SELF HELP MAKES STRONG COMMUNITIES

SELF HELP MAKES STRONG COMMUNITIES

Food Not Bombs, a radical direct action group that serves free vegetarian meals, was recently approached and asked to cook at the Arcata Endeavor on Saturdays, where there is plenty of food that would otherwise go unprepared and unserved on weekends. This is in addition to FNB’s meals served throughout the week that are cooked in the homes of volunteers. It was discussed and decided that it would be tried.
For several months now, there has been healthy vegetarian food served at 1:00 pm on Saturdays at the Endeavor (at no extra cost to taxpayers), and there are still enough volunteers to prepare and serve dinner at 5:30 pm on the plaza. Many of the volunteers now cooking lunch at the Endeavor on Saturdays were not previously affiliated with Food Not Bombs.
These events make clear that the facilities exist for those in need to be given the opportunity to help themselves. Instead of acquiring large sums of money to study the obvious lack of basic necessities, and spending lots of money hiring people who reinforce the separations between service providers and service recipients, Arcata could allow the already existing facilities to be used by those who are willing to volunteer to provide services to themselves and others. The costs of operation (utilities, supplies) could be covered by the money saved.
Not only would this less-hierarchical approach save money, and time spent to acquire that money, but it would also set an example of this historically tested and trusted method of social planning that involves less professional authoritarianism, and the actual meeting of more needs. The D Street Neighborhood Center is a perfect place to open up. Currently is sits locked and empty most of the time.
The direct action of preparing and sharing meals helps to relieve some of the pressures that create tensions in our community. Healthy and nutritious meals provide relief from the immediate discomfort and anxiety of being hungry, and prevent the long-term negative effects of malnutrition. For those overwhelmed by the cost of living in today’s society, FNB’s free meals provide relief from the competition for ever more scarce dollars.
Preparing meals together is a good way to engage our innate ability to get along and work cooperatively to meet our common needs. By addressing the issue of hunger directly, FNB also demonstrates our ability to solve community problems from within the community.
Advertisements

24 Responses to “SELF HELP MAKES STRONG COMMUNITIES”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Now if Food Not Vomit would just pony up th money to be legal.

  2. the PLAZOID Says:

    Very clever pun, anonymous.
    As for your analysis, it is unfortunately lacking. Food Not Bombs does not do anything illegal. It is NOT illegal to share food in public space, and Food Not Bombs does not charge money or anything, so no law is broken.
    Indeed, FNB gets harassed by the police sometimes, but that doesn’t make what FNB does illegal.
    Who are you suggesting FNB “pony up” the money too? Are you willing to donate?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    No, it isn’t legal. Food And Vomit breaks health code laws, and just plain feeds people that should not be fed or brought into the area. These “people” need to be rounded up and placed into workcamps, where they work, or they die.

    At least that’s what the slackass homeless bums claim people are trying to do to them all the time. I say let them fucking starve and died.

  4. the PLAZOID Says:

    interesting theory, anonymous.
    No, it isn’t illegal to feed people, and it doesn’t make sense to pay someone who isn’t helping out for permission to feed people.
    As for “people who should not be fed,” well, I wonder how your statement would sound to you if the tables were turned. I can see it now: anonymous loses job and computer, and when asking for a little food to eat to get through the hard times, is told that anonymous “should not be fed.”
    What about all the tax-dollars that workers paid while employed? Should it then be withheld form them when they need a little help?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    But the thing is, these people never have paid taxes! And they have never paid taxes in Humboldt County, and that’s a god damned fact. Sure, they want a “little food to eat” and then they want “a campground” and then “a phone” and guess what we end up at, Free food, housing, clothes and medical for people who don’t want to try and improve the area, but suck all the fund out of it before they move on. Boo hoo. I don’t think the local tax dollars should be wasted on people who are not going to do anything. If you want to eat nuts and berries, by all means, go to the woods and die their in peace, but if you think you are special because you are “human” and you should get all these rights just because you are “human”, sorry buddy, but you are wrong. It doesn’t make sense to help people who would turn on you in a minute for a buck, or a nug.

    Go ahead, ruin Arcata, turn it into the type of town you want it to be. A shithole.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I’m not the earlier jerkwad, formerly known as anonymous

    My opinion about providing for people’s needs without the expectation of reciprocation on their part is that it isn’t sustainable. That’s not a concern to anyone who believes this world is coming to an end soon, because for them nothing is sustainable and there’s no reason to live as if it were. I don’t believe that. And my value system finds merit in perpetuating human life. So, living in a sustainable way is important to me. You might ask: Why do I think unconditional care is not sustainable? That will be another posting.

