Monday, December 21, 2015
DRAMATIC DEEP DESERT DEMOCRACY
I TAKE YOU WITH ME TO THE SLABS---We've been here before. But big things are brewing now and we will witness them.
If you do not know about this amazing 1 square mile of land, google THE SLABS and then come back for the wonderous thing I'm about to show you.
Salvation Mountain--a painted hillside encouraging you to believe, repent and be born again.
A 25 year labor of love by Lenord Knight, now deceased. Dedicated successors preserve this folk art work listed on the national registry.
To prepare you for the big event, you need to know that this is the only place in the U
S where you can select a spot and build yourself a domicile---with a fair likelihood of being able to hold on to it without paying for the land.
Here's another example of a squatting homesteader's cabin.
This, I believe is the meeting area for the friends of the library. (building located in the right background) A group of people live around it and keep it up. ( worth a separate post for its history and thousands of volumes available to the public.)
This leafy bower is the meeting place for the current Slab City Community Group---a legal entity. Everybody is invited to sit in on council meetings and so I went. (no pictures)
The meeting lasted an hour and concerned itself with tomorrow's election of a new council.
The intelligence, decorum and good will displayed would likely put to shame your city council meeting.
Afterwards I engaged a few of them.
Slab city dwellers have organized themselves legally in response to the possibility that their land may be sold and them evicted. If Slabbers can hold on to this land, questions concerning how an individual could take and keep possession of a campsite is being carefully considered, as this poster illustrates.
This poster was made for those unfamiliar with Roberts rule of order.
(on election day the president explained the gist of them with a single sentence: We use these proceedures to assure that the majority will prevail and the minority heard).
Additional details cover the distinction between resident and visitor--both are allowed to vote for their representative on the council.
Election day came---the people assembled.
At the famous Range. You can see this very place in the movie INTO THE WILD.
The meeting began--nominations for the new council are made. One by one the nominees addressed the crowd asking for their vote. I believe that's Builder Bob* speaking at the mike.
*Somewhat like the French Foreign Legion people here often acquire a new name.
This was a surprise. That's Solar Mike speaking---and he asked that no one vote for him because he is opposed to the entire project. He allowed his nomination just for the opportunity to have his say.
I think that's Robbie speaking.
I don't know who this was--but he made a good speech.
As did this guy
And this one.
The ballots were cast into this literal ballot box. Two watchers assured the vote was honest.
You would have been impressed, I think, to see democracy work in so unlikely a venue.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Oh sweet people--you should have been there. I was moved nearly to tears. Our founding fathers would have been proud. I say to the tyrants of the world and to all who believe in force--LET THEM COME TO THE SLABS.
And I say to all the rent collectors of the world. COME TO THE SLABS--and see a different system.
And I say to economic captives everywhere-- drudging their lives away in the capitalistic system-- yearning for freedom---COME TO THE SLABS.
Glorious it is not---BUT IT'S A START.
Out of the mud and dust of things
Something lovely sometimes springs