Posts tagged Portland

The Red & Black is surviving. Help them flourish.

So a couple months ago I put up a note about the emergency fundraising campaign for The Red & Black in Portland, Oregon:

If you’re not familiar, the Red & Black is a worker-owned co-operative restaurant in Portland, Oregon. The food’s all vegan; the ingredients are mostly organic, and either locally sourced or Fair Trade. The worker-owners are organized as an IWW shop, and directly manage their own workplace. It’s also an important hub for the anarchist community in Portland, providing a venue for regular talks, films, and other community events. I just sent $50; which is more than I can really afford right now, but the Red & Black, and places like it, matter. A lot. Any mutual aid you can send their way — or anyone you can tell about this situation — will really help.

As a follow-up, here is a note that the folks at Red & Black posted a few days ago to their website and to their Facebook page. I’d link directly, but it appears that the permalinking on their website is broken; so instead:

A little over a month ago we alerted our friends and allies that the Red & Black Cafe was in trouble. We had reached a crisis point, were unable to pay our mortgage, and we made the difficult decision to stop paying ourselves. We’re happy to say, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. At this point we’re treading water and are figuring out when we can pay ourselves again.

This is due to our own grit and determination to survive and because of the outpouring of support in the form of donations and increased business. But also in the form of help. Help with things like design work, cutting our ingredient costs, & setting up amazing events…

The Red & Black clearly matters to a lot of folks!

We’re a quarter of the way to our goal of $20,000. So we’re kicking up our fundraising drive and we need even more help to reach outside of our immediate communities. We also have some awesome project ideas and could use help getting them off the ground. If you’ve got some skills, and/or know of someone who can help us out, contact us! Spread the word.

Tell your friends, family, co-workers, and that person you just met why you think we’re special!

Here are some suggestions but please do add your own:

  • 100% vegan food & drink. We are a space that is unapologetically for animal liberation. We regularly host fundraisers, prisoner letter writing nights and animal lib speakers and workshops. We’re also friendly to omnivores and, we hope, informative and not preachy on the subject.
  • Safer space: We’re committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault and relationship abuse. We are also committed to confronting and disrupting oppressive language and behavior in the cafe and we encourage the same from you or anyone else who sees it.
  • The Red & Black is welcoming to folks who are houseless. Whether or not you have an address you are welcome to: use the bathroom w/o buying something first, have free wifi, charge your phone, use the free computer terminals, get hot water, come to events or meet your friend. We are working with Sisters of the Road to explore the possibility of accepting EBT (foodstamps/snap) from houseless folks, people over 60 and people on SSI! It’s not a sure thing but we’re making every effort to figure this out.
  • Environmental stuff: We pick up coffee and supplies by massive, amazing bike trailer. Our produce is local, organic and bike delivered! We serve food from the lowest trophic level!
  • Labor movement & co-op stuff: We’re an Industrial Workers of the World closed shop (100% union members), we’re worker owned, there’s no boss and we’re all paid the same wage for the same work. Every participates in the day to day restaurant work as well as the behind the scenes work. We act in solidarity with labor every chance we get. This includes buying authentically fair trade coffee from Equal Exchange, another worker owned co-op. We participate in regional and national worker co-op efforts through the USFederation of Worker Co-ops.

Thank you so much for your support! <3

Please donate if you can (anything helps), and share widely! If the “DONATE” button below does not take you directly to the Red & Black’s PayPal page, please log in and enter “general@redandblackcafe.com” as the recipient.

Follow us on Twitter @redandblackcafe & ‘Like’ us on Facebook and get regular updates at facebook.com/redandblackcafe (please also hover over the ‘Like’ button on our page & check “show in news feed”)

Stay tuned: we’re organizing a volunteer days to make major improvements to our space.

Book your event with us! This is huge; we need your awesome events! Keep in mind that we do music, film, workshops, fundraisers for cool groups, game nights, art openings etc. For selected events, we will stay open til Midnight! It’s easy just go here: redandblackcafe.com/event-booking.

