Monday, July 1, 2013

Progressive Politics - Apples Wanted

Duluth Minnesota is an interesting place politically.  It is considerably more liberal than similarly sized communities around the Midwest.  Probably this reflects the strong union heritage in the iron mining industry that was once key to the local economy.

They still take their politics seriously.  Here is an old building that is using surplus political signs for window repair.

Most of these signs appear to be from the last campaign of Jim Oberstar.  Oberstar was an 18 term member of the US House, who shockingly lost his 2010 election bid to a political neophyte.  A kid who I once coached in baseball was an Oberstar aide.  He was stunned.

Down the street a ways we find this interesting complex.

Paul Robeson last turned up on the pages of this blog as a member of the remarkable " Stratfords" baseball team.  I had thought that his status as a progressive political figure had been all but forgotten in these modern times.

But there it was.  I have not been able to fully trace the history of the place, but this area of Duluth is home to a notable black community.  More recently the Ballroom was the winter quarters of Occupy Duluth for a while.  Later a fire damaged the adjacent property and the entire complex was condemned.  The Occupiers built an encampment out back until they were evicted in the fall of 2012.  Some of the signage on the front of these buildings is interesting...

It looks as if near the end there was some kind of retro-antiques market held here.  Was it connected with the Occupy folks?

On the right we have a 1%/99% poster.  Front and center we have an appeal for apples.  The fruit?  The computers?  Drop off here, or we will.....

Not quite sure what they were going to do if you did not give them an Apple.

I suppose I am guilty of poking a little fun at the idealistic Occupy folks.  But lets give credit where it is due, they are still around and still socially active.  In trying to learn more about the Robeson Ballroom I ran across the Occupy Duluth Duluth website.

I admire perseverance.

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