  7. the PLAZOID Says:

    to “anonymous” #1: many of the people who eat at Food Not Bombs are employed or have been employed. This makes them taxpayers. In addition, many of them even buy things in Arcata -once again, making them taxpayers. Even the really really (really) drunk ones buy alcohol anad tobacco(paying taxes) and probably bring revenue to the city by doing recycling.
    Please do not interpret this to be an endorsement of paying taxes.
    It is also foolish to claim that someone is not “contributing to the community” if they don’t have enough money to keep up with the bills.

    to “anonymous”#2: Food Not Bombs is all volunteer labor (no “community service” are obligations of any sort), preparing all donated food. It is sustainable. This is how it works.
    The End-ever is also largely donated food and donated labor. You see, there is plenty. What is NOT sustainable is our stupid economic system that operates by depriving some people of their basic needs, then publicly ridiculing them as an example to serve as a threat to keep everyone else obedient, quietly complacent, in fear of being poor.
    This fear-based strategy will not work in the long-run. For corporate thieves though, the fortune is made in the short-run. The bigger the scam, the more the take, and the quicker they can disappear into corporate digitized anonymity, evading responsibility and on to the next scam.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous #2 Sez
    I think you haven’t thought through the meaning of sustainability. When people donate their time and resources they are taking away a little bit of caring for themselves. They can do that only when they have already created a surplus by the productivity of their efforts. Assuming that surpluses and donations will always exist is the error. At any time, there is a certain amount that exists, if it is used and not replenished, there will be none left. Without extra effort expended, none will be created. If a critical number of people rely on someone else to make the extra effort to produce surpluses and donations, there will be none to find. Thats the essence of non-sustainability.

    Your point about the economic system makes some sense to me, in that there is no guarantee that the economic system will support life. The New Orleans disaster is an example, but at any time crops may fail, rain may cease, a pandemic could occur. When “disaster” happens, the economic system may be ineffective. Those are “natural” disasters, there are human caused ones as well, competitive aggression being the most common.

    Believing in the economic system is really an article of faith that its operation will anticipate or mitigate risks and preserve human life. For most people it is a bargain they willingly accept. But,there is no guarantee, ever. Just as there’s not guarantee that people will continue to produce surpluses and provide donations.

  9. the PLAZOID Says:

    anonymous #2:
    your first comment was that “My opinion about providing for people’s needs without the expectation of reciprocation on their part is that it isn’t sustainable,” to which I responded that there is “reciprocation,” and to assume that people who eat at FNB or the Endeavor or that don’t have money aren’t doing there part is a lack of understanding.
    FNB members (and non-members) do volunteer at some of the farms that have donated food. Some get food that would have been wasted from their place of employment. Some pay out of their pocket to buy food to serve.
    PLease do not take this to be an endorsement of “work” or paying for food.
    No, there is no “guarantee” – of anything, ever.
    If you think that the Endeavor-users aren’t doing their fair share of “work,” you ought to go down there yourself and see what’s going on. Many volunteers work many hours for no money. They do work that most people would not do. Who do you think cleans up the plaza? (after farmers’ market and the bars-crowd messy-up the place) Who makes sure that there is food for those who can’t afford to pay? There are many hard-working volunteers that are regularly insulted in the local papers and such as being “lazy” or “worthless.” How sad.
    No, they don’t have gardens and farms and orchards to work to provide food, but does the computer-programmer? Would you argue that the computer-programmer or software-writer isn’t contributing and therefor doesn’t deserve to eat?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Plazoid, just shut the fuck up already, you are a fucking retard OK.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Anon #2 back at ya’

    We’re making progress. I think we agree that effort is necessary to create the necessities of human life. Of concern to everyone is fairness, as you put it “fair share”. That boils down to evaluations of how much, what kind, and when effort is expected.

    There are several ways that people make “fair share” evaluations (for example: economic, ethical, political, pragmatic). For now, since we’re discussing just Arcata, a small town, I’ll choose a social approach. Essentially “fair share” means whatever the folks around you agree to. Simply, if folks around you are angry, you should change your behavior. For example, if I pass someone who asks me for help and they get upset, I should change my behavior in some way. Or if I ask someone for help and they get upset, I should change my behavior. All this assumes that everyone is sane, has ability to change, wants to get along, is respectful, and polite.

    Applying this to our discussion, if people who use FNB or Endeavor find anger directed at them, they need to change something. If peoples’ anger comes from thinking that Endeavor-users aren’t doing their “fair share”, Endeavor users need to demonstrate very visibly that it isn’t true. Just as a productive programmer very visibly delivers working software to someone who finds benefit in it, and exchanges money for it. As an aside, most people will find that distributing a surplus to someone who doesn’t replenish the surplus isn’t part of a “fair share” productive effort. It is seen as an effort of consumption, like the effort to chew and swallow ones food.