Support needed for The Red & Black in Portland

I just read this note from the Red & Black Cafe’s page on Facebook. If you’re not familiar, the Red & Black is a worker-owned co-operative restaurant in Portland, Oregon. The food’s all vegan; the ingredients are mostly organic, and either locally sourced or Fair Trade. The worker-owners are organized as an IWW shop, and directly manage their own workplace. It’s also an important hub for the anarchist community in Portland, providing a venue for regular talks, films, and other community events. I just sent $50; which is more than I can really afford right now, but the Red & Black, and places like it, matter. A lot. Any mutual aid you can send their way — or anyone you can tell about this situation — will really help. (The website doesn’t seem to have a post about the current situation yet; but you should be able to use the PayPal donation buttons in this post. I just attached a note to the donation asking them to put it to use wherever it would be most helpful.)

From the Red & Black collective, via Facebook:

The Red & Black is in trouble. Our finances have reached a crisis point. This situation has been brewing for many months as our cash flow slowly dried up. To be blunt: we are unable to make our mortgage payment on time and we’ve bounced checks to some of our vendors and staff. A couple of days ago at our collective meeting we contemplated shutting our doors for good.

So what happened? Like many other local restaurants after 4+ years of recession (depression?): we need more business. In this economy many people have less money to eat out. Our situation is compounded by the fact that we have never had anything near a comfortable amount of working capital. We attempted to raise sufficient capital during the fundraising drive we held when we decided to buy our building. While we did raise enough money to make our down payment, we were far from our goal. This left the collective financially vulnerable to the point that a slow month could bankrupt us. . . .

While there are several things we do that don’t make a lot of business sense, financially, they are things we refuse to compromise on. We are welcoming to unhoused folks who often can’t afford to spend money at the cafe. We make most of our food from scratch which is labor intensive and because our ingredients are (mostly) organic, they are more expensive.

We are also much more than just a restaurant. We are a community space; specifically we are a radical, queer-positive safer space; an important hub for many overlapping grassroots political projects, a cop-free zone, an amazing vegan restaurant, a music venue, a hangout and meeting space for Industrial Workers of the World union members, a low income collective household upstairs— the list goes on.

In order to meet this challenge head on we’re making changes that we believe will not only avert catastrophe, but put us on a path of financial sustainability. The most dramatic and immediate change is that we’ve decided to work without pay until we can turn this situation around. This decision is both difficult and easy to make. Difficult because we, as individuals, can’t afford it for long and because we are a closed union shop with the goal of paying ourselves a living wage. But the decision is also easy because the alternative is something none of us want: losing the Red and Black.

So we are fundraising $20,000 in donations, gift certificates and merchandise sales. This amount would not only cover our current obligations, it would mean having an adequate amount of working capital for the first time. We would be able to afford to go back to a paid wage, to purchase adequate equipment, fix the window, and keep the building. This is a crucial time for the Red and Black and we need your help! . . .

Please visit our website www.redandblackcafe.com to donate and Twitter @redandblackcafe for updates on our hours and menu. . . .

Wednesday Lazy Linking

Don’t forget.

  • The world is awesome.

  • People are awesome. You don’t need plans, or politics, or power. Put them up against people, and people will win every time. People came up with that video. Also, other people came up with this.

  • Technological civilization is awesome. (In case you’re wondering, it’s awesome because it’s made of people.)

  • Books are awesome. Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times (2009-05-29): Some Thoughts on the Pleasures of Being a Re-Reader

  • To-day is awesome. It’s an anniversary. My love and I were married three years ago today. If the normal online rounds are held up for a while, well, that’s why.

Solidarity.

  • In memory of George Tiller. feministe (2009-05-31): In honor of Dr. Tiller (if you would like to donate in memory and in honor of Dr. Tiller’s work). Among others, the National Network of Abortion Funds has established a George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund.

  • IQSN, L.A. I.M.C. (2009-05-27): Solidarity with Queer Bulgaria on 27 June 2009. A day of international actions in solidarity with the LGBTQ Pride march in Sofia, Bulgaria. Last year’s march was attacked by neo-Nazi groups who decided to Keep Our Children Safe with a campaign of roving basher gangs and by slinging molotov cocktails and small explosives at the marchers. International Queer Solidarity Network calls for a European mobilization, with support from the United States, that will stand in solidarity with Queer Bulgaria for this year’s march.

