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Red and Black Cafe asks cop to leave, mainstream media and boot-lickers throw a fit

For reasons unknown, former marine, Iraq-war veteran, current police officer, James Crooker went to the Red and Black worker-owned cafe in south east Portland and ordered coffee. He was given his coffee in a to-go cup and asked to leave due to the fact that cops make many people uncomfortable. This entirely reasonable act done out of concern for the well-being of other patrons has wrinkled the noses of Portland's cop-supporter community. The corporate media has jumped all over this not-very-exciting incident and loonies have been making anonymous threatening comments on blogs and what-not. Now is the time for all of us who have been supported by the Red and Black to show our support and solidarity as our friends and comrades come under attack.
Red and Black Worker-Owned Cafe
Red and Black Worker-Owned Cafe
On March 22, 2010, Officer James Crooker provided "lethal cover" as he and other officers presided over the dead body of Jack Collins, a long-time Portlander who lived outside and had just been shot to death by Officer Jason Walters at the Hoyt Arboretium. The picture that appears in the Oregonian, however, shows a smiling Officer Crooker at the Rose Festival, whom a suburbanite blogger has befriended and gushed over in her blog.

The suburban blogger witnessed the cop being asked to leave the Red and Black and just could not comprehend why cops make people, especially homeless people and political activists, uncomfortable. So she wrote on her blog about how terrible it was that Officer Crooker wasn't invited to stay at the Red and Black and make everyone feel intimidated, and for some reason all the local mainstream media goose-steppers have felt it necessary to amplify her message if incomprehension to the nth degree.

This incident and the following media backlash against the Red and Black demonstrates the split in society between the privileged and those who more often than not feel the pressure of the boot of authority on their necks. The Red and Black consistently takes its stand against oppression and those of us who stand with them can be proud of the fact that Officer Crooker was asked to take a hike. While I can't speak for others, I personally support whole-heartedly the decision to not tolerate the oppressive presence of a police officer in an otherwise safe space.

Oh snap! I was there for that! 04.Jun.2010 15:13

Geode

I saw the whole thing go down, it wasn't a crisis or anything (although a very cool maneuver on the part of the worker who executed the door-showing). Personally, I was absolutely befuddled when the cop walked in. I usually try to hex cops to "make their hearts quiver with doubt", but I didn't want to put bad vibes into the Red and Black! It sucked! Besides, I'm on the streets and I had a big ol' backpack so I felt even more squirmy with him in the shop. I was stoked to see him given the boot! I'm writing this at the Red and Black right now actually! FUCK YEAH, R&B. I'll kiss your cop-kickin' boots any day!

link to "Get to Know Your Police Officers" 04.Jun.2010 23:54

golly, why would anyone not trust the police?

"Get to Know Your Police Officers," May 2010
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2010/06/399946.shtml

20 or so reasons to not trust cops and to show them no support and no solidarity, much less cooperation or colaboration.

That cop went there intending to harass and intimidate, and didn't get to. 05.Jun.2010 00:29

Fed up with harassment and intimidation by the cops

Of COURSE that cop knew that no one at the R&B wanted him there. Come on. Does anyone seriously believe he just happened to accidentally wind up in one of the most anti-police (with good reason) anarchist establishments in the city of Portland, as he told the corporate media? Come on. He's been a cop here for years. Maybe he should check the file. That's right, the FILE.

Listen, I was at the R&B the night the sea lion defense brigade spoke there, and we watched the cops roll up and "casually" hang around outside, and "casually" case the Sea Wolf, and "casually" claim they were, uh, just, uh, you know, "looking for someone." Someone who wasn't there. We know what that's all about. And we're tired of it.

As a frequent and regular customer at the R&B, I completely appreciated that someone had the nerve to ask the cop to leave. THANK YOU! And I will most assuredly continue to eat and drink there. We all will - those of us who eat and drink there feel the same way that the people who own it feel. There's no serious threat that anyone is going to impact the business by "refusing" to go there. Anyone who would suggest such a silly thing has obviously never even been there, and wouldn't have even known about the R&B if not for this story. Seriously, this can only be good for business. They know and respect their clientelle (sp?), and we stand by the workers there as we always have.

A few rotten apples spoil the barrel 05.Jun.2010 13:10

Taxpayer and Nonlawbreaker at a School Board Meeting

I don't know about that.... Police were called in (I'm assuming by School Board and the PPS Administration Building) when the students from Benson High School and Marshall High School converged onto the School Board meeting at the beginning of May. These were just students showing up to show support for their schools. The police presence, in light of the recent incidents, made everyone, including the student constituency of PPS, very nervous. These were primarily low-income students of color. Maybe if the convergence was from the whiter, wealthier bastions of Southwest Portland, they would not have been so nervous. Nothing happened at this School Board meeting. It was peaceful assembly, guaranteed by the Constitution. The cops were apparently there to have a presence. However, the presence was noted, made people uncomfortable and created an intimidating atmosphere.

a happy ending 05.Jun.2010 17:47

rob

I was surprised, and pleased, to read that the cop understood the request to leave and did not complain.
His reported comments indicated no rancor.

not surprised 06.Jun.2010 03:23

leaf

I was surprised to hear R&B mentioned on the news. I wasn't surprised to hear that a cop went in. I was at Laughing Horse Bookstore several years ago and 2 portland police officers came in. It was a TRIP and it I bet the people inside R&B felt uncomfortable. I see that on facebook there is a group that is boycotting the R&B. I am very sorry to say that 2 of them are on my friends list.
Ignorant fools. One of them I will keep only because she posts some great pictures from the past but they're dumb.

Right choice for the Red and Black to 86 the cop? 06.Jun.2010 12:27

soberups soberups@comcast.net

While the owner of the R&B was within his rights to ask the officer to leave his store....maybe he should have considered sitting down with the officer and having an actual conversation about his fears and concerns instead. Its a crazy idea...2 human beings having a respectful discussion over a cup of coffee...but if it happened often enough maybe things would change.

Unfortunately, a teachable moment was lost here when the owner of the R&B chose to react with the same fear, ingnorance and predjudice that he (in some cases rightfully) accuses the police of harboring. Instead of acting to break the cycle, he simply perpetuated it.

If Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr or any other true social progressive had been there serving coffee...would they have kicked a fellow human being out of the store simply because they didnt like his uniform? Or would they have treated him with the same sense of justice that they would ask for in return?

oh give me a break 08.Jun.2010 17:30

you NEED to soberups

"...a teachable moment was lost here when the owner of the R&B chose to react with the same fear, ingnorance and predjudice that he (in some cases rightfully) accuses the police of harboring."

Uh, no. A "teachable moment" was seized, and the community has now been educated to the fact that it's all right to resist. It's all right kick out the cops, we don't have to pretend to be nice to them. The cops have now been educated: We don't like what they do for a living and we don't have to put up with their intimidation. The corporate media has even been educated: There was actually an article about this that I saw that launched into all the reasons why it's completely legitimate to tell them to get out. The article ran down all the unarmed citizens who have been systematically gunned down by the cops over the past couple of years.

As for the owner of the R&B "reacting with the same bla bla bla bla?" What a pathetic and oh so liberal thing to say.

No, the owner of the R&B asked a cop to leave for the safety, well being, and comfort of the people who pay the bills: The REAL customers. He asked him to leave because the cops keep shooting people to death for no reason. Because the cops think they can just beat people up and get away with it because they have badges. Because the cops pepper spray BABIES. (Look it up, liberal. They pepper spray BABIES in this city.)

That's why the owner of the R&B told the cop to get the fuck out, and it's why it was the right decision. No amount of "sitting down for coffee" is gonna change the fact that the cops in this city are crooked, murdering, fuck ups. And you, you should be ASHAMED of yourself to try to equate the beating, pepper spraying, assaulting, and KILLING of unarmed citizens with the simple act of resistance that asking that cop to leave embodied. FUCK you, soberups. Just fuck you.

You're the same person sitting in the wings, safe in Suburbia, going, "Let's let the system work," as we wait for yet another "report," yet another "committee," yet another grand jury to rubber stamp yet another homicide perpetrated by the cops.

How about NO. How about, instead of licking their jack boots, we FUCKING STAND UP TO THEM AND TELL THEM TO GET OUT for a change? Oh right, that's not "Ghandian" enough for you, not enough MLK enough for you, right? Oh PLEASE fuck off.

Ooo! A Boycott! 08.Jun.2010 17:36

oh no!

HA! I just read the comment regarding the facebook attempt to organize a boycott of the R&B. HA! That's like vegans boycotting a dairy! HAAAA HA HA!

Memo to Liberal Suburbanites: You have to have actually been a CUSTOMER, actually PLANNED to ever go back to a place, before any "boycott" could ever be effective. The people who run the R&B know exactly who their customers are, and they're not worried. Because WE are their customers, not you. And WE support what they did one hundred percent. Those of us who actually GO to the R&B will only go more, now that this has happened. Now that we know there is at least one safe space in the city where cops are not welcome to just wear their guns in and glower at us, we will be eating there MORE often, not less. Anyone who has ever even ONCE been to the R&B would know that. Anyone who has EVER been there would have realized that none of the customers there are ever going to join a boycott (guffaw) of the place because a cop was told to leave. HA! Silly cop lovers from the burbs are priceless. Thanks for the laugh!

Understand 10.Jun.2010 12:20

Jeff

I am currently deployed in the Middle East. I volunteered to come over here. before my deployment, I conducted search and rescue on the East coast, and in Alaska. I say this to prevent others from assuming the worst, and grouping me into the favorite saying "baby killers". There are a lot of people that came over here to help, rebuild; do what they can to make the world a better place. I happened to come across the story, and I honestly had to comment. I understand how cops make some people nervous. There are several groups of people that make me nervous. It's in our nature to be prejudicial, based on prior experiences with individuals, and (honestly) the media does not help. I constantly try not to though; I try to judge individuals, but it is hard when you are faced with actions day in and day out.
Between taking the side of someone that swore an oath to help and protect others, and a business owner that judges an individual because he/she took that oath; there is no choice to make. I will never be a customer of that store. That owner will never know the sacrifice or commitment it takes to be the person that runs towards danger to save someone, doing this 24/7 on duty and off. The man, a human being, came in for a cup of coffee, and you "showed him the door". He should be ashamed of himself.
If a robbery, fire, medical emergency were ever to happen as I walk by, without hesitation, I would try to help, regardless of the person's beliefs, race, or dress. I am willing to die in the process, if I can save the person in need. 99% of peace officers will tell you the same thing, and they mean it. They take their uniforms off, but they still hold that oath close to their hearts. But, I will never be a customer, and I will let my friends and family know about the prejudicial nature of the owner's business policy.

Couter Measures 17.Jun.2010 16:48

Selma

Agreed Jeff. I don't cry for the police but he was refused service and discriminated against based on his uniform not his actions. There are good and bad cops and over generalizations about systemic this or that is junior high big A anarchy thinking in this case. If I was a cop I'd go in with five other cops and our civil rights lawyer and do an old fashion counter sit.

There is a big difference between racism and discriminating against cops 18.Jun.2010 06:44

please think a little bit harder about this

Here is my reasoning.

First of all racism is about systemic power imbalances and oppression. Racism isn't merely formal discrimination. For example when blacks were not allowed in restaurants and other accommodations in the U.S. South this was in the context of many other types of formal and informal oppression. Like never being hired for certain jobs, being lynched for attempting to vote, having a lower life expectancy due to lack of equal access to health care etc. etc. Even now racism survives in spite of the fact that almost all formal discrimination against people of color has been eliminated in the U.S. Yes, even in a country that has a black president, black people (for example) have much lower incomes, can expect to get longer and harsher sentences for the same crimes as compared to whites, are profiled by police etc. etc.

Now compare this situation to police officers in Portland. Admittedly it's now clear that they are not welcome in the Red and Black (and a few social service non-profits that cater to populations that don't trust the police.) Are they subject to other forms of discrimination? Are they in a position of less power than the rest of the population? The answer to these questions is not only a resounding 'NO.' Even more than that: the opposite actually seems to be true.

