity with people struggling for liberation all over the
world.

What We Do and Why

Until now, the Twin Cities has lacked a radical space that is
accessible and welcoming to families and actively involves them in
collective activity. With the lack of consistent and reliable childcare
at meetings, as well as the naturalization of childless radical spaces,
parents (and especially mothers) have been shut out of the radical
process. This has resulted in the silencing and loss of many valuable
voices. We hope to alleviate this problem in part by providing a space
that is family-friendly and facilitating activities for children during
meetings and events. This space will include and support not only
parents but their children as well, on the presumption that there is an
untapped value in intergenerational experiences, education and
organizing, and that movements must both foster radical ethics in
and learn radical ethics from youth.

Because of the ways that economic inequality is institutionalized in
our society, many people are denied access to a wealth of valuable
information. To combat this classism, we will maintain the
community center as a free space where no one is turned away or
denied information due to a lack of funds. We believe that
institutionalized inequality is also manifested through means such as
race, gender and sexuality, both outside of and within the Left.
Consequently, we are wary of attempts to obscure identities and
distinctions related to these oppressions. Within our collective space,
it shall be understood that we do not all start on an equal playing
field. Varying levels of privilege experienced by individuals must be
recognized and taken into account in all collective activity.

It is our understanding that the current social, political and economic
system has endeavored to devalue a majority of people through
privileging certain skills and means of education over others.
However, we believe in the value inherent in all people, that all
people are skilled, and that there is a great educational and
revolutionary potential in recognizing those skills. We intend to
utilize regular skillshares as a way of asserting this belief while
furthering the process of popular education.

We seek to broaden concepts of information and the ways in which it
can be shared, thus creating more avenues for people to impart their
own knowledge and experiences to their communities. Information
can be communicated through the written and spoken word, visual
and performative art, direct and symbolic action and any number of
other media. This community center will function as a radical
infoshop and meeting space, and facilitate the presentation of
information through various means for people and groups who
would not otherwise have such a space. We will strive to maintain
the space in a manner that welcomes these people and groups and
adequately meets their needs.

Recognizing that our ability to fulfill the aforementioned functions
will be dependent upon the stable possession and maintenance of a
physical space, the collective will devote time and energy to the
securing of funds and support. However, our purpose is not to make
money, and any efforts we make at doing so will be made in keeping
with the values and goals expressed in this statement.

We welcome the equal participation of anyone who shares our
vision, and always look forward to new opportunities for radical
struggle and change.
news/2005/02/1723141.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/02/1723978.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/03/1724843.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/03/1726343.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/04/1734718.php

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 $(B!G (Bs
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 $(B!H (BFree $(B!I (B Luers, and also
protested in
nearby Tracey when $(B!H (BGod Hates Fags $(B!I (B 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 $(B!H (BReclaim the Parks $(B!I (B. 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,
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/10954749p-11720310c.html.
The collective launched a call in campaign after three organizers
with the march were picked out of the group and ticketed.

Related Reports:
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/05/1735746.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/05/1744685.php
http://www.freefreenow.org/june2005recap.html#Modesto
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/06/1747945.php
http://www.geocities.com/modanarcho/flyersarticles.html
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/07/1755581.php

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,
http://www.modbee.com/local/v-dp_morning/story/11354173p-12100741c.html.

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
Modesto.

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:
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1766670.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/10/1778675.php
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/12/1788651.php

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 $(B!G (B took place over most of the year,
and
happened on Friday and Saturday nights.

Copwatch: Took place along side Anarchist Café $(B!G (B, 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 $(B!G (B. Happened largely every Friday and
Saturday
night.

Really Free Market: Started in late 05 $(B!G (B, 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 $(B!G (B 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:
http://photobucket.com/albums/b360/crudo/?

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
anyone):

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 $(B!F (B!), 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. $(B!H (BThe
Cracker $(B!I (B Stanford
(for the bling), Bishop, Fifth Estate, Joe and Susie, Mike Napp,
California Coalition to Save $(B!H (BTookie $(B!I (B
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!
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