News.

Comment.

Historicize.

Communications.

ALLies on the Airwaves

(From Portland ALLy Shawn Wilbur 2009-02-18.)

From Occupied Cascadia, Kyle Burris recently interviewed Portland ALLies Shawn Wilbur and William Gillis for KBOO-FM’s program Radiozine:

Market Anarchism: Government regulation and the financial crisis.

What roll [sic] did government regulation play in the current financial crisis? Is more regulation what we really need? What would a truly free market look like? And is there hope for radical reform, beyond the failed Marxist model?

KBOO’s Kyle Burris speaks to local anarchist activist William Gillis, and historian Shawn Wilbur, about the theory know as Market Anarchism, or Left Libertarianism. They discuss the roll [sic] government plays in the current economy, and also take a historical look at government’s affect on unions and health care in the US.

More information on the subject can be found at the website Invisible Molotov.

— KBOO.fm (2009-02-17): Market Anarchism: Government regulation and the financial crisis.

Congratulations Shawn and William!

An mp3 of the interview is available for download at the KBOO.fm website.

Phil Sano v. the State in Occupied Portland

For background, see GT 2008-06-13: Law and Orders #7:

Government cops are here to protect you by shouting orders at passing strangers on bicycles, For Their Own Good, and then, if the biker should fail to immediately obey arbitrary commands to stop, bellowed by complete strangers on the street at 9:30 pm, who don’t make any effort to identify or explain themselves, and who are dressed all in black so that you can hardly even see who the hell is hollering at you, they’ll make sure you’re biking safely by tackling you, slamming you against a nearby wall, wrestling you to the ground, and then, when you say No and ask to know what you did wrong, declaring that you’re combative and torturing you with repeated high-voltage electric shocks, before they finally, in a remarkable act of circular practical reasoning, arrest you for resisting arrest.

. . .

Thus, in the latest news from Occupied Cascadia, here’s how Portland cops Erin Smith and Ron Hoesly made sure that Phil Sano, who was suspected of the terrible crime of biking without a headlight, would get home safely: [… by grabbing him off his bike, repeatedly tasering him even though he posed no physical threat, and then justifying it by saying that he had been biking without a headlight and disobeyed an order to stop …].

According to Jonathan Maus at BikePortland.org (2008-06-11), the Gangsters in Blue arrested Sano and laid five charges on him, one of which was a civil citation for not having the headlight, and all the rest of which were charges for crimes that consisted in nothing other than failing to let himself be arrested for something that he couldn’t have been rightfully arrested for to begin with.

— GT 2008-06-13: Law and Orders #7

Today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wendesday) are Phil Sano’s days in court. Supporters in Occupied Portland are welcome to come out in solidarity:

From: revphil
Date: Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 1:50 AM
Subject: the state v revphil

Hi there. Today and Tomorrow Im in court contesting the charge of Resisting Arrest. If you would like to go support me the trial will likely go from today though Wed afternoon. It might be easy to ignore this matter for a variety of reasons, however the the issue affects us all. Even if you never ride a bike you should be concerned with the power cops have over you. The resulting decision may set a precedent for what behavior is expected of police officers and how they interact with us, the public.

Here is a recent story about Revphil’s case:
http://bikeportland.org/2009/02/04/phil-sano-taser-incident-goes-to-trial-next-week/
http://bikeportland.org/2009/02/09/phil-sano-taser-trial-live-updates-from-day-one/
http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2009/02/09/rev_phil_sano_s_taser_trial_i
(I have a sweet pictures in this last one!)

For more specific info about the current way tazers are being used
http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/less-lethal-weapons/Content?oid=951762
http://www.loadedorygun.net/showDiary.do?diaryId=1509

If you are planning on coming to court please be respectful, and remove any hats, tools or contraband before coming to the courthouse.

Tuesday Feb 10th and Wed Feb 11th
Multnomah County Courthouse
1021 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR
Judge You ct 5XX (er on the 5th floor) take a left on top of the stairs.
8:30 am until 5pm

thanks for your support,

reverend phil

See also: