"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Workers of the world, avoid second-hand smoke!

Back in CA after five days in Las Vegas attending the union conference. Four days / nights in Vegas is too long. Our conference was held in the basement of Circus Circus. I found the juxtapositions a little jarring. Step out of the room where we're talking about the scourge of "plantation capitalism*" and the need to organize for living wages and health care etc etc, and you are assaulted by stale smoke and the clamor of slot machines. I guess the NOLSW Local 2320 honchos feel that Vegas draws more potential conference attendees than it repels, and in fact nearly all of the hotel workers in Vegas are unionized so at least we could feel assured that our stay at the Circus would not exploit our sisters and brothers in labor. Compared to the newer end of the strip, I have to say that the Circus was a relatively peaceful haven, or at least a less oppressive hell.

*A good example of plantation capitalism would be Wal-Mart.

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