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Individuals For Justice Blog
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Report Back from the Candidate forum at the Red and Black
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Out and About - an unpleasant vist to the Red and Black cafe
Topic: ACTIONS !





Out and about with my friend and fellow trouble maker/activist Roberto to bring Justice to where we live.  Going backwards Sunday, we were at the call to action around the country to stop the war with Iran before it goes hot.  We joined members of OP, Veterans for Peace, members of Oregon Progressive Party, Individuals for Justice and many more groups and individuals to yell, "No War with Iran!" 

There were many good people gathered at Shemanski Park to march around Portland to let the world know we do not want war with Iran or anyone else.  I got to carry the VFP flag for a time and that always makes me smile.  Friends and fellow activists were in and around the park, we were there because all the signs by obama are now saying we are preparing to bomb Iran and maybe Syria. 

I cannot imagine another war or maybe two, if there is a God she must be weeping for us, because we are too stupid to learn to live in Justice and Peace.  The music was good, some of the speeches were good, I was dancing and pleased that so many came out with a last minute call to action on a Sunday afternoon; I was happy. 

I was talking to someone and one of the speakers mentioned the peace monitors.  I dislike people who go around telling other people to stay on the sidewalk, or not so loud. or don't yell "F..k the cops" or whatever reasons they are there.  I don't want to argue the point.  Just saying...


Roberto and I had come from another meeting at the Red and Black Cafe that was billed as an interview with two candidates here in our wonderful city.  Mary Nolan, (candidate for commissioner) and Eileen Brady (running for mayor).  We went mostly to listen to Brady as I have heard what Nolan had to say a few weeks ago. 

I was taken back by the place for this interview, the Red and Black is one of my favorite places, they make good mochas there and Roberto and I often go there after a protest.  They advertise themselves as a place of:
About the Red & Black Café:
"We are a worker-owned, collectively–managed, IWW-member vegan café. We are open from 9 am until 10:30 pm, and host performances and events in the evening. We were located on SE Division Street from October 2000 – September 2007, and after a 3 1/2 month hiatus, we reopened at 400 SE 12th in January 2008." From their website.

The interviews started with Nolan, so I was talking to people and noticed people were starting to gather around where the interview was happening, cutting off half of the café.  The manger did not look happy. 

Roberto came over to tell me that the manger said that the café had not been informed of the interviews and was not happy that Ms. Brady was in their place of business.  I thought, Oh Shit.  I got a chance to ask Brady if her store was union, did the employees belong to a union, she said no--I asked why?  Her answer was cut off by a member of the Green Party who asked me if I was a representative of the Oregon Progressive Party as they were a sponsor of this event, I went ballistic!

{{ Video Report Back HERE from after event with Joe Walsh }}


First of all, The café was not notified that we were going to even have an interview, never mind have cameras in the place.  Second,  to have Brady in the place is almost as bad as a cop in uniform come in and order a cup of coffee. 

Brady is anti-union and the store New Seasons, just fired a ten year employee for defending the right of other employees to express an opinion.  One of the regular customers at Red and Black asked about him and this ex-CEO/founder of New Markets said she has nothing to do with the stores now and may look into the matter but has given up any policy making ability.

Here is what happened:

My reaction to all of this:
  Whoever was the representative of the Green Party and Oregon Progressive Party should call the Red and Black Café and apologize for not requesting their approval “BEFORE” the interviews, cameras, and event happen.

2.  OPP do not join in anything that the Green Party is involved with until they also apologize to the Red and Black Cafe.  Roberto and I want to return and not hide our heads in shame.  Fix this mess very soon!

I asked Roberto to write something up about what he saw so that this report is not just this old activist’s opinion, here is what he sent me, without  editing:


Report from Roberto:

"Joe,  Yesterday we attended a Q & A with Portland Mayor and Council candidates. Unfortunately, this was not a well organized or thoughtful event (the Green Party). This caused some friction with the Co-op employee-owners of the cafe because no one checked in with them to arrange the use of the cafe for this event. Some us there apologized to the Red & Black Cafe owners for this inappropriate behavior. Hopefully, they will forgive us for abusing their space with political stuff.

Anyway, we asked candidate Mary Nolan about her opinion on JTTF and she gave a standard politician answer. We asked her about about the Portland City Charter Review commission and she said that she would support it every four years, but not every two years which actually would be better for the citizens of Portland. I spoke with her that as a council member the people would be knocking on her door for redress of the current status quo. I told her that the US Congress is no longer responsive to the citizens of America and that the battle for change will be on the local level. She responded with the answer that we should elect new Congress people. The US Congress is bought & owned by the corporations. What redress there?

I spoke with Eileen Brady candidate for Mayor of Portland. She said if elected that she would support and fund the Portland City Charter Review Process. And I spoke with her about the topic of sustainability. I said that without justice there is no sustainability and this drew a blank stare from her and she walked away because she was in a hurry to get some where else. My point to her was that sustainability is a generic white elitest term that moves gentrifying development for the upper-middle class and the 1%. I was born in Santa Barbara, California, 65 years ago. The Environmental movement started there (remember the first major coastal oil well spill was there), the solar movement started there and community Gardens were started there in the early 1970's. Sustainability jargon has gentrified Santa Barbara so that the original inhabitants can no longer afford to live there, where's the justice in that? The elitist 1% now owns Santa Barbara, California and Portland , Oregon is following in those same steps. What happens is that in these high-end sustainability development zones the poor and people of color get moved out because of the value of the land to the 1% and developers. Thus, I say, Without Justice there is No Sustainability! We need to change the status quo in these movements and to shake up the whole mess.


Roberto Lovato" 

Roberto Lovato www.progparty.org

PS We did go to the Hawthorne Bridge last Friday and stand our watch from 3:30 to about 5:00PM  to remind people we are still at war and may invade Iran and/or Syria!  "If there is a god she must be pissed at all of us!"  It was raining and cold, Malcolm and Sara stopped by to say hello and talk about Iran.  Again I want to be wrong of what may happen, please let us be wrong and the wars will be over and we will stop killing people in the Middle East! ~joe walsh
For Justice,Peace and *Laughter,
Joe Walsh-Lone Vet
Individuals for Justice  http://individualsforjustice.com
Proud member of Oregon Progressive Party,  http://progparty.org/

War is failure, occupation a disgrace!

“Funding these wars is killing our troops”

* Why laughter??  Because without it I would have gone insane years ago.

Sen. ** harry reid must be replaced as Majority Leader, call me when you agree or just go away!

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
Mohandas Gandhi

Thoreau may have also brooded over the reaction of Emerson, who criticized the imprisonment as pointless. According to some accounts, Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, “Henry, what are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?”  

Molly Ivins, "It's like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong."

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth,
           and I am a citizen of the world."
               Eugene V. Debs  

Posted by individuals4justice at 7:51 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 8:12 AM PST
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