FOCUS

Environmental Protection | Freedom, Peace and Equality | Broadcast & Publication | Art
(See organization and extended subject list below. Comments and suggested additions welcome.)

Why a “Peoples Archive” for the Humboldt Bay Area?

First – to rescue local organization and individual histories’ paper, audio, and other traces, from being lost because public institutions like Humboldt State University, despite great efforts, have had to severely limit acquiring new collections after decades of crippling budget cuts. When state politics fails to step up, we have to step in. Likewise, private institutions like the Humboldt County Historical Society are underfunded and over-burdened with collections focused on the periods preceding the 1960s.

Second – because the contents of such this archive will become a monument – with index and documentation! – to the histories of achievement and failure that we need to preserve now more than ever.

Why now? Because of the enduring and rampant delusion that all important records will one day and forevermore be available on the Internet. An argument frequently used by institutions to eliminate and dump paper records, still the only stable information storage format. You may recall, or have heard of, the CD-ROM? In the 1990s many encyclopedias, reports, and studies, were digitally published using this then-revolutionary medium saving tons of paper. Do you know anyone able to open a CD-ROM today?

At no time in the last century, at least since the 1915 election of Eureka’s Socialist mayor Elijah Falk, has the North Coast enjoyed a period as rich in publications, organizations and people dedicated to protecting the earth and fostering a more just society and culture. In large part this is thanks to the Sixties generation of hippies, environmentalists, dropouts, Leftists, and artists, whether homegrown or transplants to the region.

An active memory of this recent past protects today’s advances against the depredations of future ignorance.

This archive is both a tool for understanding and improving on these advances.

Preserving the documents that reveal the nuts and bolts of politics and organization building, or art practices and private lives, is the first mission. The other is to foster those values that lead us to enjoy greater equality and freedom in better harmony with the natural world.

Open to All
While we, the archive founders, tend to the Left and Green in our politics and world-views, we welcome material from individuals and organizations of any political or cultural activism for what its proponents believe is a better world.

The Fallacy of Memorial-by-Results
Many believe that if you save an ancient forest, restore a river, or stop a war, that success will be enough to advance the cause underlying the activism. That the achievements, Headwaters Forest, for instance, alone is all we need to give proof of the inherent value of saving old growth habitat.

This argument is weak. History overflows with proof. It assumes that peoples will be reminded to protect nature and stop war merely by beholding the now restored or preserved natural landscapes or, someday, a brief time without war. Looking around it is easy to see this is not enough. Areas of human advancement only have a chance when understood and commemorated the individuals and groups, or successors of groups, who achieved them. We need to remember why, how, where, and when exactly we saved the forest, outlawed racial discrimination, protected the queer teenager, obliged people to stop dumping poisons into waterways.

What Monuments We Have Now Around Humboldt Bay, "The Fisherman" statue on Woodley Island, Eureka’s Carson Mansion, and the McKinley statue on the Arcata Plaza are among the only monuments you can find. The former, a tribute to dangerous labor, fits our focus. But should a lumber baron’s Victorian palace turned tourist attraction and exclusive dinner club, nor an early 20th century US President be the only, and most prominent monuments to local history?

This archive provides a place to remember and promote those achievements – none of which will enjoy the easy monumental status of a picturesque mansion on the National Historic Register.

About the four areas of focus listed above, and their order:

Environmental Protection comes first because among our areas of focus it has enjoyed the most success in establishing legal and political bulwarks that have had measurable impacts, for instance on understanding and restoring watersheds, waterways and forests. Despite early divisive struggles, it is also the most unifying theme of cultural and political work.

Under the heading Freedom, Peace and Equality, we include a range of organizations and activism from economic development, civil rights and privacy, health and hospice work, to anti-war and nonviolence training.

Entries under Broadcast & Publication explain themselves. Art, likewise. Neither of these is less important.

   Back to TOP

Environmental Protection
North Coast Environmental Center (EcoNews)
Spray Alert! (1970s - 80s campaign)
Mattole Restoration Council
EPIC (Environmental Protection Information Center)
Sally Bell Grove (1980s campaign)
Institue for Sustainable Forestry
Forests Forever (1980s - 90s campaign)
Trees Foundation
Ancient Forest International
Redwood Summer (1990s campaign)
Humboldt Baykeeper
Friends of the Eel
Ecological Rights Foundation
Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation

Freedom, Peace and Equality
Southern Humboldt Working Together
Forest Lands and Products Cooperative
Beginnings – schools
Salmon Creek Community School
United Stand! – Humboldt County
Institute for Sustainable Forestry
ACORN Alliance
Civil Liberties Monitoring Project
Citizen Observation Group
Earth First! Humboldt County
North Coast Co-op – grocery store
Ruby Valley Co-op – food and sundries outside Redway, closed 1980s
Veterans Vietnam Restoration Project
Pacific Justice Center – activist law firm
Mel Pearlston – attorney and civil rights activist
Ron Sinoway – attorney and civil rights activist
Bonnie Blackberry – civil rights activist
ED Denson – civil rights activist, musician, attorney and radio programmer
Casa del Corazon – Redway foster home for girls founded by Sheila Hahn
Women in Shelter
Redwood AIDS Information Network
Paul Encimer – peace and advocate for the poor
Hospice of the Redwoods
Town Square – Garberville
Community Park – Garberville
Richard Salzman – law suit against Arcata panhandling ordinance
Mateel Community Credit Union – later Southern Humboldt CCU
Redwood Rural Health Center
Open Door Community Health Center
Humboldt Grassroots – Anarchist group
Logging and other labor history
Aid to poor history

Broadcast & Publication
Star Root – periodical, newspaper format
KERG – radio
Gulch Mulch – community newsletter
KMUD – radio
Green Fuse – periodical, newspaper format
Access Humboldt TV – community access cable TV channel
Community Access TV – Arcata

Art
Summer / Winter Arts Festival – Benbow
Fireman’s Hall / Mateel Community Center – Garberville / Redway
Feet First Dancers
Jane Lapiner – choreographer
David Simpson – playwright
Sheila & Jesse – musicians
Jerry Martien – poet and teacher
Anna Banana – activist and musician
Backwoods Jazz Association – Garberville
Les Scher – musician, attorney and writer
Jazz on the Lake – Benbow
Rod Deal and the Ideals – musicians
Ink People – Eureka
Darryl Cherney – activist and musician
Human Nature – theater company
Pure Schmint Players – theater company – Jentri Anders page on Pure Schmint
Jentri Anders – anthropologist, author and Southern Humboldt archivist.
Joani Rose – actor, songwriter and director of Mateel Community Center-based Recycled Youth theater program
Al “Owl” Ceraulo – actor, director, playwright and screenwriter
Recycled Youth – annual Mateel CC theater program co-written with performers since 1997
Reggae on the River – music festival
Music for Little People – music production and distribution
Bembe Records – music production and distribution – Redway
David Peñalosa – musician, teacher and author
Del Arte – theater company – Blue Lake
Synapsis– dance and performance center – Eureka
The Sanctuary – cultural center – Arcata

   Back to TOP