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Radical BBQ, Radical Sangha

September 27, 2010

Some friends threw an utterly beautiful “Radical BBQ” yesterday in Oakland. Young and old, different races, different genders and presentations, fun, kind, relaxed, co-operative, joyful, political. Food (good heavens — Dani made these amazing stuffed stromboli and vegan bread from scratch); music and dancing; a speech from a MUNI driver (SF public transit) on the struggles they’re facing among the rank-and-file; wonderful art (check the Advance the Struggle banner: gorgeous). And they even provided art supplies for people to do their own thing. I took advantage and sketched out a small banner to use for Radical Sangha. Took it home and spent the night painting and finishing it up.

The banner may come in handy tomorrow evening, as the scheduled Radical Sangha will be meeting and then carpooling to San Quentin prison to join the protest of the first death-penalty execution in California in four years. Albert Greenwood Brown is scheduled to be killed by the state on Wednesday. The decision to resume executions (backed by Jerry Brown) was sudden, and has shocked a lot of folks who’ve been doing anti-death-penalty work for years. I only heard about it last Thursday, through folks in Oscar Grant organizing.

I’ll be writing up some thoughts and questions soon on tactics and strategy for radical organizing (sparked in part by an event the Faithful Fools catered yesterday: a talk by lifelong activist and frequent prisoner Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan priest who works around anti-nuclear intervention and the School of the Americas Watch). Part of me feels ambivalent about attending a protest of the death penalty, with no clear mechanism for affecting this structural, state violence. But I also feel that with the proper perspective, and in tandem with different types of tactics and organizing, it can be a fruitful part of a holistic, loving, politicized life.

What really bugs me is that I won’t be able to make it to another dope event featuring my friend’s mom: An Evening of Solidarity with Women of Haiti. If you’re in the Bay area and not coming to the execution protest, think about hitting this up instead.

And a good Monday to y’all.

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