Care and Community at the Share Fair

This article was written by UO journalism student Nate Wilson who attended and wrote about the Share Fair for a class project. We think it really captures the spirit of the Share Fair and so we wanted to share it more widely! (With Nate’s permission of course.) 

Eugene, Ore. — Hundreds of Eugene’s unhoused and lower-income residents gathered at the Solidarity Share Fair to restock on essential supplies and recover from the ice storm that froze much of the Willamette Valley last week.

Held at the Unitarian Universalist Church and facilitated by the Neighborhood Anarchist Collective (NAC) since 2017, the Share Fair provides free resources to those in need: everything from blankets and kids toys to tampons and alcohol-fueled lamps. NAC, a local organization devoted to community support, nonviolence and the decentralization of power, believes direct action like the Share Fair is critical to helping marginalized people in Eugene, which, as of 2019, has the highest per capita rate of houselessness in the country.

The Share Fair gave Eric, an unhoused person who sheltered at the nearby Lane Events Center during the ice storm, a necessary respite. “I’m still recovering from it physically,” said Eric. “I’m just so sore. My hip is killing me and I’m limping, but I know I don’t have any broken bones.”

Full of warm enchiladas and with a bag of new socks in tow, Eric planned to heal his aching body with a Thai massage, one of many free services offered by the Share Fair alongside first-aid assistance, bike repair and haircuts.

Volunteer Coordinator for NAC, Yarrow, worried about those who couldn’t make it to one of Eugene’s warming centers when the weather was much worse. “I almost feel like this event is too late,” said Yarrow. “People are only now getting the things they could’ve used a couple of weeks ago.

Tim, the executive director of the Eugene-Springfield Tenant Association, shared a similar concern. According to Tim, the ice storm forced more people into houselessness largely because of fires sparked by electrical malfunctions. Although the tenant association didn’t receive an influx of calls during the ice storm, people who did call faced much more dire circumstances than normal.

Finally free from slippery and cold conditions, however, locals returned to the Share Fair with enthusiasm. Kathy, a first-timer who proudly adorned a University of Oregon (UO) visor, arrived early to capitalize on the dozen tables loaded with donated clothing. Scoring new boots, clippers and two bags of clothes, Kathy quickly filled her seated walker.

As Kathy browsed the clothing tables, several others sat to appreciate the smooth folk music echoing across the church’s central chamber. While listening and enjoying food served by volunteers from UO’s Alpha Phi Omega, people reconnected with familiar faces and talked to new ones. The Share Fair isn’t just about restocking, but also building community.

In order to foster community, NAC prioritizes inclusivity — all are welcome, no questions asked. Comparing the Share Fair to a similar initiative in Florence, Marci and her daughter saw a stark contrast. Marci remarked at the lack of stigma surrounding the unhoused and lower-income people at the Share Fair, and at the consideration organizers demonstrated.

“Everyone here is friendly and relaxed — you just get a really warm vibe,” Marci said. “I would definitely come back.”

Both Eric and Kathy plan to as well.

The next Share Fair will take place in late April. When mainstream pathways of care are inaccessible or break down, as they did during Oregon’s recent ice storm, events like the Share Fair become even more important.

“What we’re doing is actually going to people,” said Yarrow. “We’re building a community through solidarity, especially for people who have been pretty abused by the system.”

New Years Eve Noise Demo

Action report from the New Years Eve Noise Demo on 12/31/23:

They emerged from the shadows of the streets of so called Eugene Oregon one by one or in groups of 2 or 3, on bikes, on foot, or on skateboards. Almost everyone donned masks and hoods, with all matter of noise makers in hand. It was 8:15pm and the spirit in the air was jovial despite the fact that 2023 was marked by much hardship locally and across the globe. By that time there were approximately 25 people. Someone brought out a portable speaker to get a beat going, but soon no music could be heard from it as the noise of the people drowned it out. Soon after we began to see the silhouettes of our intended audience emerge in the translucent windows above. Some came to see the commotion right away and some after 10 or 20 minutes of the din of clanging pots. The lights in other windows flickered with the sound of the beat. Sometimes the light of a tablet danced through the windows, or the shape of a heart was made by the hands of the people inside. All of this in turn made our noise making even louder. People beat the sidewalk with cookie sheets, or threw firecrackers into the road behind us. Some had referee whistles, other people had air horns, or good old pots beat with ladles. Even a nearby truck joined in the noise making when its car alarm went off. The jail staff had left the gate open in the fence they constructed during 2020. Inside was the courtyard and soon a few brave souls wandered into the courtyard and stood on park benches to get the noise just a little closer to our comrades imprisoned inside. But as soon as the courtyard was clear the gates swung shut remotely which riled us up even more. We transitioned from beating our pots to beating the wrought iron fence with our pots. Walking back and forth in order to make a chatter similar to a playing card in a child’s bicycle spokes but 10 times louder. Some pressed the intercom button to get a bored guard’s response only to blow a whistle right into the mic. The noise went on for at least an hour and a half. And when our ears were ringing and our wooden spoons had been reduced to a short wooden nub the noise ended as quickly as it had begun and the crowd dispersed with no contact with pigs. We went away pleased that we were able to bring some warmth to our friends inside for at least a little while. We hope for freedom for all prisoners in 2024!

Share Fair January 27th!

Share Fair January 27th!

The purpose of the Share Fair is to connect people with resources, services, and each other in a convenient and fun way. The fair will be providing free resources and services from local organizations and community groups to unhoused and working class members of the community. There will be food, live music, games, and a chance to know other Eugene organizations and folks in the community – and it’s all free!

When: Saturday, January 27th, 2024
Where: Unitarian Universalist Church (1685 W 13th Ave, Eugene) SE entrance
Time: 1pm-4pm

Masks encouraged! With a special masks required Share Fair 12-1pm,

** Want to help out? Donations, volunteers, and services needed! **
Mutual Aid Sticker

Mutual Aid Sticker

We’ve made an original image about mutual aid! Could be shared on socials or made into stickers.

Background is a yellow sunflower. Text reads:
Mutual Aid
Life is a series of opportunities to be there for each other

 

 

Share Fair August 26th!

Share Fair August 26th!

The purpose of the Share Fair is to connect people with resources, services, and each other in a convenient and fun way. The fair will be providing free resources and services from local organizations and community groups to unhoused and working class members of the community. There will be food, live music, games, and a chance to know other Eugene organizations and folks in the community – and it’s all free!
When: Saturday, August 26th, 2023
Where: Monroe Park (10th and Monroe)
Time: noon-4pm (Setup 11am-noon, cleanup 4-5pm)
** Want to help out? Donations, volunteers, and services needed! **
May Day 2023 Celebration!

May Day 2023 Celebration!

Join us for the May Day 2023 International Workers’ Day Celebration! There will be music, art, food, screen printing, a May Pole, games, activities for kids, speakers, and more!

Sunday, April 30th noon-5pm @ Eugene Park Blocks (8th and Oak)

Schedule and more details: eugenemayday.org

Fall 2023 Public Gathering

The Public Gatherings are a seasonal meeting to welcome new people to the collective and come together to learn what people are working on, gather advice, and discuss projects.

When: Sunday January 15th 5-7pm
In person: Growers Market (454 Willamette. Door between Morning Glory and Black Wolf)
Online: https://8×8.vc/naceugene/public(Use Chrome for best results)

If you can’t make this meeting but would still like to be involved you can contact us here: https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/get-involved/

Accessibility: NAC strives to have our meetings be accessible to everyone. Our in person meetings are ADA accessible. Our online meetings can have captions. During meetings we take a break and we welcome everyone doing what they need to be present. Please do what you need to do to take care of yourself and let us know if there’s anything that would be helpful. Please consider not wearing strong scents for those who are sensitive. If you have any questions or accessibility needs please email us at contact@neighborhoodanarchists.org.

We at NAC recognize that our society is dominated by intersecting oppressive power structures, including capitalism, the state, white supremacy / racism, cis-hetero-patriarchy, and ableism. We are committed to intersectional action in all that we do.

Solidarity Share Fair Jan 28th!

Solidarity Share Fair Jan 28th!

The Solidarity Share Fair is returning January 28th with a large in-person indoor event as we did in the pre-pandemic days!

The purpose of the Share Fair is to connect people with resources, services, and each other in a convenient and fun way. The fair will be providing free resources and services from local organizations and community groups to unhoused and working class members of the community. There will be food, live music, games, and a chance to know other Eugene organizations and folks in the community – and it’s all free!

When: Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church (440 Maxwell Rd)
Time: noon-4pm (Setup 11am-noon, cleanup 4-5pm)

** Want to help out? Donations, volunteers, and services needed! **
Donation info: https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/sharefair/
Volunteer info: https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/share-fair-volunteer/
Services info: https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/share-fair-services/
Contact: sharefair@neighborhoodanarchists.org

More info: https://neighborhoodanarchists.org/sharefair/

The Share Fair is Back!

The Share Fair is Back!

The Solidarity Share Fair is returning August 21st with a large in-person outdoor event as we did in the pre-pandemic days! 
The purpose of the Share Fair is to connect people with resources, services, and each other in a convenient and fun way. The fair will be providing free resources and services from local organizations and community groups to unhoused and working class members of the community. There will be food, live music, games, and a chance to know other Eugene organizations and folks in the community – and it’s all free!
When: Sunday, August 21st, 2022
Where: Monroe Park (10th and Monroe)
Time: 2-6pm (Setup 1-2pm, cleanup 6-7pm)
Our event aims to go beyond the experience of handing someone a sandwich when they are hungry, we create a space where people are welcomed to join in community. We provide music, haircuts, massage, bike repair, resume support, first aid, warm meals and empathy to folks who are often pushed away.  Additionally, we offer the opportunity to speak with representatives from health care, counseling, and housing services. Through building connections and empowering guests to get involved and volunteer, we are changing the dynamic of our neighborhoods. We choose to lead by example, making an effort to give to others in kind and respectful ways. We rescue food, clothing, shoes, toiletries, backpacks, sleeping bags/camping gear, and much more from various locations to then redistribute to people in need. With more and more of our neighbors being effected by the housing crisis and food insecurity, we need events such as the Share Fair now, more than ever.

Events such as the share fair are necessary because capitalism is failing people. Those who don’t conform to the dominant economic model are discarded by society and the government is unable to provide the sort of care we can provide for each other. One of the principles of anarchism is that members of a community see what needs to be done and take responsibility for doing it themselves. In that spirit, Share Fair is organized by the consensus model; no one leads or follows, instead, all work together toward a common goal. We hope to set the example to others, to show that it’s possible to take action without the government and to cooperate without hierarchy while still being effective (or being more effective).

Want to help out? Donations, volunteers, and services needed!

May Day 2022

There are a number of events leading up to and around May Day this year! 

Fri April 22nd 6pm – “No Gods No Masters” Part 1 @ https://twitch.tv/nogodsnomasterseug
Fri April 29th 6pm – “No Gods No Masters” Part 2 @ https://twitch.tv/nogodsnomasterseug
Sun May 1st noon-8pm – May Day Celebration! @ Park Blocks
Tues May 3rd 2:30pm – Campus May Day! @ EMU
Wed May 4th 6pm – “No Gods No Masters” Part 3 @ https://twitch.tv/nogodsnomasterseug