Celebrating the purchase of our building!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2011 by Red & Black Cafe

As you probably know by now, the Red and Black did it! We bought our building! People live upstairs now! So, what now? WE PARTY! Yup, that’s right. WE SAID PARTY!

We’ll be bumping hella loud music, courtesy of DJ Lustache, DJ Roy G Biv, Honduran, Fuck You, Dad! and Absence of Light. There will also be local activist groups tabling and plenty of food, drink and mingling. Come have some fun and celebrate this next step in building long-term community!


Solidarity with Madison!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 by Red & Black Cafe

The Red and Black Cafe stands in solidarity with the workers in Madison, Wisconsin, who are struggling to retain their right of collective bargaining.  Below is a statement from the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and their statement released on February 22, 2011.



US Federation of Worker Cooperatives Supports Public Sector Workers’ Right to Collective Bargaining

The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) stands in solidarity with public workers protesting the State of Wisconsin’s Budget Repair Bill to protect their right to collective bargaining. The USFWC is a national grassroots membership organization of and for worker cooperatives, other democratic workplaces, and the organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives. USFWC has several member workplaces in Wisconsin, including Union Cab, Isthmus Engineering, the Interpreters Cooperative, Cooperative Care of Wisconsin and Just Local Foods.

John McNamara, president of the USFWC Board and worker-owner at Union Cab Cooperative of Madison said, “We are at Ground Zero of the labor movement right now. The battle over public sector unions and their right to collectively bargain is our struggle. What happens in Wisconsin will help change the course of debate in this country, and we will prevent the Shock Capitalism advocates from operating.”

“Worker cooperatives are historically and currently part of the labor movement,“ stated Melissa Hoover, Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. “ We promote the idea of democracy—not just in the workplace, but in the labor union structure and in our civic life. We support the workers of Wisconsin and internationally. Corporate handouts by governments cannot be paid for by working people.”

Two of the most basic principles followed by worker cooperatives worldwide are ‘democratic member control’ and ‘member economic participation.’  As institutions of economic democracy, worker cooperatives support political democracy and the rights of all workers to political participation.   The USFWC stands against this smoke screen to attack workers, sell off state assets, and destroy the ability of workers to engage in the political process. It encourages its members and allies to contact their legislators to oppose the “repair” bill.

For more on the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives:

For more on worker cooperatives and their guiding principles:

Melissa Hoover, Executive Director
US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
San Francisco, CA
(415) 309-5983

Closing Early 2/28/11

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27, 2011 by Red & Black Cafe

Hey folks! We will be closing early tomorrow, February 28th at 8 PM. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We will resume our normal hours (10 AM to 10:30 PM) the next day, March 1st!


Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 by Red & Black Cafe

Thanks to our caring and supportive community, the Red and Black Cafe was able to reach our goal of $50,000 for the downpayment on our building!

The following is an interview with AK Press, conducted just before the end of our fundraising campaign.

Interviewer: Suzanne at AK Press : http://akpress.org
Interviewee: John Langley, Red & Black Cafe

Can you give a little background on the Red & Black Café (who you are and what you do), for anyone not familiar with you?

The Red & Black Cafe is a worker-owned, collectively managed restaurant and event space that just turned 10 years old. We host benefits, book readings, shows, films, and a selection of radical and anarchist books for sale—including many AK Press titles. Our food and drink are 100% vegan and as organic and local as possible. Last year we received a lot of media attention for kicking a Portland cop out of our space. The 9 workers are all members of the Industrial Workers of the World.

How did you decide to try to buy the building? What’s in it for you? What’s in it for the larger anarchist/radical community?

We actually tried to buy this building right before we ended up renting it. Since we were priced out of our original location we’ve been interested in figuring owvut how to prevent that from happening again. The benefit of owning the building for the workers is that we won’t have to worry about rent being pushed out of reach at the end of our lease. Another possibility is having a future landlord decide not to rent to us again for political or other reasons. In the long run, when it’s owned outright, we look forward to not paying anything for our space beyond insurance, repairs and taxes. Even long before that happens lower space costs will make it that much easier to have living wage jobs while keeping prices affordable and buying the best local & organic ingredients.

We think that there’s a huge value in having permanent, public spaces specifically dedicated to radical activity and ideas. The Red & Black Café serves as a starting point for folks just learning about anarchism and radical politics. For folks who have been active for a long time it’s a place to meet, show a film, do a reading, have a tour stop and hear what people from overlapping movements are doing. It’s also a place that helps make political and social space for anarchism by making it seem both more real and doable to non-radicals. We think that long-running successful spaces like the Red & Black Cafe help the anarchist project by demonstrating how anarchism can be practical and appealing.

In addition, while we exist, we have been and will continue to be a resource and support for others running or starting other non-hierarchical, democratic workplaces and hubs of radical activity. If we own our own building it helps ensure that we’ll be able to do this indefinitely.

How did you get hooked up with Portland Collective Housing, and what is their role in your plan for the building?

Two of the people on our collective are members of Portland Collective Housing / live at one of the PCH houses. Two people who were working on starting a new PCH household learned about our potential building purchase and jumped on board. Portland Collective Housing is a non-hierarchical, resident controlled, low income, 501(c)3 non-profit that owns two houses.

Originally the plan was for PCH to own the upstairs of the building while the Red & Black owned the main floor. As it turns out it was impossible to figure out a satisfactory way for PCH to do this. A major reason was the complexity of preserving the tax exempt status of PCH while co-owning a building with the Red & Black.

PCH nevertheless remains very supportive of the project. PCH will be assisting the upstairs household in forming a sister organization that will own and control the living space in the building by and for the residents. For both PCH and the newly forming organization of upstairs residents a major part of the goal is to combat gentrification. This is accomplished by keeping housing permanently off the speculative housing market, through income restrictions for residents and by creating density in existing buildings. This model is a direct challenge to the very expensive “green” condo (or market rate apartment) approach to housing, which makes housing denser and greener at the expense of displacing poor people and people of color. In addition it is a challenge to the charity model of affordable housing development. This model expects the people running these organizations to be of higher social and economic class than the people benefiting from affordable housing.

How much money do you need to raise? How have the fundraising efforts been going so far?

So we’re trying to raise $50 thousand for the down payment and ideally a few thousand extra to kick off our major repairs budget. Currently [as of yesterday, 1/26] we’ve raised a total of $43,700! So we’re pretty happy with how things have gone so far but we still have a little way to go.

What different options are there for contributing money? It looks like you’re looking for both donations/”Friends,” and loans/”Sustainers”—can you explain this a bit?

Sure thing. The easiest and fastest way to help is to donate online at redandblack.chipin.com. Every amount donated is eligible for something on the list of stuff we’re giving away as thank you gifts that range from our very popular spoke cards to free meals and 10% off for a year!

Loans are great too. If this is what you’re interested in please shoot Rachel an email at rachel_anne@riseup.net. If you do a loan the thank you gifts are here.

Any amount helps! Any donation gets you one of these [lovely spoke cards, picured here].

Are there any other ways that folks without access to funds can support this process?

Yes definitely. Please help us spread the word. Make us a stop on your band / book / zine / film tour. Friend us on Facebook. Figure out how to do a low cost / high impact media stunt comparable to the cop thing.

Why are your dragon noodles so delicious?

The dragon noodle sauce was secretly formulated in the kitchen of a collectively run cafe in Barcelona in 1936. The recipe was split into fragments and then lost for over 60 years. When the café was founded  individuals possessing the fragments came forward. Since that time no one person has ever known the entire recipe. This helps ensure that this knowledge can never be used to wield what would be an almost unimaginable amount of power over others. So technically no one knows why they are so delicious.

Our Fancy Benefit Dinner!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 by Red & Black Cafe


You are cordially invited to join the Red and Black Collective for this family-style, five-course dinner!  All funds raised will go towards the downpayment on the purchase of our building.  Please RSVP ahead of time to make sure seats are still available, and feel free to dress dapper!

First Course: Beet Salad (Ensalada Beterragas)
Roasted beets, Peruvian white beans, achiote poached tofu, oven-dried tomatoes, cancha corn & sherry vinaigrette

Second Course: Stuffed Pepper (Chile Relleño)
Roasted Red Pepper filled with wild mushrooms, corn, raisins, carrots, peanuts, aji amarillo, potato carapulcra; over salsa criolla

Third Course: Sweet Potato Soup (Sopa de Camote)
Sweet Potatoes, orange juice, almond cream, leeks

Fourth Course: Mushroom Saltado
Stir-fried portobella mushrooms, scallions, red onions, tomato, cilantro, with a soy sauce glaze; over friend potatoes

Fifth Course: Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche) with fried Plantains (Maduros)
Short grain rice, coconut milk, agave, raisins, cinnamon, lemon zest

Tickets are $20 – 50 sliding scale (drinks not included).  Please come if you can, enjoy some delicious fancy food and meet people in your community!

Seats are not held without payment.  To make it easier for you to RSVP, you can pay directly via PayPal!  Click the following link:



If you don’t have PayPal, you can also pay via cash or check by coming into the Red and Black.  See you there!

In solidarity,

Red and Black Cafe

Become a Friend of the Red and Black!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2010 by Red & Black Cafe

Have you donated money to the Red and Black?  Then you’re entitled to some sweet incentives!  That’s right, donors can now become a Friend of the Red and Black! This is to show our appreciation for you, our lovely friends and allies who have donated their most likely hard-earned money to our cause.

But wait, what about if you’ve loaned the cafe money?  Don’t worry about it!  We’ve got you covered, too.  You’re eligible to become a Red and Black Sustainer!  Though these programs are launching today, it will apply retroactively to folks who have already donated or loaned us money through our ChipIn campaign.

With Christmas just two days away, do you know anyone that wants to be a Friend of the Red and Black or a Sustainer?

Additionally, our website now has a specific page about our building purchase project.  All updates, press releases and the like will be cross-posted to that page so that the information can be centralized and easy to access.  Check it out and don’t forget to spread the word!

In solidarity,

Red and Black Cafe

Track our progress on ChipIn!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 by Red & Black Cafe

Hey!  Have you been following our progress on ChipIn?  Well, here’s a reminder!  Point your browser to:


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