FOCUSGathering, preserving, and re-presenting records of initiatives, organizations, businesses, and individuals active in advancing Environmental Protection & Health — Freedom, Peace & Equality — Broadcast & Publication — Arts & Education — Enterprise — in the Humboldt bay area. Actions, reactions and effects flowing from 1960s counterculture.
Why a Peoples Archive for the Humboldt Bay Area?
— Because It Helps Fund Humboldt Communities
Because It Helps Fund Humboldt Communities
Relieves Local Institutions
Rescues Controversial Histories Otherwise Lost
Builds Portable Monuments Against Ignorance
Security Against the Everything-Will-Be-On-the-Internet Fallacy
Is Open to All
Counters Fallacy of Memorial-by-Results
By May 2020, grant writers working through Humboldt State University have raised over $6 million, ($3.8 million for Humboldt County and $2.25 million Mendocino). References in their applications include some found only on this website. Namely, the salvaged and restored Civil Liberties Monitoring Project website. Mid May we issued a press release with details that you can download – here.
— Relieves Local Institutions
We have been forced to rescue crucial local histories that would have been lost. Because of decades of crippling budget cuts, public institutions like Humboldt State University have been neither able, nor, at times, politically willing, to take on new collections despite the best efforts of dedicated staff archivists.
Similarly, private institutions like the Humboldt County Historical Society and Clarke Museum have been weakened by an era of public neglect. At the same time, our volunteer-dependent sister organizations have become overburdened with unsorted collections in their own areas of focus, which have tended to precede the 1960s.
— Rescues Controversial Histories Otherwise Lost
Lasting controversy over Sixties-related phenomena have frightened institutions from gathering materials that will disappear without our intervention. Even among counterculturalists passionate divisions remain on a range of themes from nudity and free love, to environmental regulations and the histories of pre-legalization marijuana and homesteading.
At no time since Euro-Americans expropriated the region’s Native American first-settlers has protecting the earth, and fostering a more just society and culture, been actively pursued by so many individuals, associations, and businesses. In large part, this is thanks to the political efforts of Sixties-generation local Native American activists, hippies, environmentalists, dropouts, Leftists, LGBTQ people, and artists, whether homegrown or transplants to the region. All efforts dating back over nearly half a century.
Yet, until we established this archive in 2016, there has been no conscious effort to preserve the documents that could reveal the nuts and bolts of politics and organization building, or art practices and private lives, that underlie this period.
— Builds Portable Monuments Against Ignorance
Because we believe histories cannot survive without a purpose, we intend for this archive to foster those values that lead us to enjoy greater equality and freedom in better harmony with the natural world.
To that end the contents of our archive are also becoming a kind of living monument — with index and documentation! — to the histories of achievement and failure that we need to preserve now more than ever.
Why now? Most urgently because the active memory of our recent past protects the advances we enjoy today against the depredations of future — and present! — ignorance. We cannot forget that if waterways and air are cleaner, forestlands better protected, and if we are more free now to wear our hair the way we please without police harassment, it is not because of blind progress but thanks to political struggle.
And as we see today, that struggle is never ending.
To wit, ramped up gutting of environmental protections in early 2020 by the Trump Administration have been carried out with greater ease because enough of the public will accept deliberate lies that distort the past. Imagine if there had been store-front archives of environmental struggle across the land actively re-presenting and advocating for their histories over the last half century?
Facebook Pages, and personal posts are great, but unregulated for-profit social media will always better serve the politics of ignorance than progress. Just try to check back on any of your most enlightened threads from 2016!
— Security Against the Everything-Will-Be-On-the-Internet Fallacy
Another urgent reason for a peoples archive is the loss of historical records that result from the delusion that anything important will one day — and forevermore — be available on the Internet. An argument frequently used by institutions to save money and space by dumping paper records, which, after thousands of years (we include papyrus) in use, remain the most practical medium for long term information storage.
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 consequently saving tons of paper. Do you know anyone able to open a CD-ROM today?
Likewise, if you are from Southern Humboldt, try to find your local weekly, The Independent, online. It is not.
— Is Open to All
Our archive seeks and welcomes material from Sixties-era individuals, organizations and businesses of any political or cultural activism for what its proponents believe is a better world – even where these oppose the left-liberal, environmentalist, and pro-labor politics of its founders.
— Counters Fallacy of Memorial-by-Results
Many believe that if their activism saves an ancient forest, restores a river, or stops a war, the good examples left by those successes will be enough to convince others to carry on their cause. That Headwaters Forest, for instance, alone is all we need to communicate the value of saving old growth habitat.
History overflows with proof this strategy is doomed. The benefits of shared restraint in cutting forests or killing each other to settle disputes have only ever lasted when they are 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, and obliged people to stop dumping poisons into waterways.
— Monuments Now
In the Humboldt area, "The Fisherman" bronze, on Woodley Island, and Eureka’s Carson Mansion, are among the only monuments you find. The former, a tribute to dangerous labor, fits our focus. But should a lumber baron’s Victorian palace turned into a tourist attraction and exclusive dinner club be the most prominent monument to local history? Even if it was built to keep that lumber baron's workers busy during a slump...?
About the five areas of focus:
Environmental Protection & Health come first because among our areas of focus these have enjoyed the most institutional success, establishing legal and political bulwarks that have had easily measurable impacts.
Under the heading Freedom, Peace & Equality, we include a range of organizations and activism from economic development, civil rights and privacy, to anti-war and nonviolence training.
Entries under Broadcast & Publication explain themselves. Arts & Education, and Enterprise, likewise.
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Individuals, organizations, businesses, and other examples, about which we have – or would seek to – collect materials:
Environmental Protection & Health
North Coast Environmental Center (EcoNews)
Spray Alert! (1970s - 80s campaign)
Redwoods Rural Health Center
Mattole Restoration Council
EPIC (Environmental Protection Information Center)
Sally Bell Grove (1980s campaign)
Institute for Sustainable Forestry
Forests Forever (1980s - 90s campaign)
Ancient Forest International
Redwood Summer (1990s campaign)
Friends of the Eel
Ecological Rights Foundation
Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation
Heart of the Redwoods Hospice (Garberville, CA)
Freedom, Peace & Equality
Southern Humboldt Working Together
Forest Lands and Products Cooperative
Beginnings – schools
Salmon Creek Community School
United Stand! – Humboldt County
Institute for Sustainable Forestry
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
North Star News
North Coast Journal
Gulch Mulch – community newsletter
KMUD – radio
Green Fuse – periodical, newspaper format
Access Humboldt TV – community access cable TV channel
Community Access TV – Arcata
Arts & Education
Summer / Winter Arts Festival – Benbow
Fireman’s Hall / Mateel Community Center – Garberville / Redway
Beginnings School; Salmon Creek School; Whale Gulch School; others
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
Evergreen Natural Foods
Stephens Glass / Dazeys Supply
Playtypus Press (Redway, CA)
Mateel Community Credit Union (later Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt, since 2019 Vocality)
Open Circle Trading Company
Blue Moon Gift Shop
Alternative Energy Engineering
Magic Communications (closed Miranda, CA)
Childs Play (closed Garberville, CA)
Orange Cat Goes to Market
Wild Iris Forest Products (closed Southern Humboldt, CA)
Chataqua Natural Foods
Murrish's Grocery (became Shop Smart in which year?)
Garden of Beadin'
Music for Little People
Wild Horse Records (Garberville, CA)
Tiger Lilly Books (Closed Garberville, CA)
Second Growth Books
Pyramid Lanes (closed early 1980s Garberville, CA)
Treats (closed Garbervill, CA)
The Works (Larry Glass’s record shop)
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