This is Natalie Cherot writing for the Solidarity Ventura County newsletter this week. We publish a comprehensive calendar of progressive events. Check us out often at vcpjn.org/calendar/. We update multiple times a week.
This week we have a special contribution from our advisory board member, Narissa Petchumrus, a discussion of the undoing of Matilija Dam, events on the calendar, and fun stuff.
DAM IF YOU DO
Join Paul Jenkin, founder of the Matilija Coalition and campaign coordinator for Ventura Surfrider Foundation, as he provides a fascinating overview of the ongoing efforts to remove the obsolete Matilija Dam from the Ventura River. The goal of the Matilija Dam removal project is to restore fish passage to the upper watershed and natural sediment transport to local beaches.
Constructed in 1948 on Matilija Creek, a tributary of the Ventura River, the dam no longer serves its intended purpose. Over time the reservoir has filled with sediment, yet the crumbling concrete continues to trap sand that should be replenishing Ventura beaches.
The Matilija Coalition is a local organization that includes Surfrider Foundation, Patagonia, California Trout, and others. For nearly 20 years the coalition has been working with state and federal agencies to develop a strategy to remove the dam and restore the river. The proposed demolition of Matilija Dam, 16 miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean, is part of a movement across the western U.S. to remove obsolete dams that are a danger to humans and an environmental threat to wildlife.
Reservations are highly recommended for this free community lecture.
ON THE CALENDAR
Stop Trumpcare July 6 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Know Your Rights Civil Disobedience July 16 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Summer Social For Justice July 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Work/Play Day at Community Roots Garden July 12 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Blue Lives Matter: Featured social justice topic of the week
This week we have a special contribution from our advisory board member, Narissa Petchumrus.
The reason why this topic was picked is due to seeing no shortage of this flag hung outside of homes in Ventura County.
I wanted to take the time to couple Blue Lives Matter with this insignia and unpack its implications.
First off, let’s define Blue Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter is a pro-police position that started after the killings of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn, New York, on December 20, 2014, after they were ambushed in their patrol car. Blue Lives Matter was formed in reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, which seeks to end police brutality against the African American community.
Putting this into local context, why is this flag prevalent in Ventura County? A cop’s experience of social space is mostly of profound privilege and deferential treatment. Of course this is much more widely experienced in affluent (read largely white) communities in Ventura County.
Why mostly in affluent white communities? The answer is anything but short, but in my flawed attempt to provide a brief historical context below:
The tendency for affluence of white communities largely depends on a legacy of racialized policing and imperialism. Racial preferences have a long, institutional history in this country – a white history.
In exchange for their support and their policing of the growing slave population, lower-class Europeans won new rights, entitlements, and opportunities from the planter elite. The use of patrols to capture runaway slaves was one of the precursors of formal police forces, especially in the South. This disastrous legacy persisted as an element of the police role even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Read the rest here
MISSION OF SOLIDARITY VENTURA COUNTY
Solidarity Ventura County publicizes critical information on actions, events, and group meetings. It is a progressive grassroots tool to complement local direct action. Our organization will facilitate communication and connection between activists, interested community members, and local organizations; and will become an informed and mobilized county-wide base, ready to stand by our community.
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