    If most FNB/Endeavor users are making sufficient effort, they need to very visibly demonstrate that fact on an ongoing basis to the community. (Typically people do that by obeying laws, regularly paying taxes, meeting a payroll, keeping a job, satisfying customers.) I believe that would eliminate ignorance and a lot of the hostility and resentment would go away. Conversely, for the sake of argument, if folks aren’t putting out enough effort to be socially acceptable and it becomes widely known, they will eventually be cast out of the social fabric.

    Finally, on a personal note, I volunteer time with a non-profit in Arcata. We provide a service at a nominal cost. I meet a large number of folks who tell me they use FNB/Endeavor. My personal experience is that many of them have a desire to make efforts to contribute to their needs. Mostly though, their efforts are not intense enough or continued long enough to have much effect, let alone create a surplus. Some make no practical effort at all. But almost all are polite and respectful. Not being a professional, I make no judgements about their character or moral worth and no justifications for their behavior.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Your lips are flapping, but only worthless shit is flying out.

  13. the PLAZOID Says:

    thank you anonymous for your comment.
    Are you aware of the amount of UNPAID WORK that Endeavor volunteers do for the Arcata community? It is quite a bit, and INCLUDES CLEANING UP THE PLAZA after events such as Farmer’s Market, etc. Who’s “fault” is it that nobody seems to notice or care?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 2 here

    You’ve implied several times that a significant effort is put into cleaning by Endeavor users. Well, how much effort is that? Do you have some substantiation like pics. of trash bags collected, logs of folks checking in and out, witnesses not associated with the Endeavor who will verify the efforts? If you have some evidence, present it to the community and don’t be sensitive for being asked to account for your statements. Personally, the only persons I’ve seen clean up on the Plaza are Paul Pitino and city employees, but I don’t claim to see everything. We all are asked to account for claims we make about our contributions, and thats appropriate in my opinion.

  15. the PLAZOID Says:

    anon 2:
    I am not personally recording every good act done by a homeless person in hopes that the bigoted segment of the Arcata population will give up their prejudices, but you can go to the Endeavor yourself and find out! You will undoubtedly find some nice folks their, willing to let you know what all is going on.
    Ask for John Shelter.
    Also, go to the plaza after Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 2, Last Try

    As I indicated, the obligation is not to me to check up on people’s actions, it is on them to clearly and convincingly make their efforts known to me. We are disconecting on who is responsible to account for one’s actions. I believe the individual who claims they are contributing has the obligation to convince other people of that fact.

    It’s usual for a person who desires recognition for contributions to give an accounting to the satisfaction of other folks. Its the formal way of exchange, like the need to present an itemized “bill” to someone who has received your services. If this seems overly picky, I don’t apologize, its simply a custom that most people agree to follow.

    To convince others, some objective evidence is needed, like photos and substantiation of people who have expertise and are unbiased. I suggest sumitting it to the local media for publication. Pictures are always publishable.

    Practically, persons directly associated like Endeavor workers are not considered unbiased, no matter how nice they may be. Better to ask a council member, police officer, or city public works employee to verify the efforts expended.

  17. the PLAZOID Says:

    then ask them! they know, it’s not a secret or anything.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Anon Two Here

    All the folks who should know something tell me they believe the efforts expended by Endeavor volunteers are minimal and do not mitigate the negative impacts caused by all Endeavor users. So, they see the Endeavor users, collectively, as not doing their “fair share”.

  19. the PLAZOID Says:

    who did you ask? John Shelter? Becky at the Endeavor? The volunteers?

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Two Back

    As I wrote before, the people that you mention that work at or are directly involved at the Endeavor, no matter how nice they may be, aren’t unbiased and their opinions about this issue aren’t reliable. That goes for business owners and real estate developers too. Only uninvolved and knowledgable people are able to give a fair assessment.

  21. the PLAZOID Says:

    then ask the city council members – and nopt just wheetley – he doesn’t pay attention.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    So, what you are saying, is you have no proof of anything. Who needs proof for anything in Humboldt County anyway? Get yourself a prop 215 card without any proof of illness, food at the foodbank without proof of need, and now this, credit without proof of the deed. I did not see the homeless cleaning up after a fair, I did infact see them throwing cups at the non-homeless though.

  23. the PLAZOID Says:

    where’s your “PROOF” that a cup was thrown by a person that you can “PROVE” is homeless at a person that you can “PROVE” is not homeless?
    The proof of the work down by ENDEAVOR VOLUNTEERS is the numerous testimony of those who did the cleaning and those who witnessed it. Probably even the business owners on the plaza will acknowledge the work that was done.
    Enough sillyness, anonymous.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Stop lying, and yeah, I can “PROVE” it. And the day the homeless slackass bums do anything is the day they get real fucking jobs and be a memeber of the human race.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s