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Thursday, November 17, 2011

No justice no pizza

11/16
I arrive at the church soaking wet and cold after the rally at Verdi Square to launch the citywide boyott of Dominos Pizza on behalf of the Sweatshop Free campaign. On a cold day in steady rain, Latino, Chinese and West African workers rallied to demand that Dominos live up to its legal fair  labor obligations. Here at what used to be called, for obvious reasons, Needle Park, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Panic_in_Needle_Park) we seek to atttract the attention of the Upper Westside subway riders as they come and go. 
Back at the church, Danielle and I work to get ready for that night’s center meeting and the looming West-Park gala. Rudolfo our friend from Cuba, is asleep in the sanctuary. As Sarah arrives, Danielle insists that I go talk to him.
He’s spent some time in the shelters. He’s got diabetes. If he had some help, he could take care of himself.But tonight, what he really needs is a meal.  I call Goddard-Riverside. The Outreach folk can’t get beyond street emergency. So I call my friend Ray at Jan Hus. He refers me to his Spanish speaking outreach worker, Felix. He gets Rudolfo a hook up for an evening meal and agrees to meet him in the morning for a more comprehensive look at his situation. Sarah and I come up with the money to get him over to the East side, I shake his his hand, buena suerte, Rudolfo.
Gina, Craig and Michael are in the sanctuary for a run thorugh of the play being prepared for our gala/benefit. I’m surpised, and moved.  Though occasionally a bit heavy on exposition, Bella the playwright has somehow captured the spirit of the place. 
Time for Danielle and I to gather our things and head for the Center meeting at Mim’s. 
Earlier today, at the rally, Eric the union organizer and rally MC happened onto the word of the day. He started into the standard No justice, no peace and somehow wound up with No justice, no pizza. 
I kind of like that, he says. No justice, no pizza. 

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