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by Autonomous Valley
Sunday, Nov. 28, 2004 at 2:35 AM
A beautiful fall day, provided us with a perfect backdrop this past Friday, when local community members converged on Courson Park to give and take various items at the "Truly Free Market" including; clothes, mattresses, food, electronics, children's toys, pots and pans, books, and various other items of use.
Palmdale, Ca - Autonomous Valley Collective initiates Truly Free Market in Courson Park 11/26. -report back
COMMUNITY NOT CAPITALISM
A beautiful fall day, provided us with a perfect backdrop this past Friday, when local community members converged on Courson Park to give and take various items at the "Truly Free Market" including; clothes, mattresses, food, electronics, children's toys, pots and pans, books, and various other items of use. Workshops, which had been planned for, never materialized, however many discussions broke out between people on how to deal with problems arising throughout the community. Members of the N26 organizing committee walked through the park starting up discussions and distributing literature on subjects such as how to deal with the police and organizing in the workplace. Stories of many peoples personal hardships were heard, and the ever repeating reason people are forced into these situations was discussed; credit, which has kept so many from living decent, humane lives.
The affects of local 'urban renewal' programs were there for anyone to see. With the poorest housing in the valley being pushed up 200+ dollars a month, many families are sleeping in their cars or staying with friends and relatives, not knowing where else to turn. This accompanied by the recent cap on Section 8 housing, along with no landlords even willing to be a part of Section 8, this only contributing to further homelessness. The local police and city government see these courses of action as an answer, claiming with "cleaner streets" the economy will grow and more jobs will arise, this however, is an outright lie. The only jobs being provided are low wage, non union, service jobs at places like Starbucks, Sam's Club, McDonalds and Wal-Mart in their so called 'restored' areas of the valley.
Even if housing could not immediately be provided, free food was. Three hot meals were prepared; breakfast, lunch and dinner, which if nothing else, helped take the burden off individuals and families buying and cooking food that day.
Throughout the day there was about a 50/50 mix of Spanish and English speaking people. The Latino folks responded very positively to the Spanish literature that was distributed, with the leaflets "Ten Reasons To Oppose Capitalism" and "A Day To Buy Nothing." An older Guatemalan woman told of her days of resistance in the 1960s and 70s after reading the literature. Another man talked about his union breaking into city hall in LA to demand better wages. These empowering stories of resistance were hopefully just the beginning of what will be built in the Antelope Valley today, in response to the horrific programs being implemented by the city government.
If the extreme amount of poverty, immigrant sweeps, and excessive police harassment of the poor communities is all that they will give us, then those making the decisions, will have to deal with further unrest, as we will begin to resist, far beyond taking back our park. As more bridges are built we are just beginning to get organized. Soon the capitalists and their lapdog police force will have to deal with the community which they have held back for so many years. The Free Market was just the beginning of us taking back what belongs to us, and soon we'll begin to take back more and more, so that one day we can truly take back what they have stolen from us, our lives.
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||Sunday, Nov. 28, 2004 at 3:31 AM