June 14, 2003

There's No Banner Large Enough...

We pulled off the banner drop without a hitch, which was lucky considering we had no practice/experience in the matter. If you ever want to know how to make a really huge banner, I'm your man.

I can take credit for most of the sewing and painting, tho' not the message. It was somewhat of a compromise between clunky, pre-approved SEIU slogans("fighting for a healthy and secure future") and more direct, inflammatory messages ("Class War Now"). I really wanted to write "There's no banner large enough to cover the shame of exploited janitors", but nobody would back me up.

We even got the banner rolled up and back into the car before security came, which means we can cut out the 'got healthcare?' panel and sew in a new one with next year's message. Or just have a huge workers' picnic on the banner at some corporate office park.

That's me in the upper left.

Posted by DV at 09:29 PM

June 13, 2003

Support Your Local Janitor

4.26.03 J4J Action.jpg

In my time out of jail and off my bicycles I've been working with Justice for Janitors, a campaign with SEIU Local 49. It has been fascinating, to say the least, working with a group of mostly immigrant, mostly underpaid, and mostly invisible workers. I've found myself barbecuing for janitors downtown during their 10PM lunch break, playing drums and shaking brooms in the mall, and now making giant puppets and massive banners.

Today is National Justice for Janitors Day, and there will be marches across the country. Sacramento is out on strike, and cities like LA, Boston, and Seattle all have well organized unions. Most Cementhorizon folks probably have an SEIU janitor cleaning their workplace(e.g. UC Berkeley).

If you see them out on the streets, honk your horn, or maybe ask the property manager of your building if the janitors have a union. Actions in California or Washington have their effects in Oregon because the building owners are the same(we even did a solidarity action for janitors in Australia).

I'll post up some picture from our march in a few days...

Posted by DV at 02:38 AM

June 03, 2003

Bahl Hornin' at the Tidrik

(Boontling for 'good drinkin' at the party')

I snuck back to the Bay this weekend, leaving as soon as I arrived for the Wild Iris Folk Festival in Boonville, home of many fine beers(including He'Brew) and probably the only enclave in California with its own regional dialect.
The festival was perfect-a small crowd of 500 where many spent their hours playing in impromptu jams instead of attending the performances, and where Utah Philips stands behind you in line for pancakes and nobody notices. It's a rough life indeed, going from tent to stage to cooler, munching on brie, getting a little Cali sunshine. We even constructed a washtub bass and played in our own little hillbilly band that night, banjo, guitars and all.
Monday was spent grazing the Vigil back forty, netting 5 cherries, three artichokes, and the last of the fava beans. The nasturtiums planted over Mat/t's grave are sporting dozens of red, peppery flowers(they're mighty tasty). Some might be appalled at the cat communion , but the extra nitrogen is just the sort of thing that makes our fruit trees ever-abundant, and that's probably the way I want to be put into the ground.
I even had some family come out for a dinner of spring vegetables for my 'last night in town'. Ever since I left for Venezuela at age 17 I've been breezing through P-Hill for a week or two at a time, long enough to catch a McT party or a heated Trivial Pursuit battle at the Fulk residence, but never long enough to get a job or do anything remotely responsible. Marsha Fulk finally exposed me, asking every time we held an extended Sunday dinner party if it was my 'last night in town', her way of telling Ash that he should find a better excuse for the hordes who invaded her house and peed on her lawn on an almost weekly basis.
I've got my ticket out of Portland for June 30th, meaning that I'll have to throw a party here for my last night in town, maybe fulfilling my dream of turning the basement into a mini-bike velodrome.

Posted by DV at 03:27 PM