A call for support from Oakland’s exciting Omni Commons project. The following text was written by Julian Francis Park. Click here to contribute.
Julian Francis Park: Dear friends of the Omni Commons. We’re coming up on the first anniversary of collectively owning the historic building we inhabit thanks to your ongoing participation in the Omni. Like you, we’ve been super busy this year—defending, organizing with, and supporting communities of struggle. We’re focused on improving the Commons to satisfy more community needs and desires. To do so, we ask for your material support: we need your involvement and we need your funding.
I’m Julian, a volunteer with the Omni’s Communications Working Group and member of Bay Area Public School. With eco-social tensions constantly growing around the region and world, the mission of the Commons—a more equitable commoning of resources and meeting human needs over private interests or corporate profit—continues to be urgent.
You probably already know about the awesome member collectives that inhabit and manage Omni Commons, but you may not be aware of the major projects they have worked on this year:
The Chiapas Support Committee has been hosting monthly ‘Waffles and Zapatismo’ classes, as well as several events featuring the art, poetry, music and cooperatively-produced products of the Zapatistas and Chiapas, Mexico.
A collaborative project between Sudo Mesh and Secure Scuttlebutt, DisasterRadio is a low-bandwidth, long-range, disaster-resilient communications network powered by the sun and utilizing open source software and off-the-shelf hardware
Bay Area Applied Mycology runs a small lab in Counter Culture Labs for experiments, classes and workshops on bioremediation with fungi, DNA barcoding of unknown mushroom species, a native fungi species bank, and more!
Three Build Your Own Internet quarterly hands-on workshops have been hosted by The People’s Open Network, a community-owned and -operated wireless mesh network in the East Bay, with more planned next year as the network grows.
A collaborative project of Counter Culture Labs and BioCurious is developing vegan cheese by genetically engineering baker’s yeast to produce milk proteins, which are then combined with water and vegan oil and converted into Real Vegan Cheese through standard cheese-making processes – just like cheese from cow or goat milk.
Open Insulin is a team of biohackers working out of Counter Culture Labs on an open source way to make insulin and take this essential medicine out of the control of large pharmaceutical companies.
Omni’s in-house video production collective, Liberated Lens, hosted 24 independent filmmakers in their local film series this year, and trained 25 people through their film production workshops using their shared equipment and editing suite.
Several times over the past year, we have have been asked by the community to support urgent work in specific ways such as fiscal sponsorship or temporary space usage. A couple of these are Safer DIY Spaces, a coalition responding to the social vulnerability of non-traditional “DIY” living and/or work spaces in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire; and The Village, a community-supported encampment on public land in Oakland that meets the needs of displaced and houseless folks through mutual aid, and fights for housing for all. Your support will increase our capacity to respond to future requests.
Omni Commons relies on your tax-deductible donations to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the roof leaks patched. And from now until December 12th of this year, you can use this free tool to leverage a matching donation from your employer. Any donation you give is the right amount. If you’re not able to donate now, please share our ask with your friends by forwarding this email and on social media.
Don’t forget—while we depend upon and appreciate your donations, they’re only one way to support the Commons. Bring your events here, bring your organizing here, get involved with a working group or a collective, or start a new collective! Come to an orientation at the Omni before our delegates meetings (every first and third Thursday at 6pm) to learn more about how we work and how you can get involved.
Much gratitude and solidarity to all our comrades, friends, and supporters, from all us Commoners at the Omni.
La lucha continúa, the struggle continues,
Julian Francis Park