Masks, Round 2: East Oakland!

Thanks to 83 generous people in and out of California, we succeeded in getting 300 P-grade masks for houseless folks in Oakland. THANK YOU!!! With this first shipment going to tent encampments in West and downtown Oakland (via Feed the People), we’re now starting a 2nd Lightning Round for East Oakland encampments in need of relief.

Please help us raise $800 by Tuesday to purchase 60 – 100 high-quality P95 and P100 masks for houseless folks in East Oakland, to be distributed by the East Oakland Collective.*

Venmo: LightningBolt
PayPal: lightningboltvision
(uncheck the box for goods and services)

These are no ordinary wildfires, and the smoke is no ordinary smoke. The fires have incinerated pesticides, gas stations, cars, household chemicals, and all manner of toxins that N95 masks are not designed to filter out. This is why it’s urgent to provide medical relief and options for better breathing — like P95 masks made to filter out not only dry particles, but oils in the air. This stronger protection helps prevent serious lung damage that can last a lifetime.

As we know, the housing crisis is itself is the result of racist displacement, eviction, and gentrification in Oakland. The results are clear: homelessness has jumped by 25% in the past 2 years, and 70% of the people living on Oakland’s streets are Black.

We also know that racism contributes to higher asthma rates in Black and low-income communities, further compounding the effects of unhealthy air quality.

The Lightning Bolt Collective is committed to addressing immediate effects of disasters even as we also analyze and fight their root causes in oppressive systems.

Thank you for your support and solidarity!

*If the East Oakland Collective determines that masks are no longer the priority by Tuesday, then all $800 will go to them for supplies as folks in the encampments see fit. Any funds raised above the goal will support Lightning Bolt’s next Community Safety Training for POC-owned small businesses in Oakland.


Masks to the people!

Wildfires in the Northern San Francisco Bay area are raging. Many folks have lost their homes, and people all over the bay area are being affected by the smoke. Lightning Bolt is raising money to purchase P95-P100* masks for The Village and Feed the People in Oakland to distribute to houseless folks all over town. Everything donated here before NOON FRIDAY will go toward purchasing P95-P100 masks that will reach people over the next few days. THANK YOU!

Venmo: LightningBolt
PayPal: lightningboltvision
(uncheck the box for goods and services)

*UPDATE: We were initially going to purchase N95 masks. N95 is promoted as a mask that is adequate for wildfires, However, as we learned more about different kinds of masks, we realized that N95 masks are not going to be very effective at protecting people from what’s in the air. It’s not just particulates from wood that are in the air. Whole houses, whole cars are burning. That’s a lot of petroleum going up in smoke, and that is what we are breathing.  So we have decided to purchase P level masks to distribute.

From Bayanihan Guevara:

⚠️ A Quick Breakdown of Respirator Ratings ⚠️

— N, R, or P indicates the resistance to oils.
N = “N”ot resistant to oils
R = somewhat “R”esistant to oils
P = strongly resistant (oil “P”roof)

This is IMPORTANT because for N and R rated masks, oils can degrade the filter’s performance and prevent it from filtering properly.

Remember that it’s not just trees burning, it’s thousands of cars and buildings and houses full of stuff and farmland. When you read “oils” think “petrochemicals.” Petroleum is not just used for fuel. One 42 gallon barrel of oil creates only 19 gallons of gasoline, over half the barrel is used to make other common products, many of which are very harmful to your health when inhaled or burned.This includes stuff like plastics, synthetic rubbers and fibers, pesticides, fertilizers, detergents, solvents, perfumes, explosives, building materials such as flooring and insulation, and more.

— 95, 99, or 100 indicates the percentage of particles that it will filter.
95 = removes 95% of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in diameter
99 = removes 99% of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in diameter
100 = removes 99.97% of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in diameter. HEPA quality filter.


Also, disposable masks are only recommended for short-term, temporary use, and they do not offer a tight enough seal for long-term protection from air quality disasters. These fires could rage for weeks and cause health issues that last the rest of your life. People need to get durable, reusable respirators and order multiple packs of filters so the filters can be replaced when they eventually get clogged and harder to breathe through.

If you can afford a few extra dollars for a better mask, it is so worth it to protect your lungs.

For those who are handing out free masks to people who can’t afford them, please consider getting P-rated masks and also letting people know a little bit about what masks are helpful and how often they need to be replaced to be effective.


@ElenaRose: Preparing for White Supremacists at a Pagan Conference

My name is Elena Rose, and in this context I am a working priestess and community organizer — particularly coming in as a member of the Board of the Solar Cross Temple.

(Edited for clarity)

Lightning Bolt: What is Pantheacon?
It’s a large, interreligious conference that’s mostly pagans, polytheists and witches, and a lot of folks from the African Diaspora and indigenous religions, also.

What’s your role in the conference this year?
I’m hosting the hospitality suite for people of color, as well as convening a caucus of practitioners of color for conversation, and leading some anti-racist work in the form of workshops and in the form of ritual.
Continue Reading “@ElenaRose: Preparing for White Supremacists at a Pagan Conference”


@herrera74: Integrar las luchas


(Click “read more” to see transcripts below the fold.)

Want to offer a translation into another language? Thanks so much! You can send it to contact [at] lightningbolt [dot] vision.

Que voy a hacer para resistir al administración del Trump?

What am I going to do to resist Trumps’ administration?

ट्रम्पको नस्लवादी शासनको म कसरी बिरोध गर्न गई रहेकोछु?

Continue Reading “@herrera74: Integrar las luchas”


Lightning Bolt Self Defense Training (1/17/17, Oakland CA)

If you’re in the SF East Bay, join us for Lightning Bolt Self Defense Training

Tuesday, January 17th
7:30am – 9am
500 El Embarcadero, Oakland (between Grand and Lakeshore)

Trainers: Nanea, Bridget, Uke:, Laura

This training will take place in public, and is open only to people who do *not* identify as cisgender men.

However, it is not open to all women.

For example, it is not open to the Oakland Mayor; Chief of Police; Hillary Clinton; former District Attorney Nancy O’Malley; Janet Napalitano; or any police officers.

Cis men may be enlisted to perform auxiliary roles. (Email if interested.)

Continue Reading “Lightning Bolt Self Defense Training (1/17/17, Oakland CA)”


@MaxAirborne: Buckling Down and Reaching Out

The lightning bolt, for me, symbolizes both the energy of our collective power and my personal commitment to spend this year doing everything I can to build our individual and collective strength, resilience, resistance, and ability to survive, thrive and be truly “in it together.”

Here is some of what getting ready means for me right now:

+ Spending time with my beloved disability justice community. Learning to listen to and trust the wisdom of the body. Learning to value, appreciate and know the body itself before the capitalist idea of it. Learning to honor the needs of the body in the ways I show up, and similarly honoring the ways other people show up. Listening to and learning about disabled histories and realities. Committing to centering disability, disabled people and disability justice.

+ Participating in bystander intervention training with friends (there’s a short webinar version from Hollaback a few times in January).

+ Ongoing exploration of white conditioning, its harmfulness and how to heal from it. Currently meeting with a group of 5 to do the “Healing from Toxic Whiteness” training.

Continue Reading “@MaxAirborne: Buckling Down and Reaching Out”


@Kloncke: Medic Training and Earthquake Kit

it’s 2017, i’m feeling strong, and about to get stronger.

this lightning bolt signifies, for me, that this will be the year i prepare, in community, for natural and political disasters. preparation looks different for all of us, but for me it includes:

+ make an earthquake kit; create a plan with house and neighbors.

+ take a self-defense class; exercise to feel happy and agile.

+ join an in-home screening of “Deacons for Defense.”

+ encourage all masc-of-center friends to do anti-patriarchy work.

+ research existing alternatives to calling the police, since they make things more dangerous for people of color, people with disabilities, etc. (shoutout to Oakland Power Projects for doing this work.)

+ learn basic medic skills from People’s Community Medic

Continue Reading “@Kloncke: Medic Training and Earthquake Kit”