imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Slow Decline of a Dying Rhizome

by B. Perdue Saturday, Mar. 14, 2009 at 11:23 AM

This Tuesday, the Rhizome Collective will begin to die its slow death. All residents and backspace organizations have been forced to vacate. Many fear the blow of losing one's home will taper any gained momentum to save the space.


Please Circulate

13th of Friday, 2009

This Tuesday, the Rhizome Collective will begin to die its slow death. All residents and backspace organizations have been forced to vacate. Many fear the blow of losing one's home will taper any gained momentum to save the space.

Last night, we sat in a room with many collective members and the Allen Street Rhizome Warehouse private property owners—Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew. Kellogg and Pettigrew have been members of the Rhizome Collective and sometimes residents of Austin, TX. They legally own the warehouse property through Sustainable Revolution Inc. Kellogg and Pettigrew have built a career through their work with the Rhizome Collective—creating a sustainability consulting/training seminar called RUST and published a book entitled Toolbox for a Sustainable Revolution. Over nine years, Kellogg and Pettigrew and countless others built the Rhizome together.

On 2/16/09, Kellogg and Pettigrew informed the collective of their intent to sell the warehouse property in six months. They listed an asking price of 0,000 and asked the collective to make an offer. When asked if sweat equity would be valued, they firmly responded, “no.” People questioned making this transaction using capitalist economic values. Kellogg purchased the warehouse with an inheritance of an unknown amount. Kellogg and Pettigrew also own property in New York State.

On 3/3/09, City of Austin Code Enforcement cited the property owners with a number of violations. Kellogg and Pettigrew received this information and informed us that we needed to vacate and the building would be sealed 3/17. Through collective pressure, Kellogg and Pettigrew reluctantly pressured the City and asked questions about the exact nature of the violations. They achieved a 30 day extension to pull permits and deal with the violations. Kellogg and Pettigrew asked all to vacate, regardless. Conveniently, the community organizations and housing residents are being shuffled out the door.

Members of the collective questioned Kellogg and Pettigrew about their intentions for dealing with the code violations. The question was asked if they are planning on pulling the permits with the understanding that the collective would purchase the space. They said they didn't know. Their options were to pull permits or sell within 30 days. Someone in the group offered to collectively share the costs of code violations. Kellogg and Pettigrew were hesitant about such an idea. Kellogg and Pettigrew in effect told the collective that from here on out they'd go it alone. It seemed silly, then, to waste our time pretending to work together. Clearly, there is an unequal power relationship between the landlord and tenants. Why pull permits if ownership is not to be transfered?

If we were working together, I'd understand temporarily leaving the space to deal with permits. But, the vague non-commitment was a de facto admission of what would happen post-permit. Nothing. The space will be sold on the open market—maybe to the collective, maybe not. This all begs a larger question, was the intention ever to transfer ownership to the collective? Why were calls to rent-to-own through owner financing not heeded by the landlords years ago? Why is the conversation revolving around money and loans, and not community cultural capital and anti-capitalist views of property?

Many who've lived in the community of Austin and have seen the day to day operations of the Rhizome and the long-term trends, have recognized the power imbalance of the situation. Fundamentally, collective space should reside in collective hands. There was a social contract of peaceable transfer power. Yet, the behavior and attitudes of Kellogg and Pettigrew always reflected their special case status. Not to mention their personal fiscal, material, and professional benefits under the guise of non-profit status and collective community building. Nor, their responsibility within the collective of building un-permitted structures for their own personal benefit and supposed community benefit. We have been co-dependent on the supposed benevolence of gift-giving from a privileged person. Frankly, we needed the space. And despite knowing that this day would come, we went ahead because we had nowhere else to go. We hastily relied on the good intentions of vastly more privileged people. Attempts were made to take good intentions out of the equation through the transfer of power—only to be stymied time and time again.

Now, I'm having a huge wake up call about the so-called community. Not so much about Kellogg and Pettigrew. I've seen them act like Queen and King of the Rhizome Castle for years. But, now, I see the meeting dynamics shake out like a bad anti-oppression workshop skit. Lip-service is given to a collective, consensus-based process when two people really run the show, their cadre of supporters seem well-intentioned yet politically fair weather, others can't deal with conflict and the elephant continues to sit in the room, voices are silenced because they are called too emotional, and people of color and marginalized folks are going to feel the brunt of the eviction. One sentiment I've heard a couple people throw out has illuminated this situation for me. Folks have said, “This is the United States, we can't just...” Its seems as though many folks in that room would stand up for somebody half way across the world out of guilt or some such motivation, rather than fight for their own home. In a classic display of privilege, folks are bouncing out of this community leaving the folks who actually live here to pick up the pieces and build again. Similar stories play out across the nation in these radical subcultures keeping them in their bubbles—never to reach out to people outside their activist playhouses.

Why am I putting this shit on blast? Well, because I think the situation is fucked up and I feel some sort of obligation to tell my version of the sequence of events. This piece will surely stir some controversy and hopefully spark some dialog. I've gone back and forth and had much self-doubt about how to approach this situation. I know this will piss some people off. I'm no stranger to controversy and firmly believe if actions cannot be held up to public scrutiny then something is amiss. I also think conflict is inevitable—especially when there is an power imbalance. We need to deal with it head on or not at all. Kellogg and Pettigrew have stated their intention to do as they please. So, either we wait for their word or pressure them to make the concessions that are politically and culturally ours. As long as Kellogg and Pettigrew continue their work creating “sustainable revolution” in New York and beyond, they must be held accountable for the sustainability of the Allen Street Warehouse and I hope this article aids in that.

Perhaps, there's still hope to make an offer to transfer the building in collective hands and for Kellogg and Pettigrew to do the right thing. Maybe this piece will ruin it. It should happen soon, if at all, because Kellogg and Pettigrew are leaving Texas once everyone's out and won't be looking back. What I heard last night, in not so many words, was there was no plan to pull permits and thusly no plan for collective purchase. I wonder why would they care once they leave this town? Sometimes, I think, its just not worth it. So, for now, I will no longer wait for the whims of the landlords or the illusion of collective process.

If Kellogg and Pettigrew choose not to transfer ownership to the collective, then the question is what's the community's cut?

This Saturday and Sunday there is a estate sale happening at the Rhizome. People are packing their bags and selling off community property. Come on down to the Rhizome to see it all go down.

Good Night and Adieu,

-Brent Perdue

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy