Robert sent me a Facebook message asking if I wanted to go to an open debate at the cultural center in San Jose, a nearby neighborhood in Segovia. Since I had nothing else going on we agreed to meet up at 6.
I arrived first at the bank where we agreed to meet so I ducked into a café for a tea; when he came we ended up talking for a bit there then headed to the cultural center.
He knew the general area but we were a bit turned around so we stopped and asked a family who was outside kicking a soccerball. After we turned a few corners and the building came into view I knew exactly where we were; I have been very near that spot once when I went to the Monday morning market in San Jose.
When we walked in to the small auditorium there were about 40 blue chairs in a circle; a 20 year-old with a red shirt with yellow hammer and sickle stood with a few others near the door talking. Robert in his graduate assistant looking blazer and thick, black rimmed glasses looked like a undercover cop trying to not look like a cop. On the edge of the stage behind one of the seats there was a black hat with red star and a tall guy was wearing a blue armband around his forearm which was emblazoned with a red star, I starting to get a feel that the “Segovia de Izquierdas” is more than a leftist organization.
At USF I was part of several organizations dealing in political activism but I hated having “meetings” which usually turned out to be about planning the next “meeting”. This even was just that; more hot air. There were some representatives from some labor unions, discussing the next strike or protest to the impending labor reform. One guy diagonal from Robert and I boldly announced, “I am a Marxist and think the only way to make change is to completely paralyze the system, no busses, mail, trains…
I am all for a protest but this type of action would only cause massive inconveniences for EVERYONE. I wanted to speak about what has happened with many of the politically active people from USF and how priorities or ideas have shifted but I felt like this group wasn’t too open, they seemed to have their agenda set despite being “open” for debate.
Many of the people from USF who were politically active have entered a different but tightly connected area, food justice, sustainability, and independence. Ultimately we all work for two major reasons, to have food and to have shelter. The idea is to grow as much of your own food and buy the rest from local and sustainable farms. Public green spaces in urban environments could be converted to sustenance providing plants, fruit trees and pollinators. If nothing else gardening is a great form of relaxation and you will be eating healthier food.
Robert brought the common argument I’m and accountant I don’t know about gardening… neither did I, mother nature is knowledgeable though so you are not alone. We rambled back and forth a bit about that then the conversation turned to economics; I know nothing really so I couldn’t counter very well; he was arguing that we have to have continuous growth.
We continued walking and talking and I ended up going over their house and Lindsey jumped in with another cool idea about how to get people in LA to use the metro and public transportation. LA has more stops closer to where people live yet it is underutilized. She says they should create groups based on neighborhoods like a guided tour to get to certain places ending at a bar for a neighborhood mixer and offer a free drink or something. Many people she said are simply overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of the system so instead of learning it they just drive.