Thursday, November 29, 2012



Downtown Riverside, Christmastime
Riverside, CA – In 1972, after living in Indianapolis for a year, I hooked up with a neighborhood activist group and joined the movement against King Richard aka ‘Tricky Dick’, or Richard Milhous Nixon, who was President at the time. Up until that election time, this political adventure enabled me to see the rest of the state through events in cities like Muncie, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Anderson, and Gary, where I heard Jessie Jackson, who was still wearing his bibs back then. Politics, like travel, broadens one.

 Occupy LA allowed me to become familiar with Los Angeles and now Prop 37 appears to be continuing my political scenic route in the state. First stop, Riverside and the next meeting of the 28ers, an organization designed to get the money out of politics through the 28th Amendment which [will] bans corporations as people [Citizens United, 2008], money as speech, [1976], and requires ALL elections to be publicly funded.

Riverside is known as being one of the top ten places for ‘bad air’ so since moving to Southern California, I’ve wondered what the attraction was about the place. There is no river much less one that it’s beside, lol, and the ‘91’ is atrocious but necessary to drive on. Well, last night I discovered the magic in Riverside and it evidenced itself in the full house in the ‘downstairs’ section of the grand old coffeehouse called Back To The Grind, 3575 University Ave in the heart of a hipster section of town.
Riverside, like LA, is old, and so the coffeehouse structure is made from wood beams stouter than Mitt Romney’s ego. The coffeehouse itself is bigger and longer than some bus station waiting rooms with old comfortable couches for longing on, as many people were doing. A full service kitchen serves tasty bites like BBQ meatball sliders and tuna sandwiches and sometimes a fabled soup dish. Tonight however, besides a Red Velvet cup cake and a couple of Bob Marleys, The 3 AmigMos of Prop 37, John Diaz, [my ‘Big Bang’ Indian friend] Raj, and I were there for business, not pleasure.
That business started with an ‘opener’ as we say in the music tour scene. Food Co-op, an activist food group connected with the local R-side Time Bank marketing faction. Working to develop a community land trust the group seeks to counterbalance the mainstream brands, see the story, Meet The Bad Guys, and allow local systems to sustain the local needs. The group passed out surveys to gauge a group opinion.
Filling up the downstairs area, roughly the same floor space as the first floor coffee shop above but with table/chairs, a raised stage, artwork for sale, and a pool table in back, the audience made up of mostly 30-somethings came to learn about the ‘killing of Proposition 37’, hosted by the 28ers, an outreach assimilation of #OccupyRiverside, in solidarity with OWS.

For approximately 2 and half hours, through tag-team exposition and a Q&A, John and Raj, spoke to how being outspent by a ratio of ten to one and having the general voting public bombarded by false FDA** endorsed blatant lies and over-exaggeration stole the electorate’s good sense, what GMOs are, the role of GMOs in the food chain, and the latest unexposed threat to humanity through Monsanto’s evil manipulation of DNA found in nature.
That’s a lot to feast on in a single sitting but perhaps the magic of this place made their appetite insatiable, as many stayed long after the applause had died in the echoless finished brick basement to discuss the finer points of the challenge, including what lay in the future. Stay tuned as this is a developing story. Coming before Christmas, The 3 AmigMos*** of Prop 37/The Tour Opens ‘On The Road Again’

You can catch up to the 28ers on December 28, 2012 for the movie screening, Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington, 7PM, Quaker Meeting House, 4061 Mission Inn Ave [across from the Taco Station].

(* - A reference to the metaphysical thriller by G. K. Chesterton, first published in 1908, inspired by 28er invite “We meet every Sunday at 7PM, please call 951-xxx-xxxx for location”; ** - an FBI investigation has been launched into improper use of the FDA logo without permission. Of course even if found guilty, the damage has already been done in derailing the vote; *** - pronounced Ah, meeg, gi [the second ‘i’, a vowel, is silent and unseen, like the vowels in the Hebrew language] Moes, hence The 3 Amig[i]Mos.)

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