How else can you explain the fact that when police kill unarmed civilians the worst expected outcome is a paid vacation and some bad press? How can it be true that a group of people who are armed with both lethal and less-than-lethal weapons, who act in coordination with one another and with the power of the state behind them, how can they be said to have less power than others? It simply isn't true.

Maybe if police were universally reviled and kept out of most restaurants then you'd start to have a case. But they'd still have those weapons which they can use with more impunity than a criminal gang because they also have the power of the state. Do you know what happened the last time when several black people wielded weapons publicly? Many of them were assassinated, imprisoned and otherwise targeted by the state. (I'm talking about the Black Panthers for those that didn't catch it.)

Back to the Red and Black for a second. It is true that they discriminated against a police officer for being a police officer and not because that particular police officer did anything. I can understand how someone with a favorable view of police might find that objectionable. But hang on for a second. Suppose for a moment that people have legitimate reasons for fearing and disliking police as a group and not just some individual police officers. If this is too hard to imagine I have an analogy: suppose we were talking about known al qaeda members instead.

Suppose you live in an alternative universe where al qaeda has still done horrible things but where, despite that, most of society holds them in a place of honor and respect. If you worked at a business wouldn't you appreciate having the ability to ask an al qaeda member to take a hike -- even if you had no specific knowledge that this particular member had ever done any terrorism? Wouldn't you still feel safer with this person not around?

OK analogy over. I want to acknowledge that there are many, many important differences between al qaeda and the police. One thing that they have in common however is that they both use violence or the threat of violence (i.e. actually killing people, not property destruction) to achieve their goals. The most common way to frame their goals is to say that they are protecting innocent people from the bad, criminal people. Another perspective is that policing is social control aimed at preserving property and other power relationships. Personally I think it's some of both but that there are better ways to achieve the first goal and the second goal is totally illegitimate.

In the case of the Red and Black the fact that houseless people frequent the cafe has been cited. Have you ever talked to houseless people about their feelings about police? If you do one thing that is likely to come up is that the police frequently harass them for just being in the streets and doing things that other people do--the difference being that other people have private spaces to do them in! So for example James Chasse was urinating in public and was beaten to death for it. More typically houseless people's things are taken or sprayed with water to discourage them from camping. In general police and others often feel free to treat houseless people as less than human because they have so little power.

Besides houseless people another reason cited for the Red and Black not wanting police in their space has to do with certain activist groups meeting there. If you'd like to brush up on why many folks in various activist communities have legitimate reasons for not wanting to be around police please check out the blog "green is the new red." Here you'll find many examples of the creative use of terrorism charges by law enforcement as well as examples of extremely disproportionate sentencing for politically motivated "crimes."

thanks for reading,

alj


Couter Measures 18.Jun.2010 08:48

Selma

Agreed Jeff. I don't cry for the police but he was refused service and discriminated against based on his uniform not his actions. There are good and bad cops and over generalizations about systemic this or that is junior high big A anarchy thinking in this case. If I was a cop I'd go in with five other cops and our civil rights lawyer and do an old fashion counter sit.

Counter Measures 18.Jun.2010 10:20

Selma

alj you made some interesting points but I don't think they add up. I think everyone understands the difference between discrimination based on race vs. beliefs. White civil rights workers in the South in the 60's were discriminated against, harassed, refused service, beat, etc not for the color of their skin but based on what they stood for. Many people are discriminated against because of their sexual, religious, political beliefs, etc Because race is not a factor in that discrimination does that somehow lessen the discrimination?

Also when you say:

"Are they subject to other forms of discrimination? Are they in a position of less power than the rest of the population? The answer to these questions is not only a resounding 'NO.' Even more than that: the opposite actually seems to be true."

So, because cops aren't subject to other forms of discrimination we should forget about this incident of discrimination because it aligns with your political beliefs? If someone is refused service at Denny's, but Ihop and Wendy's serves him it makes it ok? Say I don't like Bikers and think they have too much power in society and they make me uncomfortable I can ask the owner of restaurant to ask them to leave? And that's ok because they don't get discriminating against everywhere? Also let's face it Cops are discriminated against. Do you think any other group of people in a profession could be called "Pigs" so freely across all parts of society?
I agree they have more power then others in society. Get to drive through red lights, rough people up on occasion, but the price for that power comes with getting shot at occasionally.

alj wrote:

"How else can you explain the fact that when police kill unarmed civilians the worst expected outcome is a paid vacation and some bad press? How can it be true that a group of people who are armed with both lethal and less-than-lethal weapons, who act in coordination with one another and with the power of the state behind them, how can they be said to have less power than others? It simply isn't true."

First this police officer as far as I know hasn't killed anyone. Second this incident shows he does have less power in this situation. Me and you can go into any cafe we want and order a coffee free of where we work or who we are affiliated with. He can't. He has less power then anyone in the city at that point.

alj wrote:

"Maybe if police were universally reviled and kept out of most restaurants then you'd start to have a case."

No, that's not how the system works. If you or me are discriminated against in a restaurant not on our behavior but on affiliation then we have a case. Would you and I have to wait until all our friends or associates were discriminated against?

alj wrote:

"But they'd still have those weapons which they can use with more impunity than a criminal gang because they also have the power of the state. Do you know what happened the last time when several black people wielded weapons publicly? Many of them were assassinated, imprisoned and otherwise targeted by the state. (I'm talking about the Black Panthers for those that didn't catch it.)"

Yes, yes there are abuses. No one is doubting that. We know about the Black Panthers. Your going into ideology hyperbole though. If a black panther in uniform shows up at Ihop should he be refused service because he makes some people feel unsafe? Or perhaps some of his associates have committed abuses? You want to legitimize a crime to correct other crimes?

alj wrote:

"Back to the Red and Black for a second. It is true that they discriminated against a police officer for being a police officer and not because that particular police officer did anything. I can understand how someone with a favorable view of police might find that objectionable. But hang on for a second. Suppose for a moment that people have legitimate reasons for fearing and disliking police as a group and not just some individual police officers. If this is too hard to imagine I have an analogy: suppose we were talking about known al qaeda members instead."

I think even someone even with an unfavorable view of the police should find it objectionable. No doubt I'm sure people have legitimate reasons for fearing and disliking the police and not just some individual police officers but that's not enough. Maybe you fear and dislike Republicans, black kids with baggy pants, people who whistle in public, etc Maybe you were a P.O.W. and were tortured by a certain ethnic group, etc You get to deny service to someone of those groups?

Sorry the Al Qaeuda analogy stretches it too far. I could see someone using a Israeli army officer in Palestinian cafe scenario though.

The R&B cafe is a place of business no? Its not a social service agency as far as I know. The public has the right to frequent it. Basically the problem is many progressive people are finding themselves cheering for discrimination against someone based on their affiliation and nothing he has done individually. The more you try to wiggle it the worse it becomes. I can't remember how Orwell put it but he said something like the test of a real democracy is how its members are able to deal with people they find objectionable. How'd R&B do? Fail.
Oh, and Orwell was a Cop.

back at ya 18.Jun.2010 14:23

alj

>discrimination based on race vs. beliefs. White civil rights workers in the South in the 60's were discriminated against, harassed, refused >service, beat, etc not for the color of their skin but based on what they stood for.
>Many people are discriminated against because of their sexual, religious, political beliefs, etc Because race is not a factor in that >discrimination does that somehow lessen the discrimination?

You misunderstand me. I'm making a distinction between systematic oppression and discrimination based on voluntary group association and behavior if you get right down to it. In order for oppression to be systemic it has to occur over time (i.e. have a historical component) be either codified in law or established firmly in a culture. In other words it has to significantly impact members of a group in most if not all aspects of their lives. So yes sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, transphobia etc. count.

Happily a few people not liking you or wanting to be around you because you're a cop does not count. What lessens the discrimination is the trivial nature of it (not being able to hang out in one cafe). Also it's important to keep in mind that people who have survived police violence are also discriminated against if they have no safe places to avoid police presence. This is particularly true for people who spend almost their entire lives in public (i.e. houseless people -- although I don't intend to speak for them, I'm sure that a few houseless people have no issues with police).

Plus you have to keep in mind that people choose to be police in a way that can't be said for people who actually experience oppression on a daily basis. In the case of jewish people (who may or may not be observant or religious at all) their ancestry and cultural identification aren't exactly free choices in the same way that becoming a police officer is. (I know that it's possible to convert or pass as gentile but please understand that racism against jews is real.) Deciding to be a police officer in the first place and every day thereafter is a conscious choice as well as a behaviour. And as we all know choices have consequences!

You can stick to your guns about this if you want and claim that you would never, ever use a group affiliation to discriminate against someone but I don't think that you're thinking this through... I know that we have different feelings about the police. Also I know that the al qaeda example was too out there for you to contemplate. What about nazis or volksfront? Would you agree that a space could bar folks who are members of either of these groups? Obviously these aren't the same as the police. The point isn't that they are the same it's that people are going to legitimately want to discriminate against the members of some groups based on what those groups (and not just what individual members) do.) I for one wouldn't want to hang out with swastika-wearing nazis in a cafe even if I knew for a fact that those particular nazis had never hurt anyone themselves. If you think that it's ok to discriminate against these folks (or any other group) then it just comes down to the fact that you think that police are good and I (we) don't.

BTW it's interesting that you bring up the idea of banning israelis from a cafe. There's actually a vegan anarchist bar in Tel Aviv that bans IDF soldiers in uniform as well as settlement products. Although I agree with their stance on this it's interesting to note that IDF soldiers are conscripted. Police aren't -- they choose to be members of the city's most powerful gang.

One last thing: it's been brought to my attention that there's a bar in portland that ONLY SERVES POLICE OFFICERS! Yep, it's the Metro Police Club and it's like 5 blocks from the Red & Black Cafe. OK now I'm waiting for you to give them just as much shit as the Red & Black. Ready, set, go!

alj


Has Officer Crooker killed anyone? 19.Jun.2010 07:14

question

One of the anti-R'n'B commentors said that they believe that Officer Crooker has never killed anyone. Well, I believe I read that he was a marine in Iraq during the latest U.S. invasion, so I believe that it is entirely likely that he has indeed killed someone in his capacity as a cop-of-the-world in Iraq. Are we supposed to just sit around and wait for him to kill someone here before we say enough? Maybe you cop-supporters should ask him if he has killed anyone and under what circumstances, and then we'll see how comfortable everyone is.

counter measures 19.Jun.2010 16:43

selma

alj wrote:

"You misunderstand me. I'm making a distinction between systematic oppression and discrimination based on voluntary group association and behavior if you get right down to it. In order for oppression to be systemic it has to occur over time (i.e. have a historical component) be either codified in law or established firmly in a culture. In other words it has to significantly impact members of a group in most if not all aspects of their lives. So yes sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, transphobia etc. count.

Happily a few people not liking you or wanting to be around you because you're a cop does not count. What lessens the discrimination is the trivial nature of it (not being able to hang out in one cafe). Also it's important to keep in mind that people who have survived police violence are also discriminated against if they have no safe places to avoid police presence. This is particularly true for people who spend almost their entire lives in public (i.e. houseless people -- although I don't intend to speak for them, I'm sure that a few houseless people have no issues with police)."

Being asked to leave a place of business because what you do for a living is trivial? Look at your language "lessens the discrimination", "trivial nature of it", etc. It's still discrimination even if it doesn't fit into all your sociological slots. And why do you bring up every group that has ever had a bad encounter with a police officer? It seems pretty apparent that no one in the cafe had a beef with that particular cop, but cops in general.

alj wrote:

"Plus you have to keep in mind that people choose to be police in a way that can't be said for people who actually experience oppression on a daily basis. In the case of jewish people (who may or may not be observant or religious at all) their ancestry and cultural identification aren't exactly free choices in the same way that becoming a police officer is. (I know that it's possible to convert or pass as gentile but please understand that racism against jews is real.) Deciding to be a police officer in the first place and every day thereafter is a conscious choice as well as a behaviour. And as we all know choices have consequences!"

There is no such thing as racism against Jews. Jews don't share one common ancestry (well not unless you go way, way back to Africa) so they can experience anti-antisemitism but not racism. You seem to speak pretty freely for the oppressed of the world. What about Black cops? Mexican cops? transgendered cops? Are they not aware of being oppressed? Or also being the oppressor? The world isn't as clear cut as you would like it. Cops carry an inordinate amount of power in civil society which some abuse, but trust me there are others out there who do worst on a daily basis who don't have to fill out a report or answer to the public when they do something wrong.


alj wrote:

'You can stick to your guns about this if you want and claim that you would never, ever use a group affiliation to discriminate against someone but I don't think that you're thinking this through... I know that we have different feelings about the police. Also I know that the al qaeda example was too out there for you to contemplate. What about nazis or volksfront? Would you agree that a space could bar folks who are members of either of these groups? Obviously these aren't the same as the police. The point isn't that they are the same it's that people are going to legitimately want to discriminate against the members of some groups based on what those groups (and not just what individual members) do.) I for one wouldn't want to hang out with swastika-wearing nazis in a cafe even if I knew for a fact that those particular nazis had never hurt anyone themselves. If you think that it's ok to discriminate against these folks (or any other group) then it just comes down to the fact that you think that police are good and I (we) don't."

Oh, no I think businesses have the right to refuse service, but its bananas to compare nazi's and the police (granted I'm know there are probably some closet nazi's & not so closet nazi's on the police force as there are in every military like group) but don't tell me that the MAJORITY of cops don't uphold the law and work for people's welfare as they swear to do while neo-nazi's main affiliation is to exterminate other peoples. This cop for all we know is a good cop and he was refused service. Yes, I know spare me the history lesson about police forces being used here and abroad to oppress certain people, it's not a perfect system, but what do you propose instead? The Red & Black cafe patrolling the streets on their tall bikes and whistles at night to keep us all safe instead? Your almost right, I think the majority of cops are alright. For example, if this cop who came in was a known cold blooded murderer then by all rights the business has the right to refuse service if someone feels unsafe, but thats not what happened. This guy was shown the door because of his uniform. And face it we all where uniforms.

alj wrote:

"BTW it's interesting that you bring up the idea of banning israelis from a cafe. There's actually a vegan anarchist bar in Tel Aviv that bans IDF soldiers in uniform as well as settlement products. Although I agree with their stance on this it's interesting to note that IDF soldiers are conscripted. Police aren't -- they choose to be members of the city's most powerful gang."

Even though they are conscripted they still have a choice, they can bug out and avoid it or go to prison. I think if they wanted to ban IDF soldiers then that is their right. They would know about oppression and who is doing it. Have you noticed that this didn't happen in a cafe of "oppressed people"? This didn't go down in a black barbershop in NE, or some mosque, or some taqueria in hillsboro. It went down in a cafe with a bunch of kids playing at revolution who feel guilty about the privileges they have received and want to unload some righteous indignation on some easy public targets.

alj wrote:

"One last thing: it's been brought to my attention that there's a bar in portland that ONLY SERVES POLICE OFFICERS! Yep, it's the Metro Police Club and it's like 5 blocks from the Red & Black Cafe. OK now I'm waiting for you to give them just as much shit as the Red & Black. Ready, set, go!"

Well if its a private club then they can choose who they let in by membership (like the Eagles Club, Elks, etc) and it's a non-starter, but if it's a business (like the R&B) then yeah they should be held to the same standard. And if they told some Anarcho-hipster to hit the street because they didn't want him in there then I'd be playing the same song. God, I really hope the Metro Police Club isn't more inclusive then the R&B cafe. That would be pretty ironic huh?

question wrote:

"One of the anti-R'n'B commentors said that they believe that Officer Crooker has never killed anyone. Well, I believe I read that he was a marine in Iraq during the latest U.S. invasion, so I believe that it is entirely likely that he has indeed killed someone in his capacity as a cop-of-the-world in Iraq. Are we supposed to just sit around and wait for him to kill someone here before we say enough? Maybe you cop-supporters should ask him if he has killed anyone and under what circumstances, and then we'll see how comfortable everyone is."

No thanks. I think I'll let you ask him.

they should've had a vote 20.Dec.2011 15:46

bob

As much as I hate the facist pigs who call themselves law enforcers, since the R&B is a democracy everybody inside the cafe at the time should have been allowed to vote to kick or not kick out the policeman, the owner shouldn't have had the authority to kick him out